'Agriculture and farmers have contributed to everything we have achieved and developed in the 50 years of our independence'
Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) and Channel i will once again honour changemakers of the country's agriculture sector with the seventh Agrow Award.
The announcement was made at a press briefing in the capital on Sunday, for the best performing individuals and organizations in the sector.
Speaking at the press conference, Naser Ezaz Bijoy, chief executive officer of Standard Chartered Bank, said that the farmers of Bangladesh have defeated the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Agriculture and farmers have contributed to everything we have achieved and developed in the 50 years of our independence," he also said.
“Our agricultural sector provides sustenance to a nation of over 160 million and employs around 40% of the national work force directly or indirectly and it is more vital than ever in the face of the pandemic,” he further mentioned.
The SCB CEO also said that although the contribution of agriculture to Bangladesh's GDP is declining, its contribution to national development is immeasurable.
“Through the Agrow Award, I am happy to have partnered with Channel i in honouring the changemakers of this sector for their bravery, innovation and sheer hard work, all of which contributes immensely to our nation’s continued progress and prosperity,” he added.
Faridur Reza Sagar, managing director of Channel i, said that the contribution of the agriculture sector and its heroes towards the progress of Bangladesh is not easy to measure.
“We think, along with the government, individuals and organisations have an important role to play in taking this sector forward. Standard Chartered is playing a major role in this,” he also said.
He further said that they have been able to highlight the contributions of many individuals and organizations of the agricultural sector over the last few years.
Shykh Seraj, director and head of news at Channel I, said that the pandemic serves as a reminder about the vitality of the agriculture sector.
“Today many sectors of our economy can bravely move forward thanks to a large extent the resilience of our agriculture sector,” he also said.
"Agriculture in our country has been diversified and Bangladesh's agriculture is in a very good position in various global indicators. This Agrow Award will continue to encourage farmers across the country," he added.
“With the evolution of technology, the world is now going through the fourth industrial revolution. Agriculture and farmers should also be brought to this platform. We should take measures to move agriculture forward with this evolving technology,” said Shykh Seraj.
He also said that agriculture should be taken forward without relying on export trade of RMG or related products. It is necessary to expand the world market of agriculture by bringing necessary diversification.
The award is categorised in 10 categories - Farmer of the Year – Male; Farmer of the Year – Female; Heroes for Change; Best Journalist (Agriculture); Jury Special; Best Agricultural Organization in Research, Innovation and Technology; Best Agricultural Organization in Support & Execution; Best Agricultural Exporter, Best Community as Disaster Fighter and Lifetime Achievement Award.
Bitopi Das Chowdhury, head of corporate affairs, brand and marketing of Standard Chartered Bangladesh; Shahidul Alam Sachchu, general manager (drama & telefilm) of Channel i and director of Agrow Award project, were also present at the program.