Bangladesh yesterday sought help from the international community to face the challenges of food security amid price hike of essentials, population growth and climate change impact on agriculture.
Addressing the inaugural session of an international conference in Delhi, Abdur Razzaque, food and disaster management minister, appealed to the international community to extend support for agricultural research.
The US-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) organised the three-day conference on Leveraging Agriculture for Improving Nutrition and Health at Taj Palace Hotel.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the programme. US Foreign Secretary Hillary Clinton, Indian Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, IFPRI Director General Shenggen Fan and many food and agriculture experts from across the globe attended the programme.
Razzaque is leading a three-member delegation including MP Narayan Chanda and Naser Farid, director general of food planning and monitoring unit, in the conference.
He said official development assistance for agriculture has been reduced to 4 percent in 2006-07 from 19 percent in the 1980s, according to a statement sent by the food ministry in Dhaka.
The minister said access to food has improved but still about 25 percent hardcore poor in Bangladesh are not getting adequate nutritious food.
Rapid population growth, climate change, increasing number of natural disasters, price hike of essentials make the situation worse, he added. International aid and grants to agricultural research is important to overcome the crisis.
Sustainable agricultural growth is necessary as agriculture is the primary source of all nutrients for humans, the minister noted.