Bangladesh could bolster its food security by developing new bio-pesticides and crop varieties tolerant to drought, salinity and floods, said Dr Atiur Rahman, the Governor of Bangladesh Bank.
According to him, in the backdrop of global and warming and the resultant sea-level rise, bio-technology has the potential of strengthening food stock.
Dr Atiur Rahman was addressing the inauguration of an international conference on bio-technology on Saturday in Dhaka.
Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury was present as chief guest.
Among other distinguished guests from home and abroad, ministers from two other South Asian countries- Maldives and Sri Lanka- also attended the function.
The non-government organisation CARES organised the event.
While speaking on the topic, Dr Rahman brought up example of the developed world that put priority on it.
“Given its immense potentials, biotechnology research is a leading edge high priority activity in the developed economies, supported by investments both from governments and businesses,” the central bank chief said.
He, however, said it is of course not possible to precisely predict the probability or timing of success of a particular biotechnology research initiative, but episodic evidences indicate a fair percentage of success, often with spectacular returns before long.
“Fostering of biotechnology research will benefit us and our upcoming generations hugely, by developing tools necessary for coping with the challenges to our near and longer term survival and wellbeing,” Dr Rahman believes.
He said biotechnology-driven businesses in developed economies employ research activities as key tools for protecting and improving their competitive edge.
“It seems to me that in Bangladesh we already have accumulated a critical mass of human resources needed for pursuing substantial extent of biotechnology research in various fields, in our universities and government run research establishments.”
He said Bangladesh Bank will be prepared to consider helping biotechnology research initiatives drawing such support as feasible from the CSR outlays of the financial sector.
“CARES has already received CSR support from one of the financial institutions, and I am confident that similar support will remain available if CARES remains focused on the lofty goals set by its social sponsors,” added BB head.