Politics can be done even from jail: Agriculture Minister
Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque on Thursday said imprisonment can’t bar idealistic politicians or patriots from doing politics if they want. “A person can keep in touch even from jail. How can one's politics ever be stopped through imprisonment if the person is an idealistic politician, a patriot?,” he said when reporters drew his attention to the contradictory remarks made by some cabinet members over BNP leader Khaleda Zia’s participation in politics. Razzaque was talking to reporters following a meeting with a delegation led by Pim Van Stryen, vice-chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands. "We have to understand politics no matter what the law is. Had Iran's Khomeini's politics been stopped? Bangabandhu did do politics from jail. Would Bangabandhu have stop doing politics if there was a conviction against him?” “I said it from that perspective. Politics can be done even in jail. That's what I told you. I say it again,” he added. "This is how rebels and revolutionists do politics all over the world. Khaleda Zia will not be able contest the election because of the law. But will that stop her political thinking,” said the minister. When asked why all the cabinet members cannot agree on the matter, the minister remained quiet for a while. He then said, "What are the cabinet colleagues saying? I didn't talk to them about this.” Read more: AL staging drama over issue of Khaleda's politics with evil motive “Is Lalu Prasad stopping politics? (Late) Jayalalithaa was also responsible for corruption,” said the minister referring to the Indian politicians convicted and jailed for corruption. About Awami League MP Sheikh Selim's statement in parliament that Khaleda Zia signed a bond on staying away from politics, Razzaque said, "I do not know whether Khaleda Zia gave such a bond. I know that Tarique Zia (Khaleda’s son) gave it. He gave it to the caretaker government before going abroad.” When asked why the Awami League brought this issue to the fore 10 months before the election, the AL leader said, "It is not a very important issue. We think the amount of discussion about it is enough. I gave two examples of India.”
Bangladesh, Botswana agree to share knowledge, expertise in agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture
Bangladesh and Botswana have agreed to identify potential areas of cooperation in agriculture, livestock and fisheries and exchange technical knowledge and expertise in the agriculture sector. Both sides agreed to continue discussions in agriculture and fisheries at the government, farmers and expert levels. Bangladesh's State Minister Md Shahriar Alam, who is on a two-day official bilateral visit to Botswana, met with Botswana's Minister of Agriculture Fidelis M Malao in Gaborone Friday (February 10, 2023). Shahriar was accompanied by the Bangladesh High Commissioner in Pretoria, foreign ministry officials and embassy officials. Read More: US sees huge potential to grow its relations with Bangladesh: Counselor Chollet The Botswana delegation was represented by high officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, including representatives of the fisheries and aquaculture sector. Fidelis said Botswana is connected to many countries of the region by land routes. The Botswana government is putting special focus on developing the country's fisheries and aquaculture sectors, he added. Shahriar said his visit to Botswana marked the first foreign ministry delegation visit to Botswana and expressed satisfaction over the conclusion of the visa waiver agreement for holders of diplomatic and official passports and memorandum of understanding (MoU) on bilateral political consultations between the countries. Read More: Business Eswatini for signing MoU with FBCCI He briefed the Botswana side about Bangladesh's achievements in the agriculture sector during the last decade, including the production of food staples, vegetables, fisheries, poultry and livestock, despite having a comparatively low amount of land. He called on the Botswana side for considering providing contract farming opportunities to Bangladeshi entrepreneurs in the unused agricultural land. Bangladesh already initiated contract farming in other countries in Africa on a low scale, Shahriar added. "Cooperation may be forged among B2B and B2G levels on contract farming."
