The government plans to launch a campaign to introduce seaweed in people’s dietary system in view of its nutritious value, agriculture minister Begum Matia Chowdhury said on Wednesday.
‘We are trying to introduce new food like sea weed which is rich in nutrition and the country has a potential to produce the sea weed in the coastal line of the Bay of Bengal,’ she said while delivering a Victory Day commemorative lecture on ‘Agriculture in Bangladesh: Development, Challenges and Way Forward’ in the capital.
The minister said seaweed could supplement the campaign for ‘dietary diversity’ as people have significantly changed their food habit incorporating vegetable, pulses and oilseeds in their daily diet chart with increased production following crop diversification.
Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies organised the lecture with chairman of its board of governors ambassador Munshi Faiz Ahmad in the chair.
The minister said the present government is firmly committed to ensuring food and nutrition security for the people especially most vulnerable groups, mothers and young children through a comprehensive approach to food availability.
Director general of BIISS Major General AKM Abdur Rahman made the welcome remarks at the function.
Terming the climate change as the most important challenge in agriculture, Matia said as per the estimation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a US-based leading international body for the assessment of climate change, the country’s crop production will be reduced by 13 per cent by the current century due to the impact of climate change.
By the year of 2050, rice and wheat production in Bangladesh is predicted to be reduced by 8 and 32 per cent respectively.
To address the adverse impact of climate change, she said the government has developed national adoption programme and subsequently the government has prepared and adopted Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy Action Plan 2009 which includes action plan resilience of vulnerable groups.
The minister said farm mechanisation, post harvest management and agro-processing market development have been given priority for maximising of crop production by best utilisation of land and water resources.
‘Mechanisation in agriculture has to be adopted for achieving sustainable agricultural production,’ she added.
The minister said Bangladesh has initiated bio-technological research at the leading research centres and the public universities on a number of important crops including four varieties of BT brinjal.
‘We are trying to develop our local brinjal variety as pest resistant through insertion of the gene of the BT bringal as the cultivation of the BT brinjal reduces the use of pesticides manifold,’ Matia added.
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