Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque on Thursday said there is no alternative to agriculture development in an agrarian country like Bangladesh to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The agriculture has been contributing to poverty alleviation, and ensuring food and nutrition security for all . . . and it will continue in the future,” he said.The minister was addressing a virtual seminar titled “The role of agriculture in achieving the SDGs in Bangladesh” organized by Agricultural Reporters’ Forum (ARF).
Razzaque said although the contribution of the agricultural sector to Bangladesh’s GDP has decreased in a percentage point, its importance has not diminished.
The agricultural production of the country was not affected even in the pandemic situation, he said, adding that under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Ministry of Agriculture has ensured the matter so that the agricultural production does not get affected during the pandemic.
Replying to a query about potato price, the minister said the government is sincere so that the marginal farmers get a fair price; therefore the price of potato has been increased to Taka 35 from Taka 30.
But profit monger middlemen-businessmen, he said, are taking the advantage of the price rise. Razzaque urged the cold storage traders to behave responsibly towards the consumers and market system.
Principal Coordinator for SDG Affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Zuena Aziz addressed the seminar as the guest of honor while former agriculture secretary Anwar Faruq spoke as the special guest.ARF President Md Ashraf Ali presided over the seminar moderated by its General Secretary Maksudul Hasan. ARF Joint General Secretary Fayzul Siddique presented a keynote paper in the seminar.
Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) Director General (DG) Dr Md Shahjahan Kabir, Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture (BINA) DG Dr Mirza Mofazzal Islam, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) DG Dr Md Nazirul Islam, Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) Chairman Md Sayedul Islam and Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) DG Dr Md Abdul Muyeed spoke in the seminar, among others.