Developed countries must keep food out of the purview of war, sanctions: Agriculture Minister tells Berlin conference
Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque has urged developed countries to keep food and agricultural products out of the purview of war and sanctions. Developed countries should be more responsible and proactive in ensuring global food security, the minister said at the 15th Berlin Agriculture Ministers Conference in Germany on Saturday. Bangladesh is a victim of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, he said, adding that as a result of this war, price of fertilisers has quadrupled, and price of food grains has increased significantly -- impacting food security. “I call upon the developed world to take flexible, unbureaucratic, and fast steps to mitigate this negative impact,” he told the conference. Read more: Dhaka, Abuja agree to explore possibilities in contract farming, cooperation in agro, food processing Highlighting state measures to ensure food security in the future, Razzaque said the current government under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is working to build a developed, sustainable, and climate-tolerant agricultural system, through which food security will be sustainable, nutritious food will be ensured, and farmers will have a better life. Land depletion, population growth, climate change, Covid-19 and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war have become obstacles, he added. “In this situation, I request the developed countries to promptly implement the commitments made in COP26, COP27 and other global forums.” The conference was held on the last day of the four-day (January 18-21) 15th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA), organised by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Agriculture ministers of more than 70 countries and representatives of 10 international organisations participated in this conference. At the conference, it was mentioned that according to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), global hunger is to be eradicated (Zero Hunger) by 2030. But the reality is that the number of people suffering from hunger is increasing day by day. Around 70.2 to 82.8 crore people were affected by hunger in 2021, which is 4.6 crore more than in 2020 and 1.5 crore more than in 2019. Species extinction, Covid-19 and Russia-Ukraine war have added new dimensions to the food crisis. Read more: International community urged to address triple challenge of food, fuel, fertilizer shortages In view of this situation, increasing cooperation to build a crisis-proof, climate-resilient food system, to protect biodiversity, and to build a sustainable global food system were emphasized in the conference. A 'Joint Manifesto' (Communique) titled 'Food System Transformation: A Worldwide Response to Multiple Crises' was also announced by high-level representatives and agriculture ministers of the countries participating in the conference.
14 Top Rice Varieties in Bangladesh
The production of cereal crops in Bangladesh has increased, especially the production of rice. Paddy production was 109 lakh metric tons in 1971, which increased to 564.15 lakh metric tons in 2021 (as per the UN report). Currently, Bangladesh is third in the world in rice production. A total of 8500 varieties of rice are preserved in germplasm in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) invented 107 varieties of rice, Bangladesh Atomic Agriculture Research Institute released 25 varieties of rice, and Bangladesh Agricultural University released three varieties of rice. Apart from this, some universities and research institutes in Bangladesh have developed several new varieties of rice. However, there is some traditional naturally grown rice in Bangladesh. This article will cover the popular and currently available rice in Bangladesh. Read More: 15 Top Rice Varieties in the World 14 Most Popular Rice Varieties in Bangladesh Rice has long been considered a symbol of the national prosperity of this country. Food security in Bangladesh basically refers to the safety of paddy or rice. And the following rice has satisfactory production in Bangladesh. Aman Rice Among the rice varieties of Bangladesh, Amon ranks at the top regardless of region and production volume. It is also known as winter rice, as this paddy is planted from December to January. Most of the Aman rice grown in the lowlands of Bangladesh is of the floating variety, locally known as Jali Dhan or Agrahayani Dhan. All are highly photoperiod-sensitive. It is cultivated almost everywhere in Bangladesh. There are about 2,000 cultivars in Bangladesh and more than 6,000 across Asia. Balam Rice Greater Barisal was once famous for its traditional thin Balam rice. Since ancient times, Balam rice has been cultivated in the southern region in the fertile in the Ropa Aman season. However, this rice is almost extinct now. Read More: Govt to import 100,000 MT of rice from India and Singapore At present, instead of Balam rice, the farmers are cultivating another rice called Shahi Balam of BR-16 variety on a small land. Recently Aman Balam has been available in different shops, which is similar to Balam. BRRI Rice The high-yielding and hybrid l rice developed by the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) is called BRRI rice. Initially, they were called BR rice. Now BRRI has hundreds of rice categories, and a few of them are popular. For example, in Amon season, BRRI Dhan 87, which is known as Ropa Amon, has huge popularity. From this paddy, white long and thin-grain rice is obtained. In addition, the drought-tolerant Aman (BRRI 71), whose rice is long and thick, white in color; The high-yielding Ropa Amon (BRRI 75), whose rice is medium coarse and white in color, and the tidal salt tolerant