World Food Day Sunday

World Food Day Sunday

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Dhaka – The country has attained self-sufficiency in meeting the demand for staple foodgrains, but overall and future food security requires massive investment in the country’s agriculture sector, according to prominent agro and food experts.
There comments came as the country is set to observe the World Food Day tomorrow under the theme – “Climate is changing. Food and Agriculture must too”.Like many other countries around the world, Bangladesh is also focusing on adopting practices so the country can produce more crops amidst various challenges from the changing nature.
Against the backdrop, experts have strongly recommended huge and incessant investment in agriculture for strengthening the capacity of this sector to help farmers adopt the latest technology and agro inputs and acquire necessary skill and knowledge those are vital to attain sustainable food security.
“The country needs to enhance investment for multipronged developments and for agriculture extension as well while changing climate poses serious threat to sustainable food security,” Jahangir Alam, former director general of Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute (BLRI), said.
He said the country achieved food security over the years through increasing rice production, but future food security depends on the inflow of necessary investment in the greater agriculture sector, including livestock and fisheries.
He also advocates more subsidies to this sector, saying that this would encourage farmers grow more food and help them in managing the growing cost of production.
Alam said the subsidy to the agriculture sector was around 5.0 percent of the total budget outlay in 2011-12 fiscal year, which has come down to 3.0 percent in the current financial year.
“The country should increase production of wheat and other nutritious food and cereals for attaining sustainable food security,” said Mohammad Naser Farid, director general of Food Policy Monitoring Unit (FPMU) under the food ministry.
He said the country has around 40.0 percent deficit in milk, meat and egg production and 10.0 percent deficit in fish production.
Besides, the country is now spending a huge amount of money for importing pulses and oilseeds every year, said the official, adding that production of these essential crops should also be increased through more investment for increasing crop intensity and diversity.
Noting the government’s initiatives for attaining a sustainable food security amid risks of climate change, Food Secretary A M Badruddoza said the country has already developed some climate-resilient crop varieties, which would be very effective for offsetting the adverse impact of climate change.
“For attaining sustainable security for major foodgrain, the government has introduced climate-resilient rice varieties suitable for producing in flood- and saline-affected areas,” said Agriculture Secretary Mohammad Mainuddin Abdullah.
Regarding the government’s support, he said the government is providing incentives for introducing farm mechanization while subsidy is being provided for non-urea fertilizers and seeds. – Agency

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