‘Not enough food to buy if Bangladesh’s not self-sufficient’

Dhaka, Jan 4 – Bangladesh needs to be self-reliant in food production as there will not be enough food that money can buy if a crisis or famine breaks out as fallout of Covid-19.

Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque said this on Sunday during a meeting of the ministry.
Bangladesh’s population is growing by 22-23 lakh every year and agricultural lands are shrinking, too. These are stumbling blocks to the country’s food security, the minister said.
“However, food supply for people and animals will have to be ensured with the arable lands that we have. So, everyone in the agriculture department will have to give more effort.”
Asking the officials to regularly make field visits, the minister said: “Identify what can be cultivated in which areas of the country and put the findings to use to raise agricultural output.”
The UN has warned that Covid-19 protective measures could jeopardise food security around the world.
However, Professor Mustafizur Rahman, a distinguished fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue, said: “Bangladesh is in a better position than may other Covid-19-hit countries when it comes to food production and food stock.”
“But food security is not only about having enough food grains. It also includes the proper distribution of food, availability of food and people’s purchasing capacity.”
Former caretaker government finance adviser Dr AB Mirza Azizul Islam said the country may not face any food crisis as its stock looks enough to deal with the Covid-19 situation. “But the main concern is if people will have access to food or whether it will be available for them at affordable prices.” – UNB