Matia upbeat about Bangladesh’s agricultural production despite climate change
Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2016-12-22 01:34:24.0 BdST Updated: 2016-12-22 02:23:03.0 BdST
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury has said she is an “incorrigible optimist” when it comes to the future of agricultural production in Bangladesh.
“When we had 75 million people in 1971, we could not eat properly. But now we have 160 million people, but you’ll not find anyone who cannot have three meals a day,” she said.
“I am not afraid. We’ll not die of hunger.”
She was speaking at a ‘Victory Day Commemorative Lecture on agriculture in Bangladesh’ at the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) on Wednesday.
Bangladesh is known to be an agrarian country. Despite industrial growth, the sector still generates employments for 45 percent workforce. It contributes around 16 percent of the GDP.
The 74-yar old minister said Bangladesh is now losing about 1 percent of the arable land every year and that scientists predict climate change will reduce the agricultural production by 13 percent this century.
Matia said ‘a new Bangladesh is rising’ in the Bay of Bengal in a reference to recent studies that reveal a huge landmass is going to be added to the existing land area.
She said the government is also taking measures about how to minimise the impacts of climate change. “Researchers are working to invent a new breed of crops.”
According to her, the global warming has made monsoon erratic and “soil fertility has declined due to the overuse of nutrients”.
BIISS Director General Major General AKM Abdur Rahman welcomed the minister while Chairman of the Board of Governance Ambassador Munshi Faiz Ahmad moderated the event.
Officials from ministries and representatives from national and international organisations also attended the programme.
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