Thursday, 30 June, 2022

FAO plans changes in Bangladesh farm sector

The UN organisation enters a new phase of collaboration that focuses on climate resilient and sustainable agriculture, and food exports

A fresh chapter in FAO-Bangladesh cooperation was marked on Wednesday with the signing of a new five-year Country Programming Framework (CPF).

CPF is expected to accelerate the pace of agricultural transformation of the country.

This new CPF will build on the successes of several decades of partnership between Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and the government of Bangladesh, said a press release.

This enters a new phase of collaboration that focuses on climate resilient and sustainable agriculture, food exports, inclusivity, and nutrition security, it added.

 “Moving forward, investing in science and research and embracing digitalisation, will be the key to accelerating progress even further. This CPF will help to achieve these ambitions,” FAO said.

The CPF 2022-26 for Bangladesh is a strategic planning and management tool that provides the FAO with a sound basis for developing its mid-term country programme, in line with the policies and development priorities of the government.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the key document which prioritises sustainable and green agri-economic growth with a focus on women and youth as well as the delivery of healthy, safe and nutritious food.

The CPF was signed by Fatima Yasmin, secretary of Economic Relations Division of the Ministry of Finance on behalf of the government of Bangladesh and Robert D. Simpson representative in Bangladesh for FAO.

The signing ceremony took place at the Planning Commission in Dhaka.

The new CPF, which has an indicative budget of $125 million, will further drive investment and support FAO’s technical assistance. The CPF 2022-26 sets out FAO’s strategic priorities, key areas of technical cooperation, and medium-term country-level programming activities.

It aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2022-2026, the 8th Five Year Plan, the 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Perspective Plan for 2041.

It also reflects FAO’s Strategic Framework 2022-2031 which seeks to support the 2030 Agenda through the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life.

Innovation and technology will be important as the country’s food and agricultural sectors continue to develop.

 Crop and livestock farmers, fishers, pastoralists, other producers and retailers – large and small – are successfully turning to innovative ideas and digital technologies.

The country’s economic growth has been consistently high over the last few decades, showing resilience to global economic shocks, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Agriculture has played, and continues to play, a crucial part of the economy.

The sector contributes 12 percent to the country’s gross domestic product and engages more a third of the country’s workforce.

Since Bangladesh joined FAO in 1973, FAO has implemented some 350 technical assistance projects in the country with a combined budget of $400 million, the organisation said.