CA spells out concern over rising food costs
Monday, 31 March 2008

Agency

Chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed Sunday voiced concern over the rising prices of essential commodities and ruled out the strategy of meeting the food deficit by import.

"There is no alternative to increasing food production quickly to get rid of the situation. For this the agriculture system will have to be overhauled," the CA said in his speech to the inaugural function of a three-day technology transfer workshop at Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute in Gazipur.

Speaking as chief guest, Fakhruddin said: "Two recent devastating floods and cyclone Sidr have damaged huge crops. Agricultural production has also been threatened worldwide due to adverse climate and an increase in production costs."

The CA referred to many developed countries that started using land earlier used for food and other crops to produce bio-fuel for more profit.

"As a result, the supply of food crops on the world market is shrinking gradually. Food exporting countries are turning into importers. At the same time, the prices of food are increasing quickly around the world.

We are also feeling the pinch." Fakhruddin said: "The prices of essential commodities have increased a lot in the country. People's sufferings have increased as the purchasing power and real earnings of the low-, middle- and limited-income groups have not increased." "We have made all-out efforts to keep the prices of food at tolerable level.

However, we have clearly realised that the strategy of meeting the food deficit by import in the changed context is much-risky," he said.

BARI director general M Harun-or-Rashid made a presentation at the function on new technologies to be transferred to the farmers.

Agriculture adviser CS Karim also spoke at the function, chaired by agriculture secretary Md Abdul Aziz. Some 300 participants including agriculture and agriculture-related government officials have joined the workshop.

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