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Adviser relates food security to domestic means PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 July 2008

Adviser AB Mirza Azizul IslamSays boosting local output way to achieve food autonomy

Staff Correspondent

Ensuring food security will be possible only by boosting domestic food production, and not through imports, said finance and planning adviser AB Mirza Azizul Islam Monday, at the launch of the 'National Seed Conference and Fair 2008'.

"Industries alone can't help a country attain food security. To enhance food production, allocations for agricultural research as well as diesel and fertiliser subsidies have been increased in the forthcoming budget," the adviser said at the inauguration of the three day event at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre.

The global demand for food has increased considerably, especially in neighbouring countries such as India, China and Indonesia, Mirza Aziz said.

"On the other hand, global food security itself has of late been faced with new challenges such as climate change in regions all over the world," the adviser said.

Under the circumstances, the adviser said, to achieve food autonomy, there is no viable option but increasing domestic production.

Agriculture adviser CS Karim also spoke on the occasion of the global food crisis.

"Food security is a global crisis today. Due to the various negative impacts of climate change, food production is decreasing worldwide. We have to look at the problem from various different perspectives and devise necessary and appropriate strategies for tackling the related issues."

"Recurrent floods and a devastating tropical storm in 2007 wrought havoc to our agricultural production, which has just recently been partly compensated by the Boro harvest," said Karim.

"Our farmers are great achievers, as has been established many times, and I hope they'll concentrate their attention to the Aman rice crop and other produce with similar successes."

"If agricultural production can be increased manifold, it may even be possible to earn foreign currency through exporting food grains after meeting the domestic needs," Karim said.

Adviser Mirza Aziz also pointed out that efforts have been made to price agricultural products rationally to ensure that growers get fair value for their produce.

"The agriculture sector was gradually losing the attention and focus it needed for its development, and hence the sector's weaknesses," the finance and planning adviser said.

"But we must remember that this sector provides over 60 percent of the country's employment."

"In our country too, demand for food has increased due to population increase and increased per capita income. At the same time, competing needs for land are squeezing the total volume of available arable land," Mirza Aziz said, adding that climate change exacerbated the overall situation with the passage of every season.

"But it is becoming more and more difficult to meet the domestic demands for food effectively through imports of food grains only; hence the need for enhancing local production. There is no other alternative," he stressed.

Stressing the paramount need for quality seeds to achieve this end, Mirza Aziz said: "The private sector too has to come forward to support the state's efforts."

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