09 October 2018, Dhaka, Bangladesh - The vital importance of investing in research for development on rice-based agri-food systems was highlighted at a meeting of policymakers, national and international development partners and agricultural research organizations.
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Bangladesh Ministry of Finance and Planning, Economic Relations Divisions organized the meeting on Mobilizing Resource for Research for Development in Rice-based Agri-food System to Achieve SDGs in Bangladesh. Representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, development partners, and agricultural research organizations attended the consultation meeting.
In addressing the group, Honorable Minister for Finance and Planning, Mr. MA Mannan, the Chief Guest at the event, said, “The Finance Ministry shares the mission of developing the agricultural sector and transforming the lives of our Bangladeshi farmers by working with the national and international organizations.”
“Through close collaboration across government ministries, especially with the Ministry of Agriculture, we want to enable our national agricultural research and extension system to scale out innovative technologies and best management practices to increase food and nutrition security, decrease poverty, build resilience to climate change, and improve rural livelihoods,” Mannan added.
Prof. Dr. Shamsul Alam, Senior Secretary of Planning Commission emphasized the Bangladesh Government’s commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
IRRI Representative for South Asia Dr. Nafees Meah said, “This is a significant milestone in galvanizing efforts to deliver the SDGs in Bangladesh. Zero Hunger (SDG2) and No Poverty (SDG1) in Bangladesh can be achieved through transformation of the agriculture sector. Increasing investment in research for development on the rice-based agri-food system is a must, given the challenges facing the country. The pay back would be immense.”
Dr. Md. Shahjahan Kabir, Director General of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, detailed the new IRRI and Bangladesh government partnership that will help bring about transformative change in the rice-based agri-food system. These include applying innovative technologies that build in climate resilience into rice, better agronomic practices, increasing farm mechanization, use of post-harvest technologies, diversification and sustainable intensification, and increasing effectiveness in the rice value chain.