Dhaka, 30 January 2014: Yield of some major crops may decline by around 30 percent within 2050, seriously threatening the country’s food security, if proper steps are not taken to tackle climate change, said economist Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad today.
Gradual decline of farmland by one percent per year is enhancing the food security threat while changes in rainfall patterns and drought are giving farmers a hard time, said the chairman of Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation.
Kholiquzzaman was addressing as chief guest the launching of a book, “Gonomadhyam Sohayika: Jolobayu Poriborton Orthayon” (media toolkit: climate change funding), financed by Oxfam and European Union, in the capital’s Jatiya Press Club.
Society for Media and Suitable Human-Communication Techniques (SoMaSHTe) organised the programme.
Noted agricultural journalist Shykh Seraj said adequate research was not being conducted although the livestock, poultry and fisheries of Bangladesh, among 10 countries at risk due to their geographical locations, were under threat too.
“If we want to ensure our food security, we must protect agriculture by taking necessary technological help…protecting our land and seed,” he observed.
Huge amounts of money under climate change and resilience funds are being spent in an uncoordinated manner for which expected goals cannot be reached, he said.
Kholiquzzaman said almost all of the ministries were spending and distributing the funds through public and private initiatives and the water ministry was the highest spender.
Both men, however, urged the media to present accurate and informative news about climate change and the different government and non-government funds.
SoMaSHTe awarded fellowships on the issue to three journalists – Bangla daily Prothom Alo Bogra correspondent M Jashim Uddin, Channel i Cox’s Bazar correspondent Sarwar Azam Manik and the daily Manobkantha Kurigram correspondent Laily Begum.
Journalist Ajoy Das Gupta, Oxfam’s Manisha Biswas and SoMaSHTe directors Mir Masrur Zaman, Rezaul Haque and Mir Shahidul Alam also spoke.