The meeting focused on identifying ways and means for establishing contract farming in African countries by Bangladeshi farmers and entrepreneurs.
The foreign minister said by leasing land in the African countries, employment opportunities may be created for a very large number of Bangladeshi workers and farmers.
Agriculture minister Abdur Razzaq said since Bangladesh has a huge population, contract farming could be a viable source of creation of employment abroad
He suggested that Peacekeeping Missions in the African countries may establish contacts with local authorities for contract farming opportunities.
Momen also suggested that exchange of training on agriculture may be made with the African countries to make them familiar with our advancements made in the field of agriculture.
Agriculture minister Abdur Razzaq said since Bangladesh has a huge population, contract farming could be a viable source of creation of employment abroad.
He said Bangladeshi farmers could be employed in the African countries for the purpose of importing and commercialising the products that they would produce in the countries.
He underlined the importance of identifying suitable countries in Africa in this regard.
Foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Commerce should work together on exploring contract farming opportunities in Africa and identifying particular countries for initiating pilot projects.
He further said that a framework agreement needs to be signed with the potential African countries.
Masud Momen suggested offering training to the African agricultural scientists in Bangladesh as well as demonstrating to them the remarkable advancement Bangladesh achieved in the sector.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised inter-ministerial meeting attended by representatives from the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, Ministry of Agriculture, Armed Forces Division, BIDA and Bangladesh Bank on opportunities of contract farming in Africa in recent times.
At the meeting, the representatives of the agriculture ministry informed that huge potentials exist in the African countries of growing food staples, fruits, vegetables and cash crops for import to Bangladesh and export to other countries.
The foreign ministry officials said there exists opportunities of crop production and import of produced crops from the African countries back to Bangladesh as well as exporting the produced crops to other countries.
The ministry representatives informed the meeting that contract farming would contribute to food security for both Bangladesh and Africa.
The representative of the Armed Forces Division mentioned that there exist huge opportunities of contract farming in the African countries that Bangladesh need to explore.
The official underscored the need for long term planning for contract farming in Africa.
The representatives of the Ministry of Commerce recommended that trade bodies including FBCCI and BGMEA may be involved in government initiatives for establishing contract farming in African countries.