Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday urged researchers to conduct studies to diversify Bangladesh's export basket alongside modernising and mechanising the agriculture sector.
"Research is essential if we want to increase our export items. I hope you all will pay special attention so that our export continues (to thrive) with diversified products," she said.
The Prime Minister said this while addressing a function arranged to distribute Bangabandhu Science and Technology Fellowship, National Science and Technology (NST) Fellowship and special research donations among teachers, scientists and researchers of different universities and research institutes.
She joined the function held at the city's Osmani Memorial Auditorium, virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.
On behalf of the Prime Minister, Science and Technology Minister Architect Yeafesh Osman distributed the fellowships and research donations among them for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Sheikh Hasina put emphasis on making the research and development wing of every industrial factory effective and stronger.
She said the government is setting up 100 special economic zones across the country, where research is essential. "Because we can reduce (production) cost, improve the standard, produce quality goods and diversify export products without depending on one or two items. So, boost export through research," said the Prime Minister.
In that case, she said, digital devices can also be new items in the export basket saying that now the country is 'Digital Bangladesh' and it is able to do whatever necessary in this regard.
Noting that Bangladesh's economy is largely dependent on agriculture, she stressed the need for research for accelerating modernisation and mechinisation of the sector.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh is a country of huge population but attained food autarky using its small arable lands.
"Keeping it (scarcity of land) in mind, we'll have to strengthen our research so that we can build the country as 'Sonar Bangladesh' (Golden Bengal) as dreamt by the Father of the Nation," she said.
The Science and Technology Minister presided over the function while Senior Secretary of the Science and Technology Ministry Md Anwar Hossain delivered the welcome speech. Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Science and Technology AFM Ruhal Haque was present.