Increase in population and decrease in cultivable lands are the main obstacles to self-reliance in food production.
Agriculture Minister Dr Md Abdur Razzak said, "If we cannot be self-sufficient in food production as per demand, even if we have adequate funds available, food will not be available during crisis periods".
"We have to produce the requisite amount of food. If there is a food crisis or famine triggered by the ongoing pandemic, it will be difficult to get food even if we have money in hand. In some cases, food will not be available at all," said the minister on Sunday at a meeting with ministry officials to kick off the new year.
Abdur Razzak added that the main challenge in terms of food security is that our population is increasing by 22-23 lakhs every year; due to a number of factors, cultivable land is simultaneously decreasing. Food for people, animals and poultry needs to be produced from this small amount of land, which is why everyone in the agriculture department must work with the utmost dedication and sincerity.
Instructing officers to go down to field-level, the minister said they should not just sit at their desks in the ministry and engage in routine work. They must make regular visits to the field to determine what can be cultivated, where, and identify ways to fully utilise the potential to further boost agricultural production.