IFAD President Kanayo F Nwanze called on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 16 July and exchanged views on the development of rural agriculture and poverty reduction.
Sheikh Hasina thanked IFAD for extending its supports to Bangladesh, especially in the filed of agriculture and rural development. She informed that her government is a pro-poor and pro-agriculture, and thus put emphasize on rural development.
She briefed the IFAD President on how her government has been dealing with food crisis. She said her government doesn’t want to import food and therefore has given emphasize on crop diversification as well as research to boost food production.
“Bangladesh has invented flood, drought and salinity-tolerant varieties of paddy which help increase country's food production. But the country lacks crop storage facilities,” the Bangladesh Premier said, seeking support from IFAD help increase food storage capacity.
The IFAD President appreciated Bangladesh's stunning successes in different fields, including the agriculture and emphasized that agriculture should be recognized as a business not only in Bangladesh but also across the world.
He said time has come to consider a farmer, fisherman or a small trader or a producer who in fact feed the eighty present population of the world as an entrepreneur.
“It is important to ensure sound business environment to get more production from them. We should provide them with required inputs, ensure their access to the market and technology, and connect them with the value chain,” the IFAD President.
Terming women as the best manager, he also stressed on empowering women to transform live and livelihood of the rural people, and to accelerate the rural economy.
The IFAD President briefed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina about the six projects his organization has undertaken, and the plan for a six-year project in Bangladesh in light of the goals of the sixth five-year plan and Vision 2021 of the government. He also assured her that IFAD would further design programmes to address the need she has asked for.