NEWS FLASH CORRESPONDENT
Monday in a press conference, 14 rights based citizens’ and farmers' organizations have protested on government budget allocation for agriculture in proposed national budget for 2017-18 fiscal year and demand at least 20% of budgetary allocation for this sector making climate resilient and ensure national food security. They criticized that the proposed budget for agriculture is very insufficient and it’s reflecting the government strategic failure in case of long term climate resilient sustainable agriculture to ensure national food security. Besides the farmers' organizations also have placed some specific demands focusing the national budget those are i. Budget allocation for agriculture must be increased following above target in fighting climate change impacts that ensure sustainable food security, ii. Subsidies will have to increase with effective manner and commensurate with current context of global competitiveness and save marginal farmers and their easy access procedure, iii. Government will take necessary initiative to ensure fair price of agriculture product through formation of national Price Commission, iv. Regulate and declare ban on importing so-called hi-breed and GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) seeds and v. Government will have to introduce agriculture education for farmers that facilitate them to practical knowledge for climate adaptive agriculture.
The press conference titled “Effective budgetary allocation must be ensured for climate resilient agriculture” was moderated by Mustafa Kamal Akand, Assistant Director of COAST Trust and key note presented by Syed Aminul Hoque, Secretary of EquityBD. Among others Mr. Badrul Alam, President Bangladesh Krishak Federation and Zayed Iqbal Khan, president of Bangladesh Krishak Federation (Ji) also spoke at the press conference.
Presenting the key note, Aminul Hoque said that government has been reducing the agriculture budget frequently during last year that result of recent Haor disaster happened due to effective embankment failure. He also said that reducing subsidies makes our marginal farmers vulnerable and falling into hardship condition to survive in present global competition in agriculture sector. He demand effective policies for fair access of marginal farmers in subsidies.
Badrul Alam said that our population has been increasing trend but our government didn’t able to increase food production accordingly. Apart, government has been reducing budget last years that already affect our food production system & food security. He also express worried to govt. over-emphasizing on private sector in agriculture that looming disaster in food production in near future.
Zayed Iqbal Khan said, we demanding for Price Commission during many years but govt. didn’t pay importance to it. Farmers are not getting fair price of the products due to defective market mechanism. Middlemen are capturing all the benefits of the hard work of marginal farmers. He also demand to establish storing facilities for marginal farmers to store their product for getting fair & just price doing this.
Mr. Mostafa Kamal said, to save our agriculture we need to save the land. In every year about 10 lakh people are losing their almost everything due to river erosion. We demand special allocation in proposed national budget for protection of farmers from river erosion, tidal surge and sea level rise.
Report Prepared By
Mustafa Kamal Akand, Mobile +8801711455591, Aminul Hoque, Mobile +8801713328815.