Continued support to farmers a must for food security: CS Karim | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 16, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 16, 2008

Continued support to farmers a must for food security: CS Karim

The next government must continue to extend all-out support to farmers in order to ensure food security and help face challenges posed by the global climate change, Agriculture Adviser CS Karim said yesterday.
"The state has to support our real heroes… It has now been proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the rewards are far greater than the investments the state makes in the process," he said while giving a presentation on his experiences in the agriculture sector in the last two years.
Development partners, including the members of local consultative group (LCG), diplomats and agriculturists attended the programme held at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel.
"I would argue, in strongest possible terms, that there is no alternative to continued support to our farmers," the adviser said, referring to increased Boro harvest and subsidy in diesel and fertiliser.
Although the share of agriculture in GDP has shrunk gradually in recent years mainly due to increasing contribution of services, manufacturing sector and foreign remittances, agriculture is the key to food security, sustenance of rural livelihoods and overall economic growth, he said.
Agriculture, however, is facing serious challenges of climate change, he said and called on development partners to make investments in researches on agriculture.
"We trust the development partners and the governments around the globe will respond to our needs of survival under extremely unfavourable conditions -- help us on the way to sustainable food security," the adviser said.
CS Karim also placed some recommendations for the next government.
He stressed the need for new varieties responsive to climate change, development of non-rice sectors such as fisheries and livestock, export of vegetables and horticulture products and linkages on research, extension and market.
Cabinet secretary Abdul Aziz, External Relations Division Secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and agriculture secretary Enayet Ullah were also present at the programme.

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