United Commercial Bank (UCB) along with BSAEF Foundation and Bikoshito Bangladesh Foundation have organised an agricultural entrepreneurs conference titled "Bhorosar Notun Janala".
The conference was held on Saturday at the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council Auditorium (BARC) and was inaugurated by Agriculture Minister Dr Md Abdur Razzaque, said a UCB press release.
According to the release, the day-long agri-entrepreneurship conference was held in three phases. The Program was attended by agri-entrepreneurs from 33 districts.
Regarding the conference, Agriculture Minister Dr Md Abdur Razzaque said, "Bangladesh is a densely populated country, where India and China have less than 500 people per square kilometre where we have 1200 to 1300. Moreover, it is impossible to find new land to feed the new mouths that are being created every year. That is why we need to modernise and commercialise our farmers so that the farmers can have a benefit and better life."
"This year we have exported agricultural products worth Tk 1 billion. Prime Minister has already given us 2 acres of land in Purbachal to increase the export of agricultural products and we are planning to build a modern lab there."
"Moreover, a separate cell will be set up in the Ministry of Agriculture to create and encourage new entrepreneurs in the country. Where all the entrepreneurs will be given overall support. The government as well as the country's banks must come forward. Farmers will benefit a lot if the banks, instead of focusing on their interest benefits, think of agriculture as a service sector," added Dr Razzaque.
UCB Managing Director Mohammed Shawkat Jamil said, ''Agriculture in Bangladesh is moving forward. Bangladesh's agriculture is now export-oriented thanks to the tireless efforts of the country's hardworking and creative farmers and the government's agri-friendly policies and support."
"Our agriculture is unbeatable and will be able to move forward by overcoming all obstacles. All that is needed is a supportive business environment and generous funding. Given the necessary supportive environment, agriculture can be one of the foundations for building a developed and prosperous Bangladesh."
"Today's Agri-Entrepreneurship Conference will open a 'Bhorosar Notun Janala' in the minds of agri-entrepreneurs in the country. It will help to find a 'way' to stand by the side of agriculture and farmers inspired by the mantra of building a golden Bengal," added Shawkat.
Bangladesh Bank's agricultural loan department GM Abdul Hakim; Executive Chairman, Agricultural Research Council Dr Sheikh Mohammad Bakhtiar; former agriculture secretary Anwar Farooq; General Secretary of BSAEF Foundation Professor Rezaul Karim Siddique; Director-General of Fisheries Department Dr Syed Arif Azad; former director-general of the Department of Agricultural Extension Dr M A Mueed; Vice President of BSAFE Foundation TIM Zahid Hossain; EVP at UCB Javed Iqbal; Director at Ispahani Agro Limited Fawzia Yasmeen; Ekushey Medal winning economist and State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam; Raja Saching Prue Chowdhury of the Mong Circle of the Hill Tracts; Additional Managing Director of UCB, Arif Quadri; Deputy Managing Director of UCB ATM Tahmiduzzaman FCS; agronomist and researcher Prof Nazrul Islam; and Dr Md. Abu Sayeed Miah, Director, Department of Agricultural Extension were also present during the conference.