AMN / DHAKA
“So far the issues of the food bank and the seed bank were issues of mere discussions . . . today we the SAARC agriculture ministers took a unanimous decision to work together on priority basis to give them a practical shape,” Bangladesh’s agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury told media about the outcome of the meeting that concluded with adoption of a Dhaka statement.
“barriers hindering the operationalisation of SAARC Food Bank are to be addressed on a priority basis with support from international specialized bodies such as UNESCAP”, she read out the statement.
“A comprehensive guideline (in this regard) is to be developed covering issues such as pricing, transportation, threshold, grain quality, storage facility and location,” the statement said.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the meeting welcoming the SAARC agriculture ministers in Bangladesh and expecting the Third Meeting of SAARC Ministers’ of Agriculture to contribute to development of the sector in the region.
Indian Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh, Nepalese Minister for Agriculture Development Haribol Prasad Gajurel, Bhutanese Minister for Agriculture & Forestry Yeshi Dorji, Pakistan Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan and SAARC Secretary General Arjun Bahadur Thapa joined meeting.
Highlighting the Dhaka Statement, Matia Chowdhury said the SAARC agriculture ministers meeting has adopted the 12 point resolution under the Dhaka Statement and agreed on the technical cooperation from the United Nations and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on livestock matters. Agriculture secretary Mainuddin Abdullah, Additional secretary Nazmul Islam, director general of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) Hamidur Rahman, among others, were present at the news briefing.
Indian Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh called on SAARC nations to work together for the betterment of agriculture and farmers. Addressing the meet, Singh said the governments of SAARC countries are keen on improving the economic and social statures of their agricultural sectors.
“In this region, the farmers are fighting against economic disparity and instability,” he said, adding that countrie ..
“In this region, the farmers are fighting against economic disparity and instability,” he said, adding that countries can help each other to strengthen farmers, their livelihood and environmental balance.
He said for this, it will be appropriate to initiate stable research and development work in the agricultural sector through mutual cooperation.