We must ensure food security: Bangladesh PM Hasina

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Tuesday that people must be served food in order to save them from a food crisis

Jul 28, 2020
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Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Tuesday that people must be served food in order to save them from a food crisis.

Delivering her introductory speech at the weekly meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) through a video conference from her official residence here, Hasina said: "We have to serve food to the people to save them from a food crisis."

Hasina, who's also the chairperson of ECNEC, highlighted the various measures taken by her government in the last 11 years for agricultural development of the country.

She said that 20 million farmers have been provided with cards for agricultural inputs, while 10 million farmers have started banking after opening their accounts with just 10 Bangladeshi taka.

"We've been providing all sorts of cooperation to the farmers by reducing the price of fertiliser and distributing quality seeds and other agricultural inputs to ensure food security," she said.

Urging all those concerned to keep up the pace of growth in agriculture in the country, the Prime Minister said that Bangladesh has achieved growth in agriculture even amid the coronavirus pandemic.

She asked all to ensure food security besides making efforts to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Hasina said that the price of fertiliser has been cut multiple times ever since the Awami League government came to power after the Begum Khaleda Zia Regime.

"The price of fertiliser was 90 taka per kg during the Khaleda Zia-led BNP regime before 2007. But we reduced the price gradually. From 90 taka, it came down to 22 taka per kg, then to 15/16 taka and now the farmers are getting fertiliser at just 12 taka a kg," she said.

"Though the coronavirus outbreak has pushed us back to some extent, we will have to maintain the growth that we achieved in the agriculture sector amid the pandemic to ensure that our people don't suffer from a food crisis," she said.

Planning Minister M.A. Mannan was present at the PM's residence during the video conference, while other ECNEC members connected from the NEC conference room in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.

Hasina, who's also the President of the ruling Awami League, urged the leaders and activists of the party's associate organisations, including its student wing and labour wing, to help the farmers in harvesting Boro paddy.

"It's our duty to stand by the people. All other problems can be solved if we can make sure that there is food for the people," she said.

Hasina reiterated that her government is working tirelessly to achieve sustainable development goals despite the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country's economy.

"We have incorporated 17 SDGs in our eighth five-year plan. We must be able to achieve the goals," Hasina said.
 (IANS)

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