Bangladesh advises South Asian countries to set up food bank
Giving priority to ensuring food security, chiefs of central banks of SAARC nations on Monday brainstormed strategies in Bangladesh to fight against hunger through adopting a long-term regional approach, national news agency BSS reported.
Bangladesh Bank organized the seminar on food security with the main objective to recommend their respective central banks the tasks of financing and banking to boost food production, help stabilize market and grow entrepreneurships in the agriculture sector.
Governors and high officials of the central banks of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the seminar discussed their responsibilities in supplementing the initiatives for achieving sustainable food security in the SAARC region.
Muhith said the food bank was an old but effective concept to help ensure food supply especially during any crisis.
Expressing concern over the growing food crisis, the finance minister said the SAARC region had been in serious vulnerability as far as the food security was concerned.
Muhith said he believed establishing a food bank with a strategic reserve for seven years will effectively address the issue.
The Bangladeshi Food Minister Abdur Razzaque suggested concerted efforts by the SAARC nations to ensure the food security.
Last year members of the SAARC endorsed a statement after their Colombo summit to establish the food bank, housed in Bangladesh.
They also decided that the bank would have contributions from each country according to their size of population.
Besides a strategic reserve, they also agreed that the bank would be devised to increase food production, investment in agriculture and agro-based sectors, and conduct research on agriculture.