Ropa Amon (BRRI 76) are also popular. These rice are grown in almost all parts of Bangladesh. Chinigura Rice BR 34 variety of rice has been developed by BRRI. The rice obtained from this paddy is called Chinigura Rice, which is the commercial name of this rice. It is grown in the northern part of Bangladesh, such as Naogaon. Read More: Rice, wheat import: Bangladesh Bank asks banks to keep minimum LC margin However, the quality of the invented rice is very similar to that of the original traditional Chinigura rice. Chinigura is quite small in size and used in biryani and sometimes in dessert items. Digha Rice Mainly grown in Harirampur and Manikganj, Digha Dhan is water friendly, meaning that it does not get damaged by waterlogging or excessive rain. It has wide varieties, but Boga Digha and Hijal Dhiga as popular in the flood-prone areas of Bangladesh. Boga Digha rice grows with rain water and flood water. There is no other cost to cultivate Boga Digha rice except the cost of rice seed and land cultivation. Hori Rice Gives more yield - such a new variety of rice was discovered by Haripad Kapali, a farmer of Jhenaidah Sadar Upazila. Which later came to be known as 'Hari Dhan,' and its cultivation started in different parts of the country. The yield is 800-880 KG per bigha, and the bunch of the paddy is strong and sturdy. However, this rice is thick but tasty. Read More: Give plastic, get rice and other food items: Bidyanondo’s initiative for a waste-free St Martin’s Island Kalijira Rice Kalijira rice is one of the best quality rice produced in Bangladesh. This black-colored rice is very tasty, and it is called small Basmati rice. The method of cooking it is almost the same as basmati rice. This rice is not sticky. Kalijira rice is a geographically indicated product of Bangladesh. This rice is also used in cooking polao, and it is very fragrant. Kalijira is grown in Sherpur, and sometimes it is also sold as Chinigura. Tulsi Mala Rice Tulshimala is a photosensitive Amon variety of aromatic rice. The rice is fluffy and tasty, great for polao, biryani, khichuri, rice, cake, fried rice, and other dishes. The reputation and prosperity of Sherpur's Tulshimala rice date back hundreds of years. Recently Sherpur district branded it as fragrant rice Tulshimala. Although different types of aromatic rice are produced in different districts of the country, Sherpur's Tulshimala rice is different in quality and aroma. Read More: Food Minister for increasing zinc-enriched paddy cultivation Katari Bhog Rice Katari Bhog is a fragrant rice of Bangladesh. It is mainly found in the Dinajpur area. Katari Bhog of Dinajpur is a geographically indicated product of Bangladesh. This rice looks slim and tall. Its tip is slightly pointed and curved like a knife. This kind of rice is not grown in all areas of Bangladesh. Even in Dinajpur, only Fasilahat, Chhota Baul, Bara Baul, Karimulapur, Khanpur, Chirirbandar Upazila of Dinajpur Sadar Upazila, Kaugaon, Bishtapur, Talpukur Mukundpur, Durgadanga, Viyail, Paschim Baul and Kaharol upazilas cultivate this rice. Bina Rice It is a high-yielding, light insensitive, and short duration (138-148 days) Boro rice variety with premium quality, which looks extra tall and slim. The leaves of this variety are erect, narrow, and medium, dark green in color. Even after the paddy matures, the leaves remain dark green and straight. This type of paddy tree is tall but strong and does not fall. It is grown in highland areas such as in the northern parts of Bangladesh. Read More: Govt to procure 3 lakh mts Aman paddy at Tk 28 per kg: Food Minister Miniket Rice Although there is no rice cultivated in the country called miniket, the Bangladeshi market is flourished with miniket. It is mainly a marketing name. Usually, BRRI 28 and BRRI 29 are marketed mostly under the Miniket name. In the northern part of the country, most of the rice called Miniket is produced from a type of rice called Jirashail. Besides, this rice is also being produced from rice called BRRI Dhan52, Suballata, and Jira. According to some people, two parboiled rice of any type of thin/narrow paddy is converted into miniket rice. Najir Shail Rice The rice we buy in the market, called Najir Shail, is not real Najir Shail rice. The cultivation of this rice is very low, so its rice is not available in the market. But, BRRI 29 rice is further trimmed and polished to give the name 'Nazir Shail.' It is also made from Katari and Jira rice. Payjam Rice Payjam rice is generally cultivated more during the Rupa Aman season. This rice is often produced more or less in all districts. Payjam rice looks short and slim in size. It is produced from Aman rice. It has several physical benefits, such as controlling diabetes, being rich in antioxidants, increasing digestion capability, and more. Read More; Workshop disseminates enormous benefits of zinc paddy Kaun Rice Kaun rice was the food of the poor. However, the price of the small grain crop is now beyond the reach of the poor. Kaun is now luxury rice. These grains do not contain sugars like other rice or wheat. Nutritionists recommend Kaun rice as a superfood. Health-conscious people choose this rice very easily. Kaun rice was used to be cultivated in every village. It is usually cultivated in the northern and southern regions of the country. However, currently, it is cultivated in almost all the districts of North Bengal. Final Words Bangladesh is home to a wide variety of rice varieties. Each variety has its own unique characteristics and is used for different purposes. From the aromatic Katari Bhog to the high-yielding BRRI varieties, Bangladesh has a wide range of rice varieties to meet the needs of its people. The country has a long history of rice cultivation and is constantly striving to produce more varieties to meet the needs of its people.
