POST TIME: 10 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 9 July, 2018 10:16:27 PM
Cabinet okays agri policy to boost productivity, diversity
The policy’s prime goal is making the agriculture sector safe and profitable, attain food security

Cabinet okays agri policy to boost productivity, diversity

The government has approved the National Agricultural Policy-2018 (Jatiya Krishi Niti-2018), with the objective of increasing productivity of crops, enhance income of farmers, diversify crops, produce nutritious and safe food, develop the marketing system and ensure food safety through efficient use of profitable agriculture and natural resources and socio-economic development. The approval was given at a weekly meeting of the cabinet held at the Secretariat, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The new draft policy has been framed by upgrading the previous policy of 2013, setting up the prime goal of making the agriculture sector safe and profitable, with a view to attaining food and nutrition security in the country, Cabinet Secretary Md. Shafiul Alam told reporters after the meeting.

The draft policy has stressed use of nanotechnology, taking up agriculture extension programmes for disaster-prone regions and extract ground water carefully in critical areas, he said.

Besides, the policy has stressed cooperative farming, he added.

According to Alam, the main objective of the draft policy is to attain sustainable, profitable, nutritious and safe food in the country.

Issues like standard seed production and urban agricultural services, agro-machinery services, innovative extension technology, setting up of agriculture technology block, year-round production are also included in the policy, he added.

According to the cabinet secretary, the policy would help raise crop productivity and increase income of farmers through diversification of crops.

The draft policy also included marketing development management, ensuring food security through proper use of natural resources, Alam added.

Besides, it included geographic information system (GIS) for development of proficiency, remote sensing, crop modeling, use of communication technology and creating employment generation, the cabinet secretary added.

The cabinet secretary said Jatiya Krishi Niti-2018 is an overarching and detailed one, which included issues not addressed in the previous policy.

Some important chapters are also included in the draft policy, he said, adding that there were 18 chapters and 63 sub-sections in the previous policy.

“The draft policy has 22 chapters and 106 sub-sections. It has specified 19 sectors for research for development of the agricultural sector,” Alam said.

In another important decision, the Bangladesh Shishu Academy Act, 2018 will replace the existing Bangladesh Shishu

Academy Ordinance, 1976, promulgated during the military regime, the cabinet secretary said. As per the new draft, a director general (DG) will be the chief executive of the academy. The academy will have its head office in Dhaka, and with permission of the government, it can open branches at divisions, districts and upazilas.

The Supreme Court, in a verdict in 2010, annulled all laws framed by the military rulers, asking the government to replace those with new ones in Bangla. Accordingly, the Shishu Academy Ordinance became defunct and the new law will replace it. A 17-member management board, headed by a chairman, would carry out the activities of the academy.

The chairman of the board of the academy and its director general would be appointed by the government as per rules.

The management board will be constituted comprising of DGs of the Bangla Academy and the Bangladesh Shilpa Kala Academy, dean of the Fine Arts Department of Dhaka University, a representative of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, equivalent to a joint secretary status, representatives of the Finance Division, Social Welfare Ministry, Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs Ministry, Primary and Mass Education Ministry, Health Ministry, ICT Division, Shishu Kalyan Parishad and four distinguished persons who have contributed to the welfare of children. Out of these four, two must be women.

The academy will give honorary fellowship to distinguished persons having made outstanding contributions to language, literature, science, arts or any special social areas and are working for the overall welfare and development of the children.