Bangladesh will host the 36th session of the Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) regional conference to be held in 2022. This is the first time the country has been honoured with hosting the conference since it joined FAO in 1973.
Agriculture minister Dr Abdur Razzak shared the news at a press briefing at the InterContinental Dhaka; on the fourth and concluding day of the 35th FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific, on Friday.
The biennial conference is an official platform where agriculture ministers and other high officials from all member states in the region discuss challenges related to food and agriculture as well as to increasing regional harmony.
The 36th conference will highlight the achievements, success, technology, and innovation of this region, said Abdur Razzak.
The 35th conference focused on the impact of Covid-19 on agriculture and food stocks, and how to tackle the post-Covid-19 situation. Additionally, the conference highlighted food security, natural wealth management and the present overall agricultural situation, he added.
Further, a discussion took place on achieving sustainable development goals such as eradicating hunger and poverty and ensuring nutrition in the future. Moreover, the necessity of family farming on agricultural prosperity has been given special attention. Introducing e-commerce and high-quality storage facilities have also been considered important to reduce food waste.
The production of potato, tomato, maize, mango and pineapple has increased significantly and now we are trying to introduce modern processing systems to store the surplus production. For example, we are working on producing maize oil which can be an alternative to soybean oil, added Abdur Razzak.
The minister said to ensure technology-based agriculture, the government is now giving incentives to the farmers for buying agriculture machinery.
FAO representative to Bangladesh Robert D Simpson, who was also present at the press conference, said, "Bangladesh's progress in agriculture and food security over the past 40 years has been remarkable, taking [on] challenges of frequent natural disaster, population growth, decreasing arable land, and salinity intrusion."
"The 36th session of the FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific will be a great opportunity for Bangladesh to show countries across the region what has been achieved, to share the lessons of its success and to lead the way in innovation," he added.
India has hosted the conference four times while Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand have hosted three times, each.
China, the Republic of Korea and Vietnam have hosted it two times while Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka have each hosted the event once.