Standard Chartered Bank and Channel i have awarded the sixth Agrow Award, to 10 individuals and organisations, this year, for their outstanding recent contributions to the agriculture sector of Bangladesh.
According to a press release, an award-giving ceremony was organised at Pan Pacific Songargaon recently, where Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque was the chief guest.
This year, the Agrow Award honoured the contributions in nine categories, including two new categories, Best Journalist (Agriculture) and Best Community as Disaster Fighter.
Dr Kazi M Bodruddoja, pioneer of Kazi Peyara, won the award in the Lifetime Achievement category.
Additionally, Shahida Begum, a hybrid onion farmer, was recognised as the Female Farmer of the Year and Md Shakhawat Hossain, a malta farmer, was recognised as the Male Farmer of the Year.
Ershad Mahmud, who does cattle rearing of the endangered Gayal species, bagged the award in the Heroes for Change category, while Prof Dr Lutful Hasan and Kohinoor Kamal won in the Jury Special category.
Among the organisations, the Best Agricultural Organisation in Research, Innovation and Technology award went to Janata Engineering, a manufacturer of agricultural machinery. Meanwhile, the Best Agricultural Organisation in Support and Execution award went to Arban for its modern vegetable and crop cultivation as well as fisheries.
Md Amirul Islam Hiru, who has been working as a journalist for more than 50 years in the agriculture sector, won the Best Journalist (Agriculture) award and Ledars was recognised as the Best Community as Disaster Fighter.
These winners were selected through a rigorous jury session, chaired by Shykh Seraj, director and head of News, Channel i.
The panellists were: Prof Dr Md Shahidur Rahman Khan, vice chancellor, Khulna Agricultural University; Dr. Md. Rafiqul Islam Mondal, former director general, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI); Dr Atiur Rahman, former governor, Bangladesh Bank; Md Asadullah, director general, Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE); Rezaul Karim, head of Programme, World Food Programme Bangladesh; and Dr FH Ansarey, CEO, ACI Agrolink Ltd.
The winners in each category received a crest and a certificate from Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, for their exemplary contributions. The total prize money for various categories was Tk22,00,000.
Speaking on the occasion, Naser Ezaz Bijoy, CEO, Standard Chartered Bangladesh said, "Our battle against Covid-19 once again showed the true mettle of the character of Bangladesh's heroes of the agriculture sector. Their bravery, ingenuity and tireless efforts have ensured that even during a pandemic, agricultural production has been resilient, ensuring food security for a nation of 160 million."
Shykh Seraj said, "The contributions of the farmers, institutions and individuals, who are working relentlessly to take the agriculture sector forward, are immense and cannot be measured by an award. Yet, we hope that by recognising their achievements, the Standard Chartered Bank - Channel i Agrow Award will inspire the next generation of leaders in the agriculture sector."