Broilers chicken not harmful to health: Minister
There is no health risk in eating broiler chicken as it contains antibiotic and heavy metal residues far below the maximum tolerable levels in meat, said Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque on Thursday. Broiler chicken meat, bones and composites mainly contain small amount of two antibiotics (oxytetracycline and doxycycline) and three heavy metals (arsenic, chromium and lead), which is not unusual and is far below the maximum tolerable level, he said referring to a research report. He was speaking at a press conference revealing the outcome of the research on whether there are antibiotics, heavy metals and other elements harmful to human health in broiler chicken meat at the secretariat. Read more: Govt aiming to become self-sufficient in onions: Agriculture Minister He said broiler meat available in supermarkets has lower levels of antibiotics and heavy metals than those in farms and kitchen markets. Campaigns in various newspapers and social media show that broiler meat contains antibiotics, heavy metals and other harmful substances that are harmful to human health. For these kind of misleading information, a misconception has been created among public about broiler meat leading to less consumption of broiler meat, said Razzaque. “As a result, the broiler industry faces a great loss which we have seen during the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020. Consumption of nutritious broiler meat was reduced in the early stages of the disease outbreak," added the minister. If the demand for broilers can be increased, it is possible to increase the production by making full use of the existing farms and infrastructure in the country, said the agriculture minister, urging all to popularise broiler meat among people. So, the broiler chicken market will grow rapidly, the establishment of the poultry meat processing industry will increase, employment will be created and a large amount of foreign exchange will also be earned through exports, he said. Read more: Agriculture minister writes to other ministers to use fallow lands for cultivation "Besides, campaigns and public awareness should be created on the consumption of broiler chicken to build a healthy nation, meet the demand for meat and create employment." Speaking at the press briefing, Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim said the government is trying to modernise the poultry sector and provide government support for its development. “We have also requested NBR (National Board of Revenue) to give duty concession on import of poultry feed.”
Kurigram mustard growers expect bumper yield
Mustard growers in Kurigram district are expecting a bumper yield as they cultivated more land exceeding the target due to low production cost and favourable weather. Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), Kurigram officials said prices of soybean and palm oil have risen sharply in the last two years and increased mustard cultivation can be a solution to edible oil crisis. Read more: Floating vegetable farmers in Pirojpur devastated by low prices During a recent visit to the mustard fields in the district, the UNB correspondent found that a vast tracts of barren land have been brought under mustard cultivation . DAE sources said, this year, a total of 16,400 hectares of land have been brought under mustard cultivation while it was 12,900 hectares last year. Within two months of cultivation, mustard got matured for harvesting and the farmers have to spend Tk 4000-5000 per bigha of land. Usually 5000-6000 mounds of mustard are produced from one bigha of land. Farmers said after harvest of Aman paddy the land remain uncultivated for 3/5 months and they cultivate mustard to utilise the land during the period. They will cultivate Boro paddy after yield of mustard. Read more: BPC opens control room to monitor smooth supply of diesel farmers for irrigation Deldar Hossain, a farmer of Uttar Nauabas in Pachgachi of Sadar upazila, said “Whatever I cultivate in this char land is often damaged by flood. So, I cultivated mustard after facing losses from Aman cultivation. I am happy now expecting a bumper mustard yield.” Babul, another farmer of the area said “The lands of the area have remain under water for 3-4 months in a year and when farmers cultivate Aman they count a huge loss. The weather of the area is good for Boro and mustard cultivation. I have brought three bighas of land under mustard cultivation as I can earn some profit from it if weather remains favourable.” Biplab Kumar Mohonta, deputy director of Kurigram DAE, said, “We are working to increase mustard production as mustard oil production is poor against the demand of the country. We have set a target to produce 50 percent edible oil in our country within several years.”
