Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque has raised questions about the eating habits of Bangladeshis saying they consume a large amount of rice.
"In other countries, individuals consume about 200g of rice per day, whereas Bangladeshis consume about twice as much," said the minister at a workshop on increasing production of oil, crops and rice in Varendra region including Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions.
The agriculture minister attended as chief guest while Agriculture Secretary Sayedul Islam presided over the workshop organised by Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) and Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), on Thursday (28 July).
"Why do Bangladeshis eat 400 grams of rice?" he inquired and requested people to reduce the consumption of rice and eat more fruits and vegetables instead.
Mentioning the challenge of sustaining food security in the future, the minister noted there are 16.5 crore people in the country at present.
"On the other hand, land for crop-yielding is decreasing. In this situation, to meet this tough challenge, agriculture has to be made scientific, mechanised and modernised," he opined.
He stressed on the invention of new varieties and technologies that need to be taken to fields right away, adding, "Only then can food security be sustained."
The minister, urging the agriculture officials to increase food production quickly, said that there should be no dependence on foreign countries for food.
"The world is merciless and cruel, lacking sense of humanity. In the midst of the Russia-Ukraine war, an agreement on "grain exports" has been reached, but for various reasons it has not yet been implemented.
"In such an unusual global situation, if we cannot produce our own food, even if we have money, we will not get food," Razzaque pointed out.
He also assured that there is no shortage of dollar, oil or fertiliser in the country.