D-8 to develop climate-smart agricultural technology
The member countries of D-8, an alliance of eight developing countries, have agreed to Bangladesh's proposal to take up a 'multinational integrated project' for the development of climate-smart agricultural technology.
As a part of the project, joint research, innovation, development and expansion of advanced agricultural technologies will be carried out in the D-8 countries to address the impact of climate change.
Agriculture ministers of the coalition agreed on this proposal and approved the "Dhaka Initiative" on the concluding day of the seventh D-8 Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Food Security on Thursday.
Bangladesh organised the two-day meeting at the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) virtually.
The project will be implemented and managed with financial and technical assistance from various international donor agencies such as of Islamic Development Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) etc, said a press release.
Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, who chaired the meeting, said the agricultural production system would be most affected by climate change in the world.
"To sustain agricultural production and food security in the future, innovation and expansion of climate change tolerant crop varieties and technologies must be increased."
Razzaque said the development of climate-smart agricultural technology is very important in D-8 countries. "In the face of global warming and climate change, it will play a role in ensuring food and nutrition security and improving people's quality of life."
In D-8 countries, agriculture employs 26 per cent of the population and contributes about 13.50 per cent to gross domestic product (GDP). In addition, 60 per cent of the people in the alliance live in rural areas and are largely dependent on agriculture, he said.
"So, the Dhaka Initiative will play an important role in the innovation, exchange and food production and food security of climate-smart agricultural technology," Razzaque said.
D-8 Secretary General Isiaka Abdulqadir Imam and representatives from member countries --Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey – spoke on the challenges, possibilities, actions and increasing cooperation on climate change in agriculture.