21 May 2024, 17:07

Country has no shortfall of rice: Dr Shahid

DHAKA, May 21, 2024 (BSS) – Agriculture Minister Dr M AbdusShahid has said the country has no shortage of rice, as its entire rice demand is now being met by internal production.
“The country’s rice production has increased more than fourfold in the last 50 years, resulting in the country having no rice shortage now,” said the minister.

The minister made this comment while speaking at the ministerial session titled “Paddies for the Planet and People” of the ongoing 10th World Water Forum held in Bali, Indonesia, on Tuesday.

Bangladesh has now become a role model in the world for its agro-commodity production, said the minister, adding, “The situation has emerged due to undertaking diversified initiatives, including raising farm subsidies, enhancing research budget outlays, and developing research infrastructure.”

These initiatives, launched and implemented by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, have helped incredibly achieve and maintain self-sufficiency in rice production, the minister told the forum, which was jointly organized by the World Bank and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Shahid said, “If the country does not achieve success in food production, then our millions of people might have to face food crisis. People might become food refugees, and crises will be disseminated all over the world," he added.

The minister, however, stressed the need for ensuring sustainable food security through the combined initiatives of all. He urged all the states and international bodies to take combined steps toward this end.

The World Bank Country Director for Indonesia Carolyn (Carrie) Turk presented the keynote paper at the session.

Chinese Water Resources Minister Li Guoying, Indonesian Agriculture Minister AmranSulaiman, and UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment Amnabint Abdullah Al Dahak, among others, spoke as discussants.

Highlighting the importance of safe water, the minister said the population is not only rising across the world but also arable land is shrinking, adding that water is vital to ensure sustainable development and food security for all.

The session was also attended by the Bangladesh delegation and Bangladesh Ambassador in Indonesia M Tariqul Islam, Director General of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) ShahjahanKabir and Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Jahangir Alam.


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