Enhanced Investment in Agri Research and Extension a Must for Climate Adaptation

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Dhaka, 24th March 2012. Today in a seminar civil society groups express worries on different in-consistencies prevailing in government’s six five year planning, budget 2011-12, country investment plan, perspective plan and climate strategic action plan 2009, especially in respect of government pledge to attain food self sufficiency. They have urged government to increase subsidy and investment in agro research and extension in respect of climate adaptation. The seminar title “Climate Change Strategic Plan 2009: Agriculture and Food Security” was organized by Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL) and Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD), two networks of civil society organizations. The seminar was moderated Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD. Key note paper was presented by Dr. Nazrul Islam of Dhaka School of Economics, Shawkat Momen Sajahan, Member of Parliament and Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture Ministry was there as chief guest. Among other speakers of the seminars were, Dwip Ujjal Kisha of Bangladesh Indigenous People Network, Mizanur Rahman Bijoy of Network for Climate Change Network, Badrul Alam of Krishok Federation, Aminur Rasul of Unnayan Dhara, Syed Aminul Haque of EquityBD, Prodip Kumar Roy of On Line Knowledge Soceity, and Jibonanda Joyanta of SA Foundation.

Dr Nazrul Islam in his key note paper presented detail matrix of inconsistencies of different planning documents, he also mentioned that last year budget, investment in agriculture had declined 4.2 %. In view of people perception he proposed immediate enactment of land management policy and enhanced investment in agri research and extension in next year budget. Sayed Aminul Haque mentioned that control on utilization of land should be laid upon Agriculture Ministry, as it is now with Land Ministry which attitude only to increase revenue. Dwip Ujjal Kisha, demand stop land utilization in respect of tobacco cultivation, he urged to promote traditional practice of agriculture in hilly area. Mizanur Rahman Bijoy, expressed worried on little emphasize on local seeds preservation and promotion, as national and multi national companies occupying the seed market. Badrul Alam blamed that in fact government preparing all of these policies and planning in view of neo liberal agendas, in fact which is favor of west, the climate polluters who hardly willing to pay compensation. Aminur Rasul has mentioned that apart from inconsistencies there are lack of coordination and integration among different ministries in respect of effort to gain food self sufficiently. He expressed doubt whether the government will be able gain food self sufficiency by 2013 in view of their election pledge.

Chief Guest Memebr of Parliament and Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee Shawkat Momen Sajahan recognized that there should a reform on land ownership pattern, that it is the farmers should won all the agriculture land, he also acknowledge that the new Agriculture Policy should integrate the climate change adaptation and there should be immediate enactment of land management and utilization policy to stop irrelevant and unproductive use of agricultural land.

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