Bangladesh to host first ever regional conference of FAO

The 36th session of the Asia Pacific Regional Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN begins tomorrow in Dhaka. And Bangladesh is going to be the first for hosting the conference for the first time under the leadership of this government.

“The government of Bangladesh has been so enthusiastic to support Food and Agriculture Organization’s 36th session of the Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Dhaka”, says Mr. Robert D. Simpson, the FAO Representative in Bangladesh, while meeting the press virtually today, just one-day ahead of its 36th session of the Asia Pacific Regional Conference (APRC36) to be launched on 8 March. The conference will end on 11 March.

A total of 42 delegates, including the ministries and secretaries from 43 member states countries in the region are expected to join the conference, according to the FAO.

While speaking about FAO’s key areas of concentration of its work in Bangladesh, in line with FAO APRC36, Mr. Simpson said, “Climate change, rising water levels and salinity has become serious concern for Bangladesh, in particular for the food and agriculture system”.
“FAO has been considering these issues as urgent and important for the sake of supporting a sustainable gari-food system with promoting climate-resilient rice and crop varieties , as well as intercropping between fish and crop”, he added.

Further, he spoke about FAO’s innovation and successful interventions to supporting digitization of agriculture, and hence is partnering with producer organizations in the advancement of digital village. More, FAO’s is working for promoting fair access for farmers to financial markets, better access to agri-food information as well as agriculture technologies. With this regard, he stressed on the importance to outlay plan for credit, farm and non-farm jobs to boost agriculture as a sustainable and reliable source of livelihood.

Among others, Mr. Aziz Elbehri – Senior Economist of FAO, Mr. Allan Dow, Communications Officer, Regional Communications Officer at FAO and Mr. Scott Hussey, Communications Specialist of FAO in Bangladesh joined in the press briefing.

Key discussions also featured about the price hikes of the staple crops and other daily commodities in the market in the country.

In line, Mr. Mr. Aziz Elbehri – Senior Economist of FAO said, “FAO supports the government with close monitoring of the situation and developing further strategies to ensure adequate supply against demand.” In this connection, he spoke about FAO’s innovation with supporting to develop necessary measures those which would not yet undertaken.

More, terming transgender animal disease, as a buzzing issue in Bangladesh, Mr. Simpson said, “FAO’s Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Disease (ECTAD) closely works with the Government line ministries, local government Livestock and Animal Health Services , private sector partners and civil society organisations on animal and human health environmental issues including transmission of diseases. FAO under its USAID-supported ECTAD project also supports with providing lab research , testing facilities for protecting people and animals from disease threats.

Journalists from national print, online and broadcasting media including country representatives from international media in Bangladesh joined in the briefing.

Mr. Aziz, the Senior Economist of FAO, in his concluding remarks said, “FAO 36th session of APRC is an unique opportunity for FAO to work together with its partners including the governments to promote one health and post COVID-19 recovery in relation to the transformation of sustainable, nutrition-sensitive and resilient food and agriculture system” .

“And Bangladesh is in unique position to teach other countries to manage one heath even during the time of global COVID-19 pandemic and transforming a sustainable agri-food system across the country”, said Mr. Simpson, the FAO Representative in Bangladesh.

Press release
Dhaka, March 7, 2022.