A high level policy dialogue, organised on 15 October 2017, urged for greater support to the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Bangladesh. The workshop was organised in connection with the dissemination of a Comprehensive Study on the ‘Supports received by the Aquaculture Sector in Bangladesh’. The study was carried out by Bangladesh Shrimp and Fish Foundation in collaboration with Department of Fisheries and support from the ATC-P Katalyst project under the Ministry of Commerce implemented by Swisscontact.
During the discussion, participants stressed that the growth of fisheries and aquaculture sector in the coming years will play an important role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Bangladesh context. Affordable fisheries products will lead to significant improvement in the nutrition, protein intake and dietary diversity of the people. It was also highlighted, that the full potential of fisheries and aquaculture sector would only be realised, if significant amount of investment could be made in fisheries related infrastructure. Consorted efforts should be made together by the banking and private sector in order to meet the credit needs of small fish farmers, in increasing the availability of good fingerlings and feeds at affordable cost as well as disease management in the sector. The workshop participants strongly emphasised that the need for increased public and private companies’ investment for this important sector of the Bangladesh economy should be mainstreamed in the policy making and budgetary process. They also highlighted the need for training on good aquaculture practices, introduction of enhanced bio-security measures and solution centric research and implementation of research findings in the field. They also called for greater Government – private sector and Government – development partner cooperation to meaningfully carry forward development interventions for the sector.
Mr. Kazi M. Aminul Islam, Executive Chairman, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) was the chief guest at the workshop. Mr Islam appreciated efforts made by Katalyst in strengthening the sector and urged the stakeholders to be more innovative to meet the future challenges of the sector. Mr. Syed Mahmudul Huq, Chairman, BSFF presided over the workshop proceedings. Discussants from the Government, academia, financial institutions, professional bodies, development partners and stakeholders from the sector were present. The workshop was addressed by Mr. Hedayetullah Al Mamoon, former Senior Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Finance, Mr. Eunusur Rahman, Senior Secretary, Financial Institutions Division, Mr. Md. Azizul Alam, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mr. Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Dr. Md. Nazrul Anwar, Additional Secretary (Fisheries), Ministry of fisheries and Livestock, , Syed Arif Azad, Director General, DoF, Mr. Manoj Kanti Bairagi, General Manager (agriculture credit department) Bangladesh Bank, Mr. Md. Nurul Amin, Managing Director, Meghna Bank Ltd and Mr RQM Forkan, Managing Director Bangladesh commerce Bank Limited among others.
In the event, Mr GB Banjara, General Manager, Katalyst gave a highlight of ATC-P project and its achievements. He expressed his hope that the recommendations of this study will be followed up by the stakeholders. This comprehensive study is going to be finalised by incorporating suggestions from the participants and thus, shared among the stakeholders.