The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Bangladesh has decided to provide financial assistance for 1,000 marginal farmers in Sirajganj during the Covid-19 pandemic.
They disclosed the matter in a virtual programme titled "AmCham Support for the Farmers during Covid-19 Pandemic" on Sunday morning. Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque inaugurated the programme as the chief guest.
Md Kamrul Islam Bhuiyan, information officer of the agriculture ministry, told The Business Standard, "I have heard that they will primarily disburse Tk30 lakh among marginal farmers."
Sources said each farmer will get Tk2,600 under the support programme.
Syed Ershad Ahmed, president of AmCham, presided over Sunday's programme.
He said the financial assistance programme would be jointly conducted by AmCham and Sajida Foundation, a non-governmental organisation.
The main goal behind the programme, Ershad said, is to help the farmers find a sustainable livelihood by investing the money they are going to get. "Another goal is to integrate them into economic activities."
AmCham hopes that the aid will help farmers meet the immediate financial needs of their families.
Agriculture Minister Razzaque said, "Due to the pandemic, the farmers of Bangladesh along with the rest of the world are facing an adverse situation. To address this, the government is giving various incentives, including subsidies with utmost importance, to the agriculture sector."
He thanked AmCham for its initiative and said that the United States government has always supported the development of agriculture in Bangladesh.
"This support programme of AmCham will further strengthen the relationship between the two countries. Farmers in the flood-hit areas of Sirajganj will benefit from this programme," he added.
The minister also said food production needs to be increased a lot that to cope with the potential food crisis caused by the pandemic.
"The agriculture ministry is working relentlessly to achieve that goal so that there will be no shortage of food in the country."