Faridpur woman earning Tk 1 lakh per month from vermicompost
Once Tania Parvin, and her four-member family, had to struggle to make ends meet. One day she saw a video on YouTube on how to make vermicompost at home, and her journey to economic emancipation started. With the help of the local Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), she began her production with a three-ring slab in 2017 after receiving training. Gradually her production expanded. “Twelve to 15 tons of fertilizer is produced from my 36 units every month. I had only 12 units in the beginning. The retail price per kg is Tk 15 and the wholesale price is TK12,” she said. Read more: Jute sticks: A new source of income for Faridpur farmers She now earns Tk 100,000 per month by producing the organic fertilizer. Tania is now selling this fertilizer in various parts of the country. She said, the demand for this fertilizer is increasing by the day.
Undisbursed portion of agriculture and rural loans will be disbursed to farmers by Bangladesh Bank body
Bangladesh Bank (BB) has decided to form a Bangladesh Bank Agricultural Development Common Fund (BBADCF) to utilize the undisbursed portion of agriculture and rural loans for an acceleration of farm production.k The Agriculture Credit Department (ACD) of BB issued a circular in this regard and sent it to the top executives of banks on Monday with immediate effect. The circular stated that banks would deposit money equivalent to the undisbursed amount of farm and rural loans in the BBADCF, and BB would use the fund giving 2 percent interest on the deposits. Then the money of the BBADCF would be distributed among banks considering the capacity of the depositors’ bank. The banks would pay back the loans to the BB, along with 2 percent interest rate, within 18 months of the fund being released. Read more: BB disburses Tk 4000 crore as liquidity support to 5 Islami banks The scheduled banks can disburse loans of BBADCF money among the farmers using respective banks’ networks and can charge an 8 percent interest rate to the farmers’ level. But the banks cannot disburse the loan to microfinance institutions (MFIs), the notification said. The lender banks have to form a ‘Risk Mitigation Fund’ with 1.0 percent of disbursed loans from BBADC funds. Banks would be allowed to transfer 4 percentage points of the interest to their income segment on the loans made from the fund. The BB announced a new agricultural credit policy with a target of Tk 30,911 crore for the current financial year. The target is 8.88 percent higher than the previous year’s target Tk 28,391 crore. Considering the increased demand for agricultural and rural credit, the disbursement target for the state-owned and specialized commercial banks is fixed at Tk11,758 crore and for the private and foreign commercial banks is fixed at Tk19,153 crore. Read more: Monetary policy twice a year: BB The ACD of BB announced the 'Agricultural and Rural Credit Policy’ in July, giving importance to increasing agriculture production considering the Covid-19 pandemic and recent global situation. In the previous FY-22, all the scheduled banks disbursed agricultural and rural credit of Tk 28,834.21 crore against the target of Tk 28,391 crore, which is approximately 101.56 percent of the affixed target. The agricultural and rural credits were disbursed among 33, 04,811 persons in a total of which 17, 97,052 women borrowers have received Tk10,829.39 crore. Besides, 24, 99,945 small and marginal farmers have received around Tk20,182.30 crore from different banks. Moreover, Tk 19.59 crore was disbursed among 4,073 farmers of char, haor, and less developed areas of the country in the last fiscal year.
