Foods produced in Bangladesh are still lagging behind global standards despite the country's attainment of near self-sufficiency in grain output, stakeholders say.
The country could have exported agricultural products, had the farmers ensured judicious use of pesticides for growing food items, they told a Prothom Alo roundtable on Wednesday.
They also regretted that many farmers are losing interest in agriculture in absence of fair price of their produces.
Prothom Alo in cooperation with consumer brand ‘Teer’ organised the roundtable titled "Agriculture, farmers and future Bangladesh".
Terming improving quality of products as a major challenge, the participants recommended enhancing technological knowledge of the farmers so that they can produce products that meet global standards.
Md Akram Hossain, an award-winning fish farmer, who studied in the USA, said production of quality fish is being hampered by low quality feeds.
Also, he pointed out, the prices of fish feeds are increasing exorbitantly whereas the market prices of fish are falling.
Member of the parliamentary standing committee on agriculture ministry Abul Mannan said the grassroots agriculture officers are not well-equipped compared to facilities given to other government officers.
However, award-winning agriculture journalist Shykh Seraj said young generation people are now getting engaged with various agricultural activities more than in the past.
"Future agriculture is based on technology, so it’s important to make farmers aware of technology," he said.
Director of department of livestock Hiresh Ranjan Bhowmik recommended that import duties on all farm inputs and equipments should be made zero.
Krishi Gobeshona Foundation’s executive director Wais Kabir, director general of Bangladesh Institute of Develpoment Studies KAS Murshid, Krishibid Institute president AMM Saleh, managing director of ACI Agribusinesses FH Ansarey, City Group’s executive director Shoaib Mohammad Asaduzzaman, CEO of Win Inc Kashfia Ahmed, president of Jute Diversification Rashedul Karim, agriculture officer Selim Reza, and award winning farmers Sherin Sultana and Alpana Rani Mistry also addressed the roundtable moderated by Prothom Alo associate editor Abdul Quayum.