Don’t leave arable land uncultivated: Prime minister

|| Published: 2020-02-25 15:49:06 || Updated: 2020-02-25 15:49:10

Sheikh Hasina asked the officials to find ways to boost food production to face challenges arising from climate change

Bangladesh’s population will cross 21 crore by 2041, and then the demand for food grain will be 45.30 million tonnes.

The government set a food production target of 48 million tonnes to meet that demand and ensure food security.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday asked the officials concerned to find ways for boosting food production to face challenges arising from climate change.

Hasina made the urge while addressing a meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) to approve the country’s second Perspective Plan for 2021-2041 to turn Bangladesh into an upper middle-income country by 2031 and a developed one by 2041.

At a press briefing after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said the prime minister asked the countrymen not to leave any arable land uncultivated.

Mannan said the prime minister instructed to do research on salinity- and drought-tolerant varieties of crops. “She also asked to find a method to grow crops in water.”

The prime minister also urged to bring the uncultivated lands of the expatriate Bangladeshis under a cooperative system.

Mannan said the prime minister approved the second Perspective Plan with some instructions and conditions.

Sheikh Hasina instructed to expand the coverage of social safety net programmes and increase the allowances for widows and husband deserted women, said Mannan.

The 20-year plan targets to achieve 9 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth by 2031 and 9.9 percent by 2041.

“The government wants to be a developed country by implementing the plan which would take per capita GNI (gross national income) beyond $17,000 and life expectancy at birth to 80 years,” said MA Mannan.

General Economics Division member of the Planning Commission Dr Shamsul Alam said as Bangladesh is graduating from the least developed country (LDC) club, all plans should mainly be implemented using domestic resources.

The government is encouraging public private partnership (PPP) to boost investment, said Dr Shamsul Alam, adding that foreign direct investment is also required to achieve the government’s target.

your script