Climate change a big challenge for all: Razzaque


Dhaka, Feb 20: Mentioning that the current government has been able to resolve the country’s food crisis, Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque on Thursday said climate change has turned out to be a major concern challenging every country in the world.“Climate change is a global problem. Agricultural production is being hampered due to increase in temperature and soil salinity as well as heavy rains, droughts etc. After coming to power, our aim was to eliminate food crisis. That’s why we’re now self-sufficient in food,” he said.

The minister was speaking at a seminar on climate change arranged by Bangladesh Climate Change Journalist Forum (BCJF) at the Institute of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh (IDEB) Auditorium.

Dr Abdur Razzaque mentioned that climate change has not only affected agriculture but also the normal life of people. “About 40 percent of the country’s population is directly involved in agriculture. Safe and nutritious food is essential for building a talented nation.”

Dr Razzaque further said the government has given a lot of importance to food security issue. “We’ve done a lot to boost food production. Various initiatives, including providing loans to farmers, have been taken. We’ve reduced fertilizer prices… we’ve provided various facilities to farmers. That’s why the agriculture sector has changed radically.”

The minister also acknowledged that ensuring safe and nutritious food is also a challenge for Bangladesh. “But we’ll do that, too. We’ve taken various initiatives so that people can take nutritious food.”

Dr Razzaque urged the opposition not to destabilise the country, adding that people need security before food security. “Political stability is needed. So, the opposition will have to wait until another election.”

About biodiversity, he said, “Biodiversity has a relation with nature, environment and climate. Many rivers flowing through different areas of the country are changing. Somewhere rivers are drying up disrupting irrigation. Agricultural production also gets affected by drought,” he said.

However, he assured that adaptation programmes in Bangladesh’s agricultural sector are progressing at a good pace.

BCJF President Kawsar Rahman and IDEB President AKMA Hamid also spoke at the programme.