Dhaka, Jun 22 : Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury on Friday urged agricultural scientists to increase their research works to find effective ways to adopt the cultivation of foreign better fruits alongside protecting local fruit varieties.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the ‘National Fruit Tree Planting Fortnight and National Fruit Exhibition’, she also urged the scientists to invent ways to ensure the availability of fruits all over the year.
The Ministry of Agriculture arranged the programme in the capital’s Krishibid Institution Bangladesh (KIB) auditorium.
“We’ve to find ways to adapt to the production or cultivation of foreign advanced fruits apