WB-aided smart plan, $ 500m dairy, livestock dev project launched

Addressing climate impacts on farming

FE REPORT | Thursday, 12 December 2019

The government and the World Bank (WB) jointly launched a climate smart plan and a project on Wednesday to address the impacts of climate change on farming in the country.
Agriculture Minister Dr Md. Abdur Razzaque and State Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Md. Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru unveiled the report of the Climate Smart Agriculture Investment Plan (CSAIP) and inaugurated the US $ 500 million Livestock and Dairy Development Project (LDDP) at a function at Krishibid Institution of Bangladesh in the city.
The WB and the agriculture and fisheries and livestock ministries jointly organised the event.
Climate change and sea-level rise pose serious threats to Bangladesh's impressive growth in the agricultural productivity.
To address impacts of climate change on agriculture as well as to prioritise investment to improve productivity, resilience and mitigation in the agriculture sector, the government of Bangladesh with support from the World Bank has taken the CSAIP and LDDP, said the agriculture minister.
Fisheries and Livestock Secretary Raisul Islam Mondal chaired the function while John Roome, WB South Asia director for sustainable development, and Dandan Chen, WB acting country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, spoke, among others.
Executive director of Bangladesh Centre for Advance Studies (BCAS) Dr Atiq Rahman and chief technical coordinator of LDDP Dr Md Golam Rabbani presented keynote papers.
The agriculture minister said the country has nearly achieved self- sufficiency in rice and has a surplus in potato production as well.
"We have been able to ensure food availability, and are now focusing on nutrition security," he added.
He said further the government has been framing its agricultural policies taking into account the climate change aspects.
"Without focusing on climate change while forming policies, we couldn't ensure both food and nutrition security as climatic change will adversely impact farm production," he observed.
He said climate smart investments and implementation of the Delta Plan 2100 would help Bangladesh overcome climate change risks for a more productive and climate resilient agriculture sector.
Ashraf Khan Khasru said broader agriculture has contributed 90 per cent to poverty alleviation in the country in the past three decades.
He added population of Bangladesh will be 186 million by 2030 and 202 million by 2050 while urbanisation will take place at a growth of 3.5 per cent year-on-year basis during the period.

He said the additional population's food habit will be changing as they would shift from rice and flour to other protein enriched foods thanks to their rising income.
"The LDDP project worth US $ 500 million will help substantially and sustainably increase livestock production to feed the growing population," he hoped.
WB Romme said the LDDP is going to be 'the single largest project in the world by the WB considering the livestock sector.
The project will be a triple win for the country.
"First of all, this project delivers a development gain through raising income of rural small holder farmers of which 70 per cent have livestock," he said, adding it will also help developing diet through increased milk and dairy production.
The country's adaptation to climate change will also be strengthened, he said.
The project will help increase traceability of animals and animal products following food safety and food quality, he said.
Dandan Chen said being a country most vulnerable to climate change, Bangladesh must take urgent actions to create its impressive track record in the agriculture sector.
"We are encouraged to see that the government considers climate-smart agriculture a strategic priority investment in response to changing climate", she said.
She also commented that LDDP is a testament to government's vision of a climate resilient growth path, which will help the country meet demand for essential nutrients such as egg, meat and milk.
However, the CSAIP (2016-21) report, jointly prepared by the World Bank and the government of Bangladesh, has identified five key investment areas totaling about $809 million to set the agriculture sector on a resilient growth path.
The CSAIP report said Bangladesh's agriculture sector is under threat from climate change impact as sea level rise might reduce available crop lands by 24 per cent in the coastal regions during growing seasons.
The farm sector is projected to stagnate and key national production target by 2040 are likely to be missed unless action is taken, it said.
The report said investments in the sectors will contribute towards achieving the government's 2041 development targets; reduce emissions; and reach the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) regarding climate change and the Delta Plan goals.
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