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Food security: Bangladesh to adopt seed technology to increase production August 10, 2008


Dr. Abed Chowdhury, an eminent Agriculture Scientist said ‘In Bangladesh 1 to 2 ton rice is produced per hector of paddy field. China and other developed countries in the same size of area produce 8 to 10 hector rice by utilizing modern technology. Population is gradually increasing but not the cultivating land which is causing
the food insecurity. In this background, there is no alternative other than to increase the utilization of technology in the agricultural sector.
He made the comment while speaking on the ways of food security in Bangladesh. He is known as gene scientist as his area of research is seed of crops.
He said that to increase the production of rice we have to bring the new technology to the field level. We have to increase the use of high yielding-‘Ufshi’ and hybrid rice.

He added that we should increase the exercise of seed science and technology from the state policy makers to farmers.
He pointed to the incident of Nandigram and said that it has been tried to popularize the Nandigram as a model by saying that villages will be improved by developing supermarkets and industries. Village people will work there. Criticizing this kind of attempt, he emphasizes on the development of the villages by keeping their character intact. He urges to save the agricultural fields.
In the light of his experience in Australia and Europe, he said that there is no alternative to using nature’s power in increasing rice production. Rice cannot be produced in factories. In this situation, agricultural land and technology is only the alternative.
In doing the comparative discussion of high yielding ‘Ufshi’, hybrid and genetically modified (GM) variety, he said that local varieties are selected by natural courses. In hybrids a new variety has been developed by fertilization between male and female variety after selecting from two different types of rice crops. IN GM, DNA from external resource is implanted in a rice seed to develop a new variety. In this way man are using new technologies to improve the production.
In reply to the question that hybrid rice decreases the cultivating power of the land,he said that every crop takes food from land and air. More the yield more the need of food. We have to overcome the need by using the fertilizers and biological materials. [Source; Prothom Alo 10 August 2008]

An ordinary citizen

Food insecurity & fuel price hike -failure of world leaders and international bodies July 7, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Food Security.
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Food insecurity grips the world which is intensifying day by day. The price of the fuel also increases to the maximum 145 $ per barrel which may touch 200$ by the end of this year.

It is assumed that the price of fuel affects the price of the essentials in different countries. The people of the developing countries are feeling the brunt of the price. Public protests and political turmoil started in different countries. The governments of those countries are feeling the extreme pressure of the price. (more…)

Bangladesh budget 2008-09, Food Security & Agriculture June 25, 2008

Posted by bdoza in AGRICULTURE, BANGLADESH, Budget, ECONOMY, Food Security, GOVERNANCE.
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Budget states climate change calamities like drought, wildfire and floods have reduced the food production in many countries. Alternative use of crops to produce bio-fuels in the developed countries also reduced the food supply in the global food market. Besides the phenomenon growth in some densely populated countries has increased the aggregate demand of food. At the same time, due to overly cautious protectionist policy of the food-grain exporting countries, the price of food rises sharply. Due to hard work of our farmers along with the support of the government in the form of providing fertilizer and fuel, we had a bumper production of potato and wheat this year. This has largely reduced the vulnerability to food insecurity. In addition to overseas procurement by Food Directorate and BDR, efforts are continuing to import rice and wheat by incentivising the public sector. (more…)

‘Bangladesh with a little effort can become a rice exporting country’ June 23, 2008

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Bangladesh can produce seven crore tonnes of rice a year, more than double the present production, by ensuring proper irrigation and use of fertiliser, and bringing cultivable fallow lands under irrigation.
Excessive irrigation for Boro cultivation and lack of it for Aman now drastically reduce the yield of both, Daily star reports.
It is revealed in a study conducted by Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC).
The country now produces around three crore tonnes of rice a year with Boro output 3.66 tonnes per hectare and that of Aman a little above two tonnes. But Boro yield can be raised to six tonnes and Aman output to five tonnes a hectare, the study said.
The major factor behind the wide gap between present yield and potential output of Boro is excessive irrigation, says M Eftekharul Alam, assistant chief engineer of the BADC, who carried out the study for more than two decades
The study concludes that with little effort Bangladesh can transform itself into a rice exporting country.[DS]

An ordinary citizen

Post script:
The editorial of the paper said ‘in the food productivity challenge the modern method is the key’.[…]

Overcoming food crisis: Bangladesh has little or no shortage in food production! June 6, 2008

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I was also worried with the same question –’Is Bangladesh able to produce enough food to sustain its progressively increasing population’ until I read this article (in Bengali)of Dr. Sadat Hussain, Chairman, Public Service Commission and ex-Cabinet Secretary, Government of Bangladesh published in “Prothom Alo’, the leading Bangla daily on 6th June, 2008.

Dr. Sadat is an insider and he has long exposure to the facts of the state of Bangladesh.
He believes that there is no possibility that Bangladesh will suffer from severe food crisis in near future. The sense of insecurity arises in the minds of people because of 2 consecutive floods, Cyclone Sidr and difficulty in procure the 2-5 ton rice by the government to control the increasing price of rice, the main staple food of Bangladesh. (more…)

Ensuring food security- spreading social safety net June 6, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ECONOMY, Food Security, GOVERNANCE.
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The government is spreading social safely net by allocating Tk 3000 crore in the next fiscal year. The program has four components-

a) Tk 2400 crore scheme   for employment of 2 million ultra-poor

b) Tk 300 cr to face the climate change challenges.

c) Tk 25 crore for maternity allowances of low income groups

d) Tk 200 crore program for road maintenance and employment fund.

The amount is almost equal to the amount provided by the government in the last fiscal year.

Under the first scheme of 2400 crore, employment for 100 days will be created for 2 million people below the poverty line. Each day wage of each worker will be Tk. 120, while the government will provide the same amount as allownaces to the enlisted workers who cannot be provided employment for the first 50 days. The allowance amount will reduce gradually.

The program is appreciated by many.

The ordinary citizen is a little confused as regarding government program as it is easy to know the plans and objectives of the government but it is not easy to know the progress of a plan and the degree of the implementation of the these programs.

Ref: Daily Star

An ordinary citizen

UN report on Hurricane Sidr:2.2 million people will need to be fed for 3 months November 24, 2007

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, CLIMATE, ECONOMY, Food Security, Sidr, UN.
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Prothom Alo published the UN report: 22 lac people will need to be fed for 3 months. The report was prepared by UN after assessing the damage in 9 major districts in the souther Bangladesh badly affected by Hurricane Sidr.

An ordinary citizen

Links from personal reading:

1) Devastated shrimp industry
2) WTO praised local volunteers