The two-day seventh meeting of expert groups on agricultural cooperation of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, better known as BIMSTEC, member states began on Wednesday in Dhaka.
The BIMSTEC expert groups were expected to come up with appropriate recommendations to streamline and strengthen agricultural cooperation among the member states, officials at Bangladesh’s agriculture ministry said.
Representatives from BIMSTEC member states — Bangladesh, India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand —were taking part in the expert group meeting.
During the meeting, the agricultural experts would share their knowledge and experiences to cope with the common challenges in agriculture being faced by them at national and regional level.
Agriculture secretary M Nasiruzzaman who inaugurated the meeting said that agriculture played important role in the GDP in Bangladesh and in other BIMSTEC member states and those countries were also facing challenges to sustain the agricultural growth.
He said that though the BIMSTEC member states have identified main common projects for implementation but still there remains question on the sources of funding, coordination mechanism and rationalisation of some common projects.
He hoped that the delegates would have an agenda wise-discussion and come up with good recommendations for agricultural development in the BIMSTEC region.
Agriculture ministry’s additional secretary Abdur Rouf who presided over the inaugural session said Bangladesh has already achieved self-sufficiency in crop productions. Production of potato also went surplus.
He said that crop production and productivity have increased due to government’s agriculture-frienddly policies and initiatives,
BIMSTEC secretary general M Shahidul Islam also spoke as the special guest at the inaugural session while senior officials from agriculture ministry, foreign ministry, BIMSTEC secretariat and Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council were also present.