Annual Workshop on Appropriate Scale Mechanization A key to Sustainable Food Security in Bangladesh held

প্রকাশিতঃ ১০:৪১ অপরাহ্ণ | সেপ্টেম্বর ২৩, ২০২০

 Din Mohammed Dinu, BAU  (Mymensingh) September 23, 2020 : The Virtual Annual Workshop on Appropriate Scale Mechanization a key to Sustainable Food Security in Bangladesh was held on Wednesday at 9:00 am, September 23, 2020. Dr. Muhammad Abdur Razzaque MP Minister of Agriculture Bangladesh government was present ‍as the Chief guest in the inaugural Session of the workshop. Among others in the program, Vice-Chancellor of Bangladesh Agricultural University Prof.Dr.Lutful Hassan as the chief patron, from Kansas State University, USA Professor Dr. P. V. Vara Prasad, Director, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sustainable Intensification (SIIL) as a special guest and from University ofIllinois, USA Professor Dr.Prasanta Kumar Kalita, Director, Appropriate Scale Mechanization Consortium (ASMC) as session chair were presented. Professor Dr. Md. MonjuralAlam, project Director and BAU professor presented Keynote paper and Welcome Address.Farmer Shahinur Begum from Domoria and Martin Boiragi of Kalapara,patuakhali  also spoke and Professor Chayan kumar Saha facilitated  on the virtual workshop.

The workshop is jointly organized by “Appropriate Scale Mechanization Innovation Hub (ASMIH) – Bangladesh” and Department of Farm Power and Machinery of Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh .

hon’bleagriculturel minister of Government of people’s republic Bangladesh Dr. Muhammad Abdur Razzak said that farm mechanization has become an important issue in agricultural production and processing. In every sector of agricultural work, agricultural machinery has become essential for sustainable application.Increased wages of workers and natural calamities including labour crisis during planting in paddy production on the one hand increases production cost and on the other hand disrupts production.On the other hand, traditional practice in our country requires hard work of innumerable workers, cutting and threshing of paddy for many labor hours. Even then, during the harvest season, there is a risk of storm, hailstorm, landslide and untimely flood.The result is a severe labor crisis, with wages rising several fold; the cost of paddy production goes up and farmers suffer. For profitable agriculture, depending on the geographical conditions, different types of agricultural machinery have to be used in each area based on the agro-environment.In the meantime, we have formulated the “National Agricultural Mechanization Policy 2020” which will pave the way for food grain production in future Bangladesh.Recently, a mega project worth Tk 3,020 crore has been approved under the visionary direction of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to popularize sustainable agricultural machinery in Bangladesh in which rice transplanter, reaper and combine harvester, soil quality conservation based seed sower as well as grain dryer will be provided to the farmer under special subsidy programas per requirement.In this case, ASMIH project could be a possible solution in identifying sustainable agricultural machineries such as rice transplanters, combine harvesters and soil quality conservation seed sowing machines for the farmers of Bangladesh. He said that the Ministry of Agriculture is actively working to set up an Agricultural Engineering Wing in the Department of Agricultural Extension and it will be implemented soon. He expressed hope that Bangladesh would not only rely on imported agricultural machinery in the future but would also become an exporter of agricultural machinery by meeting domestic demand. In this case, agricultural universities, research institutes, government extension institutes and non-governmental institutes have to jointly work together for research, development and popularization of invented machineries.

On second stage of the program, a panel discussion session on Appropriate Scale Mechanization: A Key to Sustainable Food Security in Bangladeshhas been held in which as distinguished panellists Professor DR. M. A. Sattar Mandal, Emeritus Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Bangladesh; Dr.WaisKabir, Former Executive Chairman, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC), Bangladesh; Mr. Md. Hamidur Rahman, Former Director General, Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Ministry of Agriculture, Bangladesh; Dr. F.H. Ansary, Managing Director & CEO, ACI Agribusinesses, Md Sadid Jamil Managing Director of Metal Bangladesh and Professor Dr. Md. MonjurulAlam, Project Director, ASMIH-Bangladesh, Professor of Department of Farm Power & Machinery, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Bangladesh were presented. In this session, Professor Dr.ChayanKumerSaha, Associate Director, ASMIH-Bangladesh, Professor of Department of Farm Power & Machinery, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Bangladesh was worked as moderator. The workshop was concluded by closing remarks of Professor Dr. Md. Jasimuddin Khan, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Bangladesh and Dr. Md. Nazrul Islam, Director General, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), Bangladesh.

At the end of the discussion, the experts were agreed that through joint activities of universities, research institutes, government and non-government organizations is necessary for the invention of sustainable agricultural machinery, research, development and expansion whichwould ensure the increment in crop yields and production of valuable crops to achieve food security in the country.More than two hundred people including teachers of different universities of the country, researchers of different research institutes, officials/researchers of the Ministry of Agriculture and affiliated institutes, students, farmers and businessmen have participated in all the sessions of the workshop.Different international donor institutions and development partners (ADB, FAO, IFAD, USAID Mission, HKI, IFDC, UNIDO, GIZ, iDE, CSISA-MEA, Swiss contact-Cambodia), research institutes (IFPRI, IRRI) representatives, university teachers and officials (ASMC-USA, SIIL, KSU-USA, UI-USA, Cambodia, Burkina Faso, Senegal) have also participated in the workshop.

Here should be mentioned that Bangladesh Agricultural University and Kansas State University and University of Illinois, USA have developed Appropriate Scale Mechanization Innovation Hub (ASMIH)-Bangladeshin Bangladesh (from October 2015 to September 2020) which was jointly funded by Feed the Future Program and USAID.The main objective of this project is to ensure food security by using appropriate machineries to save time, labor and money in determining the price of crops by inventing advanced agricultural machineries as per the demand for research for the development of agriculture in Bangladesh.

Din Mohammed Dinu

Deputy Director

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