Floating vegetable farmers in Pirojpur devastated by low prices
Farmers engaged in vegetable farming — on floating beds made of hyacinth and bamboo — in Nazirpur and Nesarabad upazilas of Pirojpur district are devastated by low prices of their produce. Though the farmers keep themselves engaged in cultivating vegetables, taking advantage of the availability of hyacinth in the region, anxiety over low prices has gripped them. According to the district’s Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), farmers in the region have been farming vegetables, using the floating method, for over a century. Some 3,200 farmers of the upazilas cultivate several varieties of vegetables including papaya, gourd, pumpkin, beans, okra, tomato, eggplant and cabbage. Read More: Climate change: Shrimp farming endangered in Khulna The vegetable seedlings produced on the beds are usually sold at upazilas of the district and other parts of the country but this year the sales are not seeing a momentum due to poor response from buyers. Though it was targeted to produce 86,50,000 saplings on 175 hectares of land, it exceeded the target due to favourable weather. Earlier, a bunch of 100 saplings was sold at Tk 250 to 300 but the price is now Tk 150 to 200. The sale of saplings goes on from June to November every year. Some areas including Deulbari-Dobra, Kalardoyania and Malikhai under Nazirpur upazila and most parts of Baldiya union under Nesarabad upazila remain under 5 to 8 feet water round the year, causing no production of any crop. Read more: Bumper T-Aman yield, good price delight Sirajganj farmers The farmers said they usually take loans from local money lenders for usury and lands as sublease for cultivating vegetables and producing saplings. The farmers are bound to take loans from the lenders with a high usury because of failure to manage loans from the banks during the Robi, Kharif-1 and 2 seasons. They are deprived of bagging a good profit due to the high interest on the loans, they said. Hoping assistance from the government, the farmers said they don’t get the desired prices by selling produce due to natural disasters, damages of crops, low price, disadvantages in marketing and lack of preservation. Read More: Tulip farming opens new opportunity for farmers in Tetulia, Jashore Local farmer Jamal Hossain said he is used to cultivating vegetables on the floating beds made of hyacinth and bamboo in the water bodies taken on sublease. “I have 15 to 16 beds where I cultivate several types of vegetables including beans, papaya, tomato, chili and gourd,” he said. “We have not been getting a reasonable price due to lack of dealers caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” he claimed, adding that an amount of Tk 7,000 to 10,000 is needed to cultivate vegetables and produce saplings on a 60-hand long bed. Dr Md Nazrul Islam Sikdar, deputy director of the district’s DAE, told UNB that some 60 to 70 percent farmers of Gaokhali, Monohorpur, Delbari and Malikhali areas under Nazipur upazila have been involved with vegetable farming on floating beds. Read more: Vegetable farming on floating beds gets popular in Sylhet “We inform the farmers on maintaining quality and visit their croplands to give training,” he said. Urging high officials of the agricultural ministry to take measures to offer loans on easy conditions, the farmers said that it will be difficult to keep vegetable cultivation on floating beds going unless loans from banks are made easy.
'Digital agriculture can give Bangladesh's food, nutrition security a boost'
Digital agriculture can help Bangladesh boost its productivity to secure food and nutrition security amid increasing challenges of climate change and a growing population. Experts said this at an event organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with Aspire to Innovate (a2i) in Dhaka Thursday. Digital innovations in agriculture, from mobile phones and internet connectivity for smallholder farmers, to drones, and more advanced technology, have the potential to drive agricultural transformation in the country, they added. Robert D Simpson, FAO representative in Bangladesh, said: "Digital transformation of agriculture is already here and it is here to stay. Bangladesh is just starting on the road to adopting digital technologies." "Digitalisation of agriculture will boost the country's productivity, helping it meet the increasing demand for food as the population grows, and fulfil ambitions for increased food exports." At the same time as rapid population growth, the availability of natural resources such as fresh water and productive arable land is becoming increasingly constrained. Urbanisation is also having important implications for patterns of food production and consumption. Digital innovations and technologies are part of the solution, the experts said. Drones, for example, can cut production costs and maximise the efficient use of resources. Real-time AI-enabled digital solutions for data-driven decision-making can help policymakers and stakeholders, including farmers, reduce risk and challenges. Read: ‘Bangladesh’s agriculture sector needs Tk 15,000cr investment in next 5 yrs’ Digitalisation has also opened up opportunities for agri-tech startups to develop innovative business models targeting smallholder farmers on account of cutting-edge digital technologies that reduce transaction and discovery costs. Technology means that value chains can become traceable and coordinated at the most detailed level whilst different fields, crops, and animals can be accurately managed to their optimal prescriptions. Digital agriculture will create systems that are highly productive, anticipatory and adaptable to changes such as those caused by climate change. This, in turn, could lead to greater food security, profitability and sustainability, the experts said. Agriculture Secretary Md Sayedul Islam chaired the inaugural session of the event, where Dewan Muhammad Humayun Kabir, project director of a2i, ICT Division, and Shaikh Mohammad Bokhtiar, executive chairman of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC), were the special guests. Md Abdus Salam, member director (current charge) of Planning and Evaluation Division of BARC, chaired the technical session. NM Zeaul Alam, senior secretary at ICT Division, was present as the chief guest.