12:00 AM, September 09, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:37 AM, September 09, 2018

Won't be in power if voters don't want us

Says PM at agriculturalists' convention

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina opens the 6th National Convention of the Krishibid Institution Bangladesh (KIB) in its auditorium at Farmgate on September 8, 2018. Photo: PID

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said people were now getting the benefits of her government's development programmes as it was able to lower the inflation rate and maintain a sustainable GDP growth.

“Bangladesh economy has made good progress... we've been able to lower the inflation rate, it's now 5.4 to 5.6 percent. The economy is strong as we're maintaining 7.78 percent GDP growth. Now the grassroots people are getting the benefits,” she said.

The PM was addressing the 6th National Convention of Krishibid Institution Bangladesh (KIB) on its premises in the capital.

Hasina said the Awami League government has been in power for two consecutive terms. “If people cast their votes for us, we'll be in power again. If they don't, we won't be in power.”

She said the government wants to lead the country towards prosperity as Bangladesh is now the third largest vegetable-producing country, 8th in potato, 7th in mango and third in fish production.

“Our country is now totally self-reliant...now we have to go for value addition to our products...we've to go for food processing   as well.”

The premier said people's socioeconomic status was improving with the expansion of local market. “We can sell our processed food in our country as well as export those after fulfilling the local demand and earn foreign currency.”

Describing irrigation as an important component of agriculture, Hasina said the government wants to encourage the use of renewable energy for this purpose.

The PM requested the agriculture minister to encourage a cooperative system for using solar panel in irrigation as its individual use is costlier.

She said the agriculture sector is first affected by various calamities like floods, droughts, landslides, tidal surge and earthquakes. 

Keeping this in mind, the government has been developing modern food storages in the county to ensure storage of up to 22 lakh tonnes of food to meet the demand during any crisis, the premier told the programme. 

She blasted the post-1975 governments led by Ziaur Rahman, HM Ershad and Khaleda Zia, saying those never wanted Bangladesh to be self-sufficient in food. 

Hasina alleged that those governments had violated the agriculture policy framed by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and also never wanted the welfare of farmers and improvement of people's lifestyle. 

Earlier, the PM inaugurated the KIB convention by hoisting the national flag and releasing balloons.

Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury was present as a special guest at the programme, chaired by KIB President AMM Saleh.