Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday proposed formation of an International Seed Bank to avert food crisis in future.
She made the proposal when Director General of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Qu Dongyu called on her at her official residence Ganobhaban, according to a release of PM’s press wing.
She also told the DG of FAO to form a consolidated fund for taking projects on digitization and innova-tion and Bangladesh is ready to contribute to it.
She recalled her participation in the World Food Summit in November, 1996, just after forming her government when Bangladesh was suffering from a severe food shortage.
She mentioned that after just two years, Bangladesh became self-sufficient in food production due to her government’s relentless efforts.
She reiterated that achieving food security was her first priority as the country was facing various chal-lenges with a huge population and scarcity of cultivable land.
Sheikh Hasina said scientists and researchers of Bangladesh are doing a great job in developing different species of crops tolerant to salt, drought and water logging.
“After achieving food security, her government is now focusing on ensuring nutrition for all,” she said adding, he has been working to transform the country into a hunger-free, poverty-free one where people will get a better life.
She stressed the need for developing food storage capacity and food processing techniques to tackle any possible disaster like the ongoing COVID pandemic.
She suggested the Director-General look forward to addressing different issues in a more inclusive and sustainable manner.
FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu expressed satisfaction over the successful hosting of the 36th FAO Regional Conference for Asia and Pacific (APRC) in Dhaka.
He lauded Sheikh Hasina’s visionary leadership in achieving food security in various kinds of food- ce-reals, vegetables, animal protein, etc.
He reiterated the ceaseless support of FAO in the development endeavors of Bangladesh’s agriculture sector.
He reassured that the existing cooperation will continue with a more robust, innovative, and digital ap-proach.
He invited Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to participate in the World Food Forum which will be held from October 3-7 in Rome, Italy as a plenary speaker.
The DG, FAO was accompanied by Maximo Torero, Chief Economist, FAO HQ (Rome), Jong-Jin Kim, Assistant Director-General, FAO Regional Office, Bangkok, and Robert D Simpson, FAO Representa-tive in Dhaka.
Agriculture Minister Mohammad Abdur Razzaque, Ambassador-at-large Mohammad Ziauddin, Principal Secretary Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus, Agriculture Secretary Md. Sayedul Islam and Ambassador of Bangladesh to Rome and Permanent Representative to FAO, IFAD and WFP, Rome Md. Shameem Ahsan, were present.
PM proposes for an Int’l Seed Bank to avert food crisis