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19 April, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Global Food Policy Report 2019

Bangladesh excels in rural dev, food, nutrition security

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, Dhaka

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), an international agricultural research centre based in Washington, D.C., yesterday (Thursday) released its Global Food Policy Report 2019, which highlighted Bangladesh as one of South Asia’s leaders in improving rural development indicators and food and nutrition security.

The report also pointed out the need to close persistent rural-urban development gaps by designing and implementing innovative development programmes that meet rural needs.

Agriculture minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque unveiled the Global Food Policy Report 2019 at a function at a city hotel. The economic adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Dr Mashiur Rahman, and the additional secretary of the agriculture ministry, Mosammat Mazmawara Khanam, attended the function as special guests.

IFPRI director-general Shenggen Fan and IFPRI country representative Dr Akter Ahmed delivered speeches on Bangladesh and the global context.

The executive chairman of the Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC), Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman, the former vice-chancellor of Bangladesh Agriculture University, Dr MA Sattar Mandal, the director-general of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), Dr Khan Ahmed Sayeed Murshid, the executive director of the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), Dr Imran Matin, and member (General Economics Division) of the planning ministry, Dr Shamsul Alam, also spoke at the function.

The report emphasised the point that the rural areas could become premier hubs of innovation in just under a decade. It recommended revitalising rural areas with a focus on five building blocks: creating farm and non-farm rural employment opportunities; achieving gender equality; addressing environmental challenges; improving access to energy; and investing in good governance.

The report noted the great strides Bangladesh has made towards such a holistic revitalisation of its rural areas, especially highlighting the success of the country’s investments in rural infrastructures, social protection programmes and gender equality. The report cities evidence that the improvement of rural roads helped Bangladesh reduce extreme poverty by three to six per cent and boost secondary school enrolment among both boys and girls.

This year’s report also features chapters on how Europe’s experience can provide lessons for rural revitalisation in developing countries; food policy trends from Africa, Asia, Latin America and other regions; updated data on food policy indicators; and more.

This report is the latest in an annual analysis of developments in food policy around the developing world, based on the most recent available evidence.

After unveiling the global report, Dr Razzaque said the government is working diligently to promote rural regions as viable habitats and economic areas where livelihoods are secured, economic growth is enhanced and natural resources are used efficiently and sustainably.

“Our ministry is committed to implementing rigorous evolutions and updating our policies to integrate evidence-based research that may increase women’s decision-making power, well-being and access and rights to resources to strengthen the linkages,” he said.

“Revitalising rural areas can stimulate economic growth and address the crises in developing countries, as also tackle challenges holding back the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate goals by 2030,” noted Shenggen Fan.

“With perseverance, 2019 can become the year when the will to eliminate hunger and malnutrition finally gathers momentum, forging a bright future for poor people around the world,” he said.

In his welcome speech, Dr Akter Ahmed said Bangladesh’s sustained focus on rural development over several decades and across many different governments has made the country a global model on how to transform the lives of millions of poor rural men and women.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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