More spending on farm sector key to food security
Bangladesh needs to enhance expenditure in agriculture to attain food security, according World Development Report 2008, which was unveiled in Dhaka yesterday.
Now public spending on agriculture in Bangladesh is only 4 percent compared to 11 percent in other transforming countries, said the report prepared by the World Bank and IFC SouthAsia Enterprise Development Facility (SEDF).
The report also recommended formulation of guidelines on private sector investment in farm sector to reap benefit from agro-processing business.
The report said the government should meet few challenges such as making agricultural growth pro-poor, ensuring irrigation, tackling climate change and establishing political will for better performances in farm sector.
Speaking at the report launching function, Alain de Janvry, co-director of World Development Report 2008, said Bangladesh should respond more to the global climate change as the agricultural development is largely dependent on climate change.
According to the report titled 'High-Value Agriculture in Bangladesh: An Assessment of Agro-business Opportunities and Constraints', the demand for high-value agricultural commodities is increasing in Bangladesh.
Janvry also said additional demand for the agri commodities will be worth about US$8.0 billion (in 2005 prices) by 2020.
“Because high-value agricultural production is typically more labour intensive than traditional cultivation, this increasing demand also provides an opportunity to raise rural incomes and generate rural employment,” Janvry said.
Professor of Bangladesh Agricultural University Dr Sattar Mandal said it is very difficult to ensure food security under liberalised trade regimes as many countries impose ban on export of rice.
Managing Director of PKSF (Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation) Quazi Mesbahuddin Ahmed stressed the need for financing to small landholders for the development of the agricultural sector.
Acting Country Director of the World Bank Mohamed A. Toure launched the report.