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Dhaka Tribune

Agriculture minister urges mango export expansion to boost trade potential

Bangladesh has achieved its Millennium Development Goals target, says the minister

Update : 24 May 2023, 08:20 PM

Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque on Wednesday urged the farmers to find suitable regions for exporting mangoes which have good taste and quality.

Razzaque made the remarks at Pathways to Prosperity's inauguration ceremony for Extremely Poor People – European Union (PPEPP-EU) project at PKSF Bhaban in Dhaka's Agargaon. 

Referring to the EU as a strong partner of Bangladesh's bilateral trade, the agriculture minister said that the EU has given GSP facilities to the export of Bangladesh's products. This time, we need to look for opportunities to export mangoes to diversify.

EU Ambassador HE Charles Whiteley said that the relationship with Bangladesh is one of friendship, prosperity and values.

Commenting on the level of poverty in some areas of the coastal region of Bangladesh, the ambassador said: “Due to the geographical environment, the residents face various natural disasters. In this regard, they are neglected from basic needs like quality healthcare, education, clean water, balanced nutrition.”

Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) is implementing the project to alleviate the situation of 860,000 people belonging to 215,000 ultra-poor households in 145 unions of 34 upazilas of 12 ultra-poverty-prone districts of the country. 

The EU-funded €22.81 million grant-based project is working on sustainable livelihoods, inclusive finance, nutrition and primary health care, women's empowerment, disability integration, climate resilience building and community mobilization.

Charles said in his speech, besides, rapid urbanization is happening due to climate change, due to which those residents face the same problem even when they come to the city. 

The EU is working to improve the quality of life of these people and to deliver basic services to them. In particular, we are giving utmost emphasis to reduce the poverty rate.

However, he said, Bangladesh is making good progress in socio-economic development.

Mentioning that poverty has reduced a lot in Bangladesh, the agriculture minister said, before the 2008 elections, we went to the people and presented our vision for 2021. In that vision, we said we will reduce poverty and we have reduced it.

Meanwhile, the agriculture minister said: "We have achieved our MDG (Millennium Development Goals) target."

However, there is still poverty in the coastal areas of Bangladesh and some areas including Haor, the agriculture minister said, the government is working in those areas, but these areas, including Haor, are vulnerable and prone to natural disasters.

Abdur Razzak said still 60%-70% of people in Bangladesh live in villages and almost all of this population is dependent on agriculture. Therefore, we have to do more agricultural work.

He said that in 2008-09, three million tons of vegetables were produced in our country. In contrast, our latest report for this year says that we have produced 22 million tonnes of vegetables so far.

Chairman of PKSF Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said that PKSF is currently providing multi-dimensional technical and social services with appropriate financing for the economic and social development of 1.8 crore families in the country.

Dr Nomita Halder, ndc is the managing director of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) said: “We put special emphasis on implementation of effective and cost-effective projects by creating sustainable income opportunities for targeted families.”

Charles reiterated the EU's commitment to stand by the Government of Bangladesh as a development partner in Bangladesh's transition process and inclusive development as a middle-income country.

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