Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday (September 13, 2023) told the parliament that the Bangladesh’s food security remains protected even amid the ongoing international crisis.
“Bangladesh has successfully faced Covid-19 pandemic. The food security remains protected in the country amid the current international crisis as well,” she said.
The premier made the remarks while replying to a question from Awami League lawmaker Md Shahiduzzaman Sarkar (Naogaon-2).
Earlier, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhry presented the question-answer session at the beginning of the day’s business.
The PM said Bangladesh has already attained food autarky. “The government has been working intensively to maintain our (food) self-sufficiency,” she said.
She said the crisis has been created in the global supply chain of different commodities including foods following the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.
“In this situation, the government has regularly been taking various steps on national and international levels to ensure food security by facing this crisis,” said Hasina.
She said Bangladesh has successfully attained the food autarky thanks to agricultural research, extension, continuous materials support and policy support in the agriculture sector.
“Bangladesh has now become a role model on the global stage in case of food security,” she said.
She said the country’s food grains production was 328.96 lakh metric tons in 2008-09 fiscal year, which went up to 477.68 lakh metric tons in 2022-23 fiscal year.
Efforts to continue for recognition of 1971 genocide: PM
In reply another question from Awami League lawmaker Anwer Hossain Khan (Laxmipur-1), the prime minister said many countries demanded the recognition of genocide committed in their respective countries as International Genocide Day.
Later, the United Nations General Assembly on September 11, 2015 adopted a resolution through discussion to observe December 9 as the International Day for the Prevention of Genocide.
“Since December 9 has been observed as the International Day for the Prevention of Genocide, the proposal to observe another International Day on the same issue would not be rational,” she said.
She, however, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs and the Liberation War Museum and some members of the martyrs' families are making efforts to achieve international recognition of the genocide taken place in Bangladesh in 1971.
The leader of the House said individuals and organizations working on the genocide are also working to attain the recognition of the genocide.
She said international recognition of the 1971 genocide taken place in Bangladesh is as complex and time-consuming as any other genocide in the world.
However, it would be easy to get international recognition of genocide by creating the global public opinion in favor of recognizing the genocide committed in Bangladesh. “Efforts will continue on the part of the government in this regard,” she said.
854km highways made four-lane, 1,131 bridges constructed since 2009: PM
Some 854 kilometers of highways have been upgraded to four-lane ones, while 11,434 kilometers of highways have been developed and construction of 1,131 bridges (123,254 meters) has been completed through 431 projects under the Department of Roads And Highways during the three terms of the present government from 2009 to 2023, said the Prime Minister replying to a question of Jatiya Party lawmaker Hafiz Uddin Ahmed (Thakurgaon-3).
In the current financial year, she said the works are underway to upgrade some 574km of highways to 4-lane ones, develop 4,634km of highway and construct 750 bridges (64,844 meters) under 131 projects.
Sheikh Hasina said the highway development projects completed during her three consecutive tenures from 2009 to June 2023 includes Up-gradation of Dhaka-Chattogram National Highway to 4-lane (Daudkandi-Chattogram Section) project, Joydebpur-Mymensingh Highway Development Project, Joydevpur-Chandra-Tangail-Elenga Highway Project with service lanes on both sides; Jatrabari Intersection-Mawa section of Dhaka- Khulna (N-8) Highway (including Ekuria-Babubazar link road).
Among the bridges constructed in the three terms of the government were 2nd Kanchpur Bridge, Meghna Bridge, Gomti Bridge, Payra Bridge (Lebukhali Setu) over Payra River on Barisal-Patuakhali highway and Madhumati Bridge constructed over Madhumati River under Cross-Border Road Network Improvement Project (Bangladesh), she added.
Proposed investment in economic zones rose to US$ 26 billion:
Answering a question from AL lawmaker Md. Mamunur Rashid Kiron (Noakhali-3), the Leader of the House said that the overall proposed investment in the economic zone has now reached USD 26 billion.
Besides, 41 companies have started commercial production and 50 industries are under construction in different zones, she said, adding that these industries have produced products worth USD 14.8 billion and exported products worth USD 291 million, creating 50,000 jobs in these industries.