Speakers at a function in Rajshahi on Tuesday stressed the need for planting saplings of fruit bearing trees to increase food production alongside maintaining ecological balance.

Tree plantation would play a significant role in reducing poverty, they opined at the inaugural session of a 20-day long Divisional Tree Fair-2023 at Green Plaza of Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) on Tuesday.

Social Forestry Division (SSD) under the Ministry of Forest and the district administration are jointly hosting the fair.

Commissioner of Rajshahi division Dr Dewan Muhammad aHumayun Kabir addressed the opening session as chief guest with Deputy Commissioner (DC) Shamim Ahmed in the chair.

Additional Commissioner of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police Bijoy Basak, Additional Deputy Inspector General of Police Naresh Chakma, Conservator of Forest Aminul Islam and Divisional Forest Officer Rafiquzzaman Shah also spoke on the occasion.

The speakers stressed the need for extensive tree plantation to improve environment and biodiversity to make the region habitable for all.

“Expansion of the country’s forest area up to 25 percent of the total landscape through extensive tree plantations will protect the country from adverse impact of climate change,” said Commissioner Humayun Kabir.

Explaining various beneficial aspects of trees and homestead gardening in human life, he urged all to plant at least three saplings on their homesteads to help maintain environmental and ecological balance.

Dr Humayun Kabir urged all to plant fruit saplings around their respective homesteads or on any open space to help maintain environmental and ecological balance and save the region from the wrath of any future natural catastrophe.

Various government and non-government organizations and individuals including nursery owners and local entrepreneurs have set up 62 stalls in the fair. To mark the opening ceremony, shares of the sale of Social Forestation were distributed among beneficiaries, land owners and local government institutions concerned.

Besides, saplings were distributed among school boys and girls aimed at inspiring and motivating towards tree plantation.

Earlier, they brought out a colourful rally from Shaheed AHM Kamaruzzaman crossing and ended at the fair venue after parading some of the city streets.

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