PM Hasina seeks private initiatives for livestock, fisheries sector’s dev

Prime Minister Sheikh HasinaBSS

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday laid emphasis on ensuring food and nutrition security, calling upon the private sector to step forward for the development of the country’s poultry, fisheries and livestock sectors.

“I want the private sector to come forward. I would like to see more entrepreneurs in the private sector. I want to help in every way. Through this, we also want to increase the employment of the people of the country,” she said.

She said this while addressing the opening ceremony of the Livestock Services Week and Exhibition-2024 as the chief guest at the old Trade Fair Ground in city’s Sher-e-Banglanagar.

She said that if everyone does business and trade on their own initiative instead of chasing behind the jobs after graduation, then “we can progress a lot”.

Sheikh Hasina urged all to encourage the country’s youth to become entrepreneurs, so that, in future, they don’t need to depend on anyone.

Referring to the attaining of food security, she said, “We believe that we can ensure our nutrition as well.”

The prime minister also mentioned that buffaloes and sheep are being produced in the country’s char lands, even in Bhasanchar, where the Rohingyas have been given shelter and buffaloes, sheep, poultry and fishes are being farmed.

“If we use the land we have, we can meet our own needs,” she said.

She urged all to come forward in the country’s dairy and other sectors as well.

“We want to further develop our livestock sector. Online systems have already been developed to serve this livestock sector,” she said, hoping that it will be useful enough for it.

With Fisheries and Livestock Minister Md. Abdur Rahman in the chair, its Secretary Md Selim Uddin delivered the welcome address.

President of Bangladesh Dairy Farmers’ Association Imran Hossain spoke as the representative of the country’s dairy sector while Joint Convener of Bangladesh Poultry Industry Central Council (BPICC) Mashiur Rahman spoke as the representative of poultry sector.

At the outset of the programme, a documentary on the progress and achievement of the present government in the livestock sector was screened.

The premier also visited the exhibition.

The prime minister said the main aim of her government is to ensure food security first, then ensure nutrition.

“. . . and we’ve taken that step. We’ve given priority on research as it is not possible to produce high yielding varieties without it,” she said, adding no country can advance without proper research works.

Sheikh Hasina also said the government is working to mechanise agriculture, and for that, they have given special attention on this issue and are providing subsidies.

“Besides, we’ve taken huge programmes to increase the production of protein in the country,” she added.

The premier said Khaleda Zia announced to arrange rice and pulse for the countrymen during her tenure. But, she (Khaleda) failed to provide rice and pulse for the people, she said.

Then, during 2007, Caretaker Government’s chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed and then army chief Moinuddin Ahmed asked people to have potatoes, she said.

“Someone wanted to feed us pulse and someone wanted to feed us potatoes,” Sheikh Hasina said.

Mentioning that Bangalees like rice and fishes, she said it is enough for them to get rice and fishes.

“We want rice-fishes. We have a look on the issue. Now, there is no shortage of rice-fishes, pulse-fishes,” she added.

Sheikh Hasina also emphasised improving the storage capacity of all products including food grains, and fish and meat items for ensuring food security.

She asked concerned people to provide nontoxic food for the fisheries and livestock animals for ensuring safe food.

The premier encouraged the private entrepreneurs’ to work for improving poultry, fisheries and livestock sectors in the country.

“The government will provide all support,” she said.

She asked for following international norms in packaging along with cleanliness in agricultural production and its processing.

Sheikh Hasina, however, said Bangladesh is yet to be able to extract resources from the deep sea although it has attained vast maritime boundaries.

“Actually, we’re not getting any entrepreneur for this purpose. This is the reality,” she said.

The premier said Bangladesh has attained huge maritime areas, which has been announced blue economy to utilise the marine resources.

“But, it is the matter of unfortunate that we have yet been able to extract resources from the deep sea,” she said.