Cabinet Okays draft of revised agriculture policy

The cabinet today approved the draft of a revised National Agriculture Policy eying to benefit farmers and attaining food and nutrition security for the people.

The cabinet approval came at its weekly meeting at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, reports BSS.

“The policy has been framed by upgrading the previous policy of 2013 . . . its prime goal is to make the agriculture sector safe and profitable and attain food and nutrition security,” Cabinet Secretary Md Shafiul Alam told a news briefing after the meeting, simultaneously approved in principle the draft of Bangladesh Shishu Academy Act.

CabinetAlam described the “Jatiya Krishi Niti-2018” as an “overarching” policy saying it included issues which were not addressed in the previous policy.

He said the policy intended to increase and diversify crop production, enhance farmers’ income, produce nutritious and safe food, develop marketing system and ensure food safety, ensure efficient use of natural resources and socioeconomic development.

Alam said the issues of nanotechnology, standard seed production and urban agricultural services, agro-machinery services, innovative extension technology and agriculture technology block and year-round productions were featured the policy.

The policy also included a provision of taking agriculture extensionprogrammes for disaster prone regions and stressed farming on cooperative system, he said

The cabinet secretary said the Bangladesh Shishu Academy Act, 2018 willreplace the existence ‘Bangladesh Shishu Academy Ordinance, 1976,’ promulgated during the then military regime,

The Supreme Court in a verdict in 2010 annulled all laws framed by the military rulers asking the government to replace those with new ones in Bangla.

Accordingly the Shishu Academy Ordinance became defunct while the proposed law suggested the body to be headed by a director general (DG) its chief instead of the director.

The academy will have its head office in Dhaka, and with government permission it can open its branches at divisions, districts and upazilas.

A 17-member Management Board headed by a chairman would operate the activities of the academy.

The board will comprise directors general of Bangla Academy and Bangladesh Shilpa Kala Academy, Dean of Fine Arts faculty of Dhaka University, a joint secretary of the Women and Children Affairs Ministry and representatives of Finance Division, Social Welfare Ministry, Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs Ministry, Primary and Mass Education Ministry, Health Ministry, ICT Division, Shishu Kalyan Parishad, and four distinguished persons regarded for their contribution to childrens welfare.

The proposed law said out of the four distinguished persons two must be women.

The academy will give honorary fellowship to distinguished persons having outstanding contribution to language, literature, science, arts or any special social areas alongside working for overall welfare and development of the children.

Chairman of the board of the academy and its Director General would be appointed by the government.