Industry

Self-reliance in seed production necessary for sustainable food security: speakers

Members of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers

and Commerce (FBCCI) standing committee on Agriculture, Agricultural

Processing and Agro-based Industries, at their first meeting, have called for

increasing local seed production to make the country's food security

sustainable.

FBCCI President Md. Jashim Uddin addressed the meeting as the chief guest

held at the FBCCI office here today, said a press release.

He said food security is one of the most important issues for any country.

The country's Agro-production kept its economy at a relatively better

position during the Covid-19 epidemic.

The government has taken various initiatives to turn agro-based industries

into export-oriented industries. Therefore, the FBCCI chief urged the private

sector entrepreneurs to come forward to invest in this sector.

He said that although Bangladeshi agricultural products are exported abroad

as there the buyers are mainly expatriate Bangladeshis.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a multinational professional services network

of firms, has been appointed to conduct research in the London market to find

out why these products are not being sold in the mainstream market.

After receiving the research data, the FBCCI president hoped that it will be

possible to further increase the export of Bangladeshi agricultural products

in overseas markets.

"The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries are interested in

taking halal food from Bangladesh. Hence there is a lot of potential in this

sector," the president informed.

Earlier, the Director In-Charge of the committee Dr. Ferdousi Begum said

huge import dependence of seeds is a risk to the food security of the

country. So, long-term investment required for achieving the capacity in seed

production.

She urged the government to invest more in this sector.

"Fifty four per cent of the labor force in agriculture is women. Equal pay

for this huge number of workers has not yet been ensured," Co-chair of the

committee Tasfia Jashim said, adding that formal recognition of women's

contribution to sustainable development in agriculture is important.

Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu, senior vice-president of the FBCCI, assured that

the recommendations received at the standing committee meeting would be

conveyed to the concerned government officials for its implementation.

He also promised to support any assistance from the FBCCI for the development

of the agricultural sector.

Earlier, the chairman of the committee Md. Abul Hashem said a national

conference will be organised soon on the initiative of the standing

committee.

FBCCI Directors Bijoy Kumar Kejriwal and Harun or Rashid, Secretary General

Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque, Co-Chairmen of the Standing Committee and other

members were present, among others, at the meeting.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)