By Al Amin :
Bangladesh needs food security for all, since the country has gained self-sufficiency in food production, experts said.
Food should be made is affordable, sufficiently available for the countrymen and to guarantee food security, they said.
Food production should be doubled domestically by reducing import of basic food items and quality of processing food must be ensured for building a safe food management in the country, they opined.
Dr Fahmida Khatun, Executive Director of Centre for Policy Dialogue, said, "Food self-sufficiency does not mean food security and food availability for all. It does not also mean food equity and food inclusivity. The policymakers need to take proactive measures towards equitable distribution of food to ensure food security."
The policymakers have to prepare both for the short and medium term to ensure food security, she said
"On the one hand, technological innovations are necessary to improve productivity and sustainability in the agriculture and rural sectors. On the other hand, food production has to be coupled with policies and strong institutions for procurement, marketing and distribution," she opined.
Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder on Saturday said, "Safe food management bears the identity of a developed state. The present government is working relentlessly for building up balanced, safe and secured food management in the country."
"New plans are taken. If the plans are implemented, the country's food management will be a role model for the world in the future," the food minister hopped.
Sarwar Mahmud, Director General of the Directorate General of Food, told The New Nation, "The present food management capacity is stronger than any other times as we have the ability to ensure food for all when needed."
Bangladesh has drawn massive global attention in last decade for its outstanding success and numerous landmark accomplishments in increased agricultural production, attaining food self-sufficiency and ensuring sustainable food security, Sarwar said.
He said timely policy reforms including, interventions and investments in agricultural research facilitated the progress of green revolution which resulted in the adoption of high-yielding crop varieties combined with better irrigation infrastructure, more efficient market institutions and mechanization in the agriculture sector.
Under the umbrella of food security programmes like distribution of free food, food for work, food-friendly programmes, and open market sell and test relief programmes are being implemented by the government over the last decade, he added.
Moreover, digital technology based programmes have been undertaken to improve the monitoring and data management capacity of the Ministry of Food, he said.
Bangladesh, ranked 83rd, is the lowest among South Asian countries in the Global Food Security Index-2019 according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's study, supported by Corteva Agriscience, was revealed recently.
The global survey of the food system shows Bangladesh's overall performance is good, with a score of 53.2 out of 100. In the two core pillars of the index - food affordability and availability - Bangladesh did well with scores of 60.4 and 54.8 respectively. In the last pillars of the index - quality and safety of food, Bangladesh's performance is moderate (30.6) but needs to improve.
Equitable distribution is needed to ensure food security in country
22 September 2020