Momen proposed establishing a "Bangabandhu-Mandela Agricultural Research Centre" in South Africa
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has proposed a joint venture agricultural projects with South Africa taking into account the plenty of unutilized land in South Africa.
"Joint venture agricultural projects may be set up by both countries," he said after a meeting with South African Minister for Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Angela Thoko Didiza on Monday.
He added that contract farming projects may be initiated utilizing knowledge and expertise of Bangladesh entrepreneurs and South African land.
The foreign minister also proposed the South African side for establishment of a center on agricultural cooperation in South Africa which may be named as Bangabandhu-Mandela Agricultural Research Centre.
The South African minister stated that both sides may assign agricultural experts to discuss the projects.
She also enquired to know how micro credit is helping the agricultural sector in Bangladesh.
The Foreign Minister informed her that the Bangladesh government has dedicated organizations which extend financial assistance to the farmers.
He proposed that a delegation of experts and officials of the agricultural sector may visit Bangladesh from South Africa to see the agricultural activities in Bangladesh.
Momen also suggested that there may be joint ventures in sectors like readymade garments, ICT and pharmaceuticals to expand the relations.
Angela Thoko also inquired about how the development in the agriculture sector in Bangladesh is contributing to women empowerment in Bangladesh.
Momen explained that it is due to the targeted approach of the Bangladesh government, the participation of women in the job sectors has increased to 38% from 6%, when the government had taken power.
The South African minister underlined the importance of P2P contacts beyond government for strengthening cooperation in the agricultural sector.
She suggested that technical teams may be formed to cooperate in the areas like microcredit, market excess, trade, skill development and digitalization in agriculture areas.
She also suggested conclusion of Memorandum of Understanding in the agricultural area in near future and establishing contacts between Agricultural Councils of the two countries to promote the overall agricultural relations.
The foreign minister conveyed the greetings of the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as well as the 50th anniversary of the Golden Jubilee of the independence of Bangladesh.
Momen mentioned that Bangladesh went through a painful history to achieve its independence by making supreme sacrifices.
He referred to the support and solidarity of the people of Bangladesh in favour of anti-apartheid movement of the South African people.
He particularly mentioned the support extended by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the UN for the South African people in this regard.
Angela Thoko suggested that both countries may cooperate in environment including forests, fisheries and land reforms and other areas.
Momen apprised Angela Thoko about the measures undertaken by the Bangladesh Government to cope up with the current Covid -19 situation.
He also briefed her about the remarkable achievement that Bangladesh has made in the area of agriculture.
He proposed that cooperation between the two countries in different segments of agriculture including fisheries and livestock as well as institutional cooperation would engender a win-win situation for both the countries.