At the official opening of the UN Food Systems Summit+2 Stocktaking Moment (UNFSS+2) held in Rome at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) headquarters, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina put forward a five-point proposal to ensure a sustainable, safe, and nutritious global food system. Participants from over 160 countries, including heads of state and government, attended the summit.
The summit, themed “Sustainable Food Systems for People, Planet, and Prosperity: Diverse Pathways in a Shared Journey,” commenced with leaders and delegates discussing ways to address food challenges worldwide.
In her first proposal, PM Hasina called for international financial incentives and policy support to encourage investments in modern agriculture by multilateral development banks and private entrepreneurs.
The second proposal emphasized taking unified actions to eliminate trade barriers, including lifting restrictions on food and fertilizer exports, to bolster the effectiveness of the UN-initiated Black Sea Grain Deal.
Highlighting the urgency of addressing climate change impacts on food production, the third proposal urged the establishment of global and regional “food banks” to aid in emergencies and help developing countries transform their food systems.
PM Hasina’s fourth proposal advocated making advanced agricultural technologies, like nano-technology and bioinformatics, accessible to all in agricultural education and research, aligning with the 4th industrial revolution.
Lastly, she called for a large-scale social movement involving youth to combat the staggering wastage of approximately one-third of the world’s food production every year.
Expressing her belief in the collective implementation of these proposals, Prime Minister Hasina asserted that they would pave the way for sustainable global food security. Citing FAO’s report, she mentioned Bangladesh’s recognition as one of the top-ten food-producing countries globally, with significant advancements in rice, fish, jute, vegetable, and potato production. The premier also highlighted Bangladesh’s progress in food safety regulations and storage capacity, with more than 16 lakh tonnes of food grain stock and distribution of 5 lakh family silos in disaster-prone districts.
Addressing the challenges faced by the international community, PM Hasina underscored that two billion people still lack food security, nearly 690 million suffer from malnutrition, and around three billion are deprived of a balanced diet. In 2009, Bangladesh’s food sector faced a deficit of 2.6 lakh metric tonnes. To address this, the government provided subsidies for agricultural machines, opened bank accounts for farmers (at Tk10), and improved fertilizer distribution. These measures aimed to boost food production and enhance food security in the country.
As the ongoing Ukraine war and its consequences intensify global crises related to food, fertilizer, energy, and finances, the call for inclusive and sustainable food management becomes crucial.
Through her proposals at the UN Food Systems Summit, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina aims to foster a stronger global commitment towards achieving sustainable and resilient food systems, benefitting all nations and their populations.