No alternative to agriculture development to achieve SDGs: Razzaque

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DHAKA, Oct 21, 2020 (BSS) – Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur
Razzaque today said there is no alternative to agriculture development
in an agrarian country like Bangladesh to achieve the Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs).

“The agriculture has been contributing to poverty alleviation, and
ensuring food and nutrition security for all . . . and it will
continue in the future,” he said.

The minister was addressing a virtual seminar titled “The role of
agriculture in achieving the SDGs in Bangladesh” organized by
Agricultural Reporters’ Forum (ARF).

Razzaque said although the contribution of the agricultural sector
to Bangladesh’s GDP has decreased in a percentage point, its
importance has not diminished.

The agricultural production of the country was not affected even in
the pandemic situation, he said, adding that under the leadership of
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Ministry of Agriculture has ensured
the matter so that the agricultural production does not get affected
during the pandemic.

Replying to a query about potato price, the minister said the
government is sincere so that the marginal farmers get a fair price;
therefore the price of potato has been increased to Taka 35 from Taka
30.

But profit monger middlemen-businessmen, he said, are taking the
advantage of the price rise. Razzaque urged the cold storage traders
to behave responsibly towards the consumers and market system.

Principal Coordinator for SDG Affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office
(PMO) Zuena Aziz addressed the seminar as the guest of honor while
former agriculture secretary Anwar Faruq spoke as the special guest.

ARF President Md Ashraf Ali presided over the seminar moderated by
its General Secretary Maksudul Hasan. ARF Joint General Secretary
Fayzul Siddique presented a keynote paper in the seminar.

Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) Director General (DG) Dr
Md Shahjahan Kabir, Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture (BINA)
DG Dr Mirza Mofazzal Islam, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute
(BARI) DG Dr Md Nazirul Islam, Bangladesh Agricultural Development
Corporation (BADC) Chairman Md Sayedul Islam and Department of
Agricultural Extension (DAE) DG Dr Md Abdul Muyeed spoke in the
seminar, among others.