Govt to recognize people with ‘AIP status’ for their contribution to agriculture
The government has plans to recognize people, including farmers, with ‘Agricultural Important Person (AIP)’ status for their contribution to the development of the country’s agricultural sector, said M Nasiruzzaman, secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture.
He said this at a discussion titled ‘Media Dialogue on Agriculture 2019’ at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka on Wednesday.
The dialogue was organised by the ministry in association with the Agriculture Information Service (AIS) to exchanges views with journalists on the lackings of the sector.
The secretary also suggested the government’s budget allocation for agriculture be increased.
Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzak, who was present at the discussion meeting as the chief guest, said: “We have to increase our agricultural production to move the sector forward. The government has a target of modifying the traditional agriculture system to commercial agriculture within five years.”
When this comes true, the country’s exports will increase, he said.
The minister expressed concern about the poor state of foreign investment in this sector, saying: “We need more foreign investment, especially in food processing.”
“I am looking forward to your (journalists) cooperation... Please make positive reports to encourage foreign investors,” said the minister.
During the dialogue, journalists raised their voice against the current fair price policy of the government and urged the minister to take necessary steps to ensure a fair price for the farmers.
They also pointed out several irregularities and missing data about government organisations, including the agriculture ministry, and asked for a solution.
Abdul Quium, associate editor of Bangla Daily Prothom Alo, raised issues like food safety, saying: “We are consuming food with poison, with chemical pesticides still being used to grow crops.”
SM Shameem Reza, associate professor of Mass Communication and Journalism at Dhaka University, read out the keynote papers.
Journalists from various media outlets attended the discussion.