The Krishi Utshab-2022 was arranged at Bangabandhu Academy for Poverty Alleviation and Rural Development (BAPARD) in Kotalipara upazila of Gopalganj district from November 26-28.
BRAC Bank was the main sponsor of the event. The other sponsors included Mutual Trust Bank, Social Islami Bank, Standard Bank and Metal Group. Besides, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Bangladesh Metrological Department, GAIN Bangladesh, International Potato Center and CCDB were strategic partners of Krishi Utshab 2022.
NeoSTAR Innovation organised the Krishi Utshab, a farmer-focused event that bridges the gap between farmers and different stakeholders of the agriculture sector, also acts as a potential platform for farmers to acquire practical knowledge on climate change, appropriate technologies, best quality inputs, easy financing, market linkage, nutrition security, eco-friendly practices, entrepreneurship development etc.
Emeritus Professor Dr MA Sattar Mandal, former vice-chancellor of Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh and also former member of Bangladesh Planning Commission, inaugurated the three-day event as the chief guest, according to a statement.
In his speech, MA Sattar Mandal said, “It is a worthwhile initiative that effectively focuses on existing and emerging challenges of our agriculture sector. We have to follow the direction of our prime minister to ensure the optimum utilisation of our land. But in order to enhance agricultural production we have to increase investment in this sector and to improve the capacity of our farmers. Both the government and private sector should collectively focus on this issue.”
Experts from government organisations, banks, Agri enterprises and development organisations took part in the event to provide farmers clear view on a variety of topics such as mechanization, access to finance, climate change and nutrition.
Dr Nomita Halder, managing director of PKSF and also former secretary, said, “Identifying eligible farmers is a critical task to ensure best utilisation of agri loan. Banks must be aware of this fact. By establishing agriculture unit banks can monitor and guide farmers to utilise the fund to produce the optimum result. Besides, women are playing a significant role in agriculture sector. But to emerge as an entrepreneur most of the women face challenge to avail bank loan. Banks must focus on this issue.”
While addressing the event, Dr Atiur Rahman, former governor of Bangladesh Bank, said, “Banks must come forward and help farmers overcome their fear about bank loan. Without right awareness about bank loan it is nearly impossible to reap its benefits. Banks can follow innovative approaches to engage more farmers. Besides, it is also important to promote sustainable banking at rural level in order to cut carbon emission from agriculture sector.”
Syed Abdul Momen, deputy managing director and also head of SME Banking, BRAC Bank, said, “Agriculture is one of the main economic driving forces in Bangladesh. As the most dependable bank for SMEs, BRAC Bank always works to increase the range of agricultural loans it offers. The bank has become the largest collateral-free SME financier in the nation over time, with a considerable amount of its business coming from agriculture loans. We have the financing solutions and extensive network across the country to reach out to the grassroots agri-business owners.”