Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today stressed the need for establishing more food processing industries considering its growing demand at home and abroad. “As many as 100 economic zones are now being set up across the country and I have already directed to establish food processing industries in the possible places of the zones,” she said.
She said while opening the newly constructed seven institutes and establishments at Gopalganj, Sirajganj, Kishoreganj and Chattogram through video conference from her official residence Ganobhaban here.
The premier said once the food processing industries are set up, the country can export those items after meeting the local demand.
“Around 90 lakh Bangladeshi expatriates are now living in different countries. They appreciate Bangladeshi foods such as fish, meat, fruits and vegetables despite availability of delicious foreign foods. Many of them are doing business to this respect,” she added.
She put emphasize to increase the production of fish, meat, egg, and milk to meet the growing demand of protein for building a healthy nation, adding that protein is necessary for keeping the health a sound one.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh will no longer remain poor if it could create markets of its products at home and abroad.
Highlighting her government"s initiatives to build Bangladesh as a prosperous and developed country, she said her government has been carrying out huge development works to this end following the ideology of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The poverty rate has been reduced to 21 percent from 40 and Bangladesh has also been made self reliant in food production due to the initiatives taken by the Awami League government, she added.
Stressing the need for generating employment she said, “We have been creating employment and for this reason the private sector is being made open for all”
“Appropriate training is necessary to generate employment alongside conducting research,” she observed.
Criticizing the BNP-Jamaat regime, the premier said they did basically nothing in this regard, saying, “We found no allocation in the budget for research. After assuming power in 1996, we first allocated Taka 12 crore and later Taka 100 crore in the budget for conducting research and imparting ICT knowledge.”
Bangladesh is set to observe the birth centennial of the Father of the Nation in 2020 and the Golden Jubilee of the Independence in 2021 with a title “Mujib Year” in 2020-2021, she said, adding that Bangladesh would be free from poverty before celebration of the events.
PM"s Political Affairs Adviser HT Imam was present on the dais while State Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru,MP, gave welcome address.
Md Nojibur Rahman, Principal Secretary to the premier moderated the function while Livestock Secretary Md Raisul Islam Mondal gave a brief presentation on the development of fisheries and livestock.
A video presentation was also screened on the occasion.