The Cabinet also approved in principle the draft of the 'Bangladesh Shishu Academy Bill 2018'
The Cabinet on Monday approved the draft of “The National Agriculture Policy 2018,” with the aim of ensuring profitable agriculture, nutrition and food security in Bangladesh.
The draft was approved at the weekly meeting of the Cabinet at the Bangladesh Secretariat, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in chair.
"The new agriculture policy has been formulated by incorporating some new elements following the expiry of the Agriculture Policy 2013," Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said in a briefing to reporters after the meeting.
The new elements include research on agriculture development, technology transfer and agriculture extension, mechanization, specialized agriculture, ICT, marketing of agricultural products, women empowerment and nano-technology.
"The main goal of the policy is to ensure food security and socio-economic development through productivity of crops, boosting production and raising farmers' income, diversifying crops, producing safe foods and developing marketing system, profitable agriculture and use of natural resources," Shafiul Alam added.
Regarding the use of nano-technology in the agriculture sector, the Cabinet secretary said it would primarily be used to identify diseases in crops, and collect nutritional information.
He further said that sensor-technology would be used to examine the quality of land.
Bangladesh Shishu Academy Bill 2018 approved
The Cabinet has approved in principle the draft of the "Bangladesh Shishu Academy Bill 2018," bringing some changes to the existing law.
The Cabinet secretary said the draft bill is the updated version of the existing Bangladesh Shishu Academy Ordinance 1976, which was promulgated during the military regime.
In the draft bill, the post of director of Bangladesh Shishu Academy has been upgraded to director general.
"The director general will be a fulltime official," he said.
Shafiul Alam added that the governance and administration of the academy will be entrusted to a 17-member management board, headed by a chairman.
The members will be from among the director generals of Bangla Academy, Shilpakala Academy and Shishu Academy, the dean of the Fine Arts Faculty of Dhaka University, joint secretary-level representatives from the Women and Children Affairs Ministry, Finance Division, Social Welfare Ministry, Information Ministry, Cultural Affairs Ministry, Primary and Mass Education Ministry, Health Services Division and Shishu Kalyan Parishad and ICT Division as well as four persons, including at least two women, to be appointed by the government for their special contributions to development of children.
The Cabinet secretary further said a new provision has been incorporated in clause 8 of the draft bill, to confer an honorary fellowship to people involved in the development of children through outstanding contributions to education, language, literature, arts and culture, sciences and society.
A 7-member committee will be formed to select the Bangladesh Shishu Academy Honorary Fellow, he said.
Shafiul Alam added that the headquarters of the academy will be in Dhaka, while its branches can be set up in divisional cities with the government's permission.