The Financial Express

Climate smart farming to top agenda at D-8 ministerial meet today

| Updated: January 14, 2022 08:47:42

Climate smart farming to top agenda at D-8 ministerial meet today

The seventh D-8 ministerial meeting on agriculture and food security is going to kick off today (Wednesday) in Dhaka, with an aim to pave the way for adopting climate-smart farming methods.

Dhaka is virtually hosting the two-day event, titled 'Agriculture and Food Security: Development of Climate Smart Agriculture', as Bangladesh is now holding the presidential post of the Alliance of Developing Countries (D-8).

D-8 was formed on June 15, 1997 to enhance economic cooperation of its member-countries that include Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.

Agriculture employs 26 per cent of the population and contributes about 13.50 per cent to the GDP in the D-8 countries.

And 80 per cent of the people in the Alliance live in rural areas and largely depend on agriculture, said Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque at a press briefing, organised by the ministry at its office on Tuesday on the eve of the conference.

Food security of these countries depends on agricultural production as it is essential for a country's political and economic stability, said the minister.

Dr Razzaque said climate change was now considered as the biggest threat to agricultural production and food security.

The ongoing Covid pandemic has enhanced the predicaments further as the whole world has been going through an extreme transition for more than two years, he said.

"As livelihood is threatened, its impact is disrupting global food production as well as supply systems. In many countries, food security systems have already collapsed where people are witnessing severe food crises," said the minister.

So, the meeting is very important for now as it will discuss the promotion of climate-smart agriculture during this pandemic to ensure better food security in the member countries, added Dr Razzaque.

Important issues for the allied countries including cooperation in agricultural production and increasing productivity, joint agricultural research, mechanisation, agro-processing, blue economy, fertiliser production, seeds, animal feed, value chain development, training and capacity building, are expected to be highlighted in the meeting where agriculture ministers of the member countries and the officials concerned will participate, according to the agriculture ministry.

Besides, international organisations like IDB, FAO, IFAD, IRRI, CIMMYT and others will also take part in the conference.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Dr Razzaque said agricultural production in Bangladesh had increased in the last financial year (FY '21) as Boro production hit an all-time high of 20.6 million tonnes.

The minister also claimed wheat production increased to 1.2 million tonnes, maize to 5.7 million tonnes, potato 10.6 million tonnes, vegetables 19.7 million tonnes, oil crop 1.2 million tonnes and pulses 0.9 million tonnes.

Onion production increased by 0.6 million tonnes to 3.3 million tonnes in FY '21, said the minister, adding that the country was now the third top onion producer in the world surpassing the US.

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