Don’t Let COVID-19 Trigger a Food Shortage in Bangladesh: PM

Desk Report

Published: 16 Oct 2020, 03:10 pm

Stressing the importance of ensuring food security for all, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Friday that, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the people of Bangladesh must not suffer from food shortage.

"We faced a cyclone, floods and other [problems] in this Covid-19 pandemic, we have to live this way. But we have to ensure food security so that each and every citizen gets food at his or her home," she said, reports UNB.

At an international seminar marking World Food Day, the Prime Minister said this while speaking. The program was coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Organisation for Food and Agriculture (FAO) at a city hotel. It was attended by the Prime Minister practically from her official residence, Ganobhaban.

In order to ensure food security for all, Sheikh Hasina said the government gives immense importance to food production. That's why they all have to go to their land for food production, no matter what the scale, "she said."

The government focused on food production and ensured increased food production when the Covid-19 hit the country, Hasina said. "And there should be food security. There's a chance of starvation as the whole world was standing still, but that must not impact Bangladesh ... Bangladesh's people must not suffer from food shortages."

She said the government has been offering various stimulus packages from the very beginning of the pandemic, worth Tk 112,633 crore, which is four percent of GDP.

She also stated that the agriculture sector alone earned Tk 5,000 crore for the pandemic period as a stimulus package.

The Prime Minister said that during the pandemic, the government issued stimulus packages to keep the wheels of the economy turning and ensure a decent life for individuals. "For that, we have worked tirelessly."

She briefly described various initiatives taken by the government to transform Bangladesh from a food deficit into a self-sufficient nation.

Hasina said the dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was to make the country free from hunger and poverty. "It was his dream to make the country as a developed and prosperous one, and we're working to that end."

The programme, chaired by Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, Minister of Agriculture, was addressed by, among others, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder, SM Rezaul Karim, Minister of Fisheries and Livestock, and Matia Chowdhury, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture.

The program featured a recorded speech by the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), QU Dongyu.

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