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Dhaka Tribune

IFPRI: Agri-led growth three times more effective than others in alleviating poverty

  • The strong growth linkage effects of value chains on the economy highlighted
Update : 06 Mar 2024, 09:02 PM

Bangladesh Country Representative of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Dr Akhter Ahmed has emphasized the continued importance of agriculture for livelihoods in the country.

Citing a recent IFPRI study, he said: “Agriculture-led growth is three times more effective in alleviating poverty than other sectors in the economy in Bangladesh”.

He was speaking at a workshop on “Agri-food value chains and farm mechanization in Bangladesh” on Tuesday.  IFPRI and another global research body CGIAR, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, hosted the workshop at a Dhaka hotel.

Dr Akhter Ahmed highlighted the strong growth linkage effects of value chains on the economy and the critical role of farm mechanization in improving farmers’ profitability, particularly amid rising rural labour wages.

The workshop explored the critical role of intermediaries within agri-food value chains in Bangladesh in the context of how rice and potato value chains work the financial needs of actors to improve overall efficiency within these value chains, and how the expansion of machinery ownership affects agricultural development.

Representatives from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, including Maria May, Senior Program Officer, and Snigdha Ali, Bangladesh Country Lead for Financial Services for the Poor, reiterated the Foundation's commitment to supporting initiatives promoting sustainable agriculture and improving smallholder farmers' livelihoods.

Dr Md Mahmudur Rahman, Joint Secretary (PPC Wing), Ministry of Agriculture, commended the collaborative efforts between IFPRI, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Ministry of Agriculture in driving agricultural policy reforms and fostering sustainable development.

"We remain steadfast in our dedication to thorough program evaluations and evidence-based policymaking,” he said.

The workshop also featured research presentations on agri-food value chains and farm mechanization.

IFPRI Senior Research Fellows Dr Kate Ambler and Dr Alan de Brauw presented IFPRI and CGIAR’s research on the role of intermediaries in rice and potato value chains in Bangladesh.

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