Bangladesh’s agro products: PM for further research to expand market

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday asked agricultural scientists to conduct further research over local fruits and agricultural items to expand the market for those.

“It’s essential to conduct more research on our local fruits and local items. It needs to expand the market of local items conducting more research on those. I think our local items are tastier,” she said while unveiling the cover of a book titled ‘100 Krishi Projokti Atlas’ at a function in the city.

The Prime Minister unwrapped the cover of the Atlas and then addressed the event held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre through a videoconference from her official residence Ganobhaban.

Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) published the Atlas with 100 agricultural technologies, marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Sheikh Hasina said the retirement age in government services has appeared a problem for those who are engaged in research. “We need to do something for the agricultural scientists. We want to give them more incentives,” she said asking the authorities concerned to place proposals over

A documentary over the 100 agricultural technologies was screened at the function. Agricultural scientists, divisional commissioners, deputy commissioners and field-level agriculture officers were connected with the virtual function.

In this context, she mentioned that the retirement age is not a problem anymore for researchers in the universities as the age-ceiling was increased there.

Sheikh Hasina said enough research works have been done in the agriculture sector and agricultural institutes have already been strengthened increasing manpower.

“But”, she said, “We’re giving the highest importance to research. We’ll have to give more importance to research as our population is growing.”

Mentioning that Bangladesh’s soil is very fertile, she put emphasis on plans, more studies and adequate laboratories for increasing the quality agricultural goods in a bid to export these to the foreign markets alongside meeting the local demand.

The Prime Minister also stressed the need for development of agriculture-based industries as the country’s economy is largely dependent on agriculture. “We’ll develop such industries. We’ll have to boost our production, process agricultural goods, supply those to local markets and export to foreign ones.”

Mentioning that now 100 economic zones are being set up in Bangladesh, she said it will have to arrange such local and foreign investments in the industrial zones so that locally-produced agriculture goods can be used as raw materials or can be processed there in a bid to export those to foreign markets.

Besides, she said, it needs to increase local demand of the country’s agriculture goods raising the purchasing power of people.

Hasina said her government has already been able to ensure food security and it has now been working to achieve nutrition security in the country.