Saturday, 25 June, 2022

20pc allocation of national budget demanded for agriculture sector

Several rights groups on Sunday demanded allocating 20 percent of the total budget for the next fiscal year for the agriculture sector.


They also observed that the reduction of agriculture subsidy based on the prescription of the WTO, IMF and others will be suicidal towards achieving self-reliance on food and ensuring food security.


The demand was made at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club in the city.


The press conference was jointly organised by 14 organisations, including EquityBD, Bangladesh Krishak Federation, Kendriy Krishak Moitri and COAST Trust.


Among others, Syed Aminul Haque, Secretary of EquityBD; Badrul Alam, President of Bangladesh Krishak Federation; and Sajeda Begum, President of Kendriy Krishak Moitri, spoke on the occasion.


Aminul said the WTO, IMF and other international agencies have been forcing the government to reduce the subsidy on the agriculture sector.


According to WTO Nairobi decision, developing countries will remove subsidies within 2023 while Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and net food-importing countries will do that within 2030.


Mentioning that the decision to export rice is a very dangerous one for Bangladesh, Aminul said, "If rice is considered an export item, Bangladesh won't be allowed to provide subsidy even on paddy cultivation which will be very much suicidal for us."


Badrul Alam demanded forming a Fair Price Commission to ensure just and fair prices of produces of farmers.


Sajeda Begum called for providing capacity-building support to the farmers so that they can face the challenges of climate change.