Govt. working for strengthening food storage facilities

Food Minister Advocate Quamrul Islam today said the government is working for modernizing food storage facilities with modern technology and stronger institutions to tackle all four aspects of food security like availability, access, utilization and stability under integrated food policy research program.

The food minister said this while addressing as the chief guest at the opening session of launching ceremony of Bangladesh Integrated Food Policy Research program held at hotel Sonargaon here.

Under the program, the government will construct silos at the eight divisional cities across the country with the fund of the World Bank, said the food minister, adding we are going to inaugurate five lakh household silos at different flood prone areas during January-February period.

He added : Bangladesh is prone to natural disasters that can wipe out the country's supply of cereals if they are not properly stored. The government is committed to protecting the poor and vulnerable with the use of modern engineering and information technology as part of the digital Bangladesh vision, he said.

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFRI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Food, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA organized the programme.

Operation Manager and Acting Country Director of the World, Bangladesh Ms Rajashree S Paralkar and Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Food Affairs Md Abdul Wadud MP spoke as the special guests while Food Secretary AM Badrudduja, chaired the inaugural session.

The Bangladesh Integrated Food Policy Research Program is designed to meet the food policy needs of a growing Bangladesh, said Md Abdul Wadud in his address.

Specially, the new program will improve the food value chain, public food stocks, disaster responses, and price stabilization with state of the art methods and the application of effective digital technologies, , said Director General of BIDS Dr Khan Ahmed Sayeed Murshid.

The program's cross-cutting research activities will focus on a full spectrum of food policy considerations�storage and transport, market and policy analysis and capacity building and outreach, he said.

In the last half of the twentieth, food policy in most Asian countries focused on ensuring the availability of cereals, said Dr Shahidur Rashid , Senior Research Fellow at IFRI in his welcome address. But sufficient cereal availability and rapid economic growth in many of these countries including Bangladesh, has highlighted the need to upgrade the food policy architecture with modern technology and stronger institutions, so it is crucial we use a sound analytical basis to build and manage the new policy architecture.

Director General of Food Md Badrul Hasan, Project Director of Modern Food Storage Facilities Project Md Gazi Ur Rahman, Director of the International Program of the University of Illinois Dr Alex Winter-Nelson and IFRI Director Dr Paul Dorosh, among others, spoke on the occasion.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)