agrilife24.com, desk:21 June, Dhaka: A policy meeting on ‘Soybean Supply Chain Development’ has highlighted the importance of coordinated efforts for strengthening the production and market system development of Soybean. Organized at the BARC Auditorium in the city, the workshop was organized by Solidaridad Network Asia and was attended by a large number of participants from government officials, private sector, policy makers, representatives from development and research organizations and media.
Mr. Selim Reza Hasan, Country Manager, Solidaridad informed that, with support from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, Solidaridad has implemented the Sustainable Agriculture, Food Secutiry and Linkages (SaFaL) project in southwest Bangladesh over the last four and half years to trigger adoption and adaptation of sustainable agricultural practices and transform the market system to link smallholder aquaculture, dairy and horticulture farmers with national and global market. In Phase-2 of SaFaL Solidaridad is extending its coverage to Noakhali and Laksmipur districts to strengthen the soybean supply chain towards enhanced food security and livelihood development of the smallholder farmers.
Mr. Hasan highlighted the necessity of developing a strong business environment and policy and institutional support development for enhancing the competitiveness and business growth of soy cultivation and allied food, feed and oil industries. He stressed that soybean is a climate smart crop and importance should be given on improving the seed production capacity through public-private engagement, capacity building of Lead Farmers and smallholders on agronomic techniques, awareness raising on the nutrition potentials of soy and greater private sector engagement for soy product diversification and market promotion.
Mr. Osman Haruni, Senior Advisor Food Security of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands stressed on the importance of food utlization and dietary diversification for ensuring long-term development of Banlagladesh. He reiterated the Dutch Government’s commitment towards productivity increase and market development of soy products in Bangladesh. Alongside Ducth Government, Dutch private sector is also ready to extend technological and other assistance to Bangladesh in this regard, he added.
Dr. Mohammad Jalal Uddin, Executive Chairman, BARC highlighted the nutritious and financial prospects of soy crop for Bangladesh. A holistic approach on climate resilient seed development, productivity increase, product diversification, supply chain and market development of soybean, which would contribute to sustainable development of a huge number of people – he mentioned.
Dr. Shahidul Rashid Bhuiyan, Former Pro Vice Chancellor, Sher-E-Bangla Agricultural University chaired the meeting. He highlighted the need for integrated and multi-stakeholders initiatives towards sustainable productivity increase, supply and value chain development of soy and allied products as well as greater public-private partnership in the sector. He also called for the development of genetically high quality soy seeds in order to enhance productivity and food security.
Two presentations were made at the meeting by Syed Tamjid ur Rahman, Chief Executive Officer, ChangeMaker and Md. Shahjahan Ali, Seed Technologist and Seed Regulation Specialist. Mr. Rahman presented the results of the value chain analysis on soy commissioned by Solidaridad. He highlighted the bright prospect of soybean and allied products for sustainable development of Bangladesh, by coping with the adverse impacts of climate change. Mr. Ali’s presentation focused on policy directives for an integrated plan of action on soybean. He proposed to undertake an Integrated Soybean Development Project involving public and private stakeholders.
The general discussion part highlighted the problems and possibilities of soy production and market development in Bangladesh by emphasizing policy and institutional support for enhancing the competitiveness and business growth of soy and allied food, feed and oil industries. They stressed on the diversification of soy products by focusing more on location specific variety development, cluster-based smallholder organization, continuous research and development as well as developing linkages with international soy market. The stakeholders stressed to develop farmers capacity to compete with the international market. The stakeholders called upon actions for high productivity with low input costs, including developing robust support structures for extension service, storage facilities including better land and water management. The also stressed the Government to support the development of soy value chain through farmer-friendly policies and greater engagement of the private sector and other stakeholders.-PRESS RELEASE