Award Received by Prime Minister for Poverty Reduction
In favor of Bangladesh for its stellar performance in poverty reduction during the present government’s possession, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had received an award Cooperation at an event in New York on 23 September 2013. The award was handed over to the Prime Minister by ‘The International Organization for South-South’ president Ambassador Francis Lorenzo. The heads of state and government of different countries and their spouses were present at the ceremony. Receiving the award, Sheikh Hasina thanked the IOSSC and other dignitaries for presenting the award to her and Bangladesh for its achievement in poverty reduction. Appreciating the continued support of Ambassador Francis to the cause reduction of poverty, Prime Minister expressed that the award will inspire all to work harder to win the war against poverty, especially to accelerate progress towards 2015 and it will equally inspire to work harder to attain all other goals within 2021. She also added that the Government had been implementing various activities for which Bangladesh has been able to make its place at the global stage as a dignified nation. Prime Minister’s son Sajeeb Wazed Joy, her daughter Saima Hossain Putul, Awami League (AL) leaders Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed and Workers’ Party President Rashed Khan Menon, among others, were present on the occasion.
A report on increased intensity of cropping was published on 8th September 2013. The report came up with the evidence that the agronomists at Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) had generated a marvelous way that if cropping intensity is increased by growing four crops a year in all cultivable lands, farm output will sharply increase. They have also dispelled concern about over-exploitation of soil resources, saying that the crop rotation would rather replenish soil nutrients with the green manure in sequence left after the harvesting of cereals and other crops. It is manifested from the BARI experiments done in 2011-12 and 2012-13 cropping seasons that by introducing the four-crop rotation, farmers can potentially harvest over 34 tonnes of rice equivalent yields (REY) from each hectare of land. The output is more than twice the farmers usually harvest (14.37 tonnes) in a double-crop-a year pattern. REY means the amount of rice one can get by selling mustard, potato, rice and whatever grains one grows in a year in a given land. At present four crops are grown only in 9,300 hectares of land in the country, three crops in 1.4 million hectares, two crops in 4.1 million hectares and one crop in 2.2 million hectares. According to official statistics, the country’s total cropped area stood at 14.94 million hectares in recent years as against its net cropped area of only 7.84 million hectares thanks to the 191 percent cropping intensity. Cropping intensity means the number of crops grown in a piece of land in a year. If one crop is grown in a year, cropping intensity is 100 percent.
Agriculture Ministry, IFC join hands to review Seed Act
A consultation workshop titled ‘Seed Sector in Bangladesh-Growth through Regulatory Reform’ was held on 28th September at Pan Pacific Sonargaon. Agriculture Secretary Dr. S M Nazmul Islam attended the programme as chief guest. According the press release, the existing Seed Act dates from 1977 and despite several consolidated amendments in 1997 and 2005, it requires advance upgrading as the sector dynamics have changed significantly. To review and amend existing Seed Act, rules, regulations and policy, the Seed Wing at Ministry of Agriculture should work together with the International Finance Corporation, a member of the Work Bank. The Seed Wing at Ministry of Agriculture has administrative and regulatory oversight of seed related activities and is leading the initiative to draft the new seed act, with comprehensive participation from private sector seed companies and other relevant stakeholders. The new act is desired cover a range of reforms, such as simplifying registration of seed varieties and seed dealers, upgrading regulations for seed quality and strengthening the seed inspection process through more private sector involvement. BICF, through the Bangladesh Agribusiness Investment Climate project, is supporting Seed Wing of the Ministry of Agriculture in this initiative along with other regulatory simplification and standardization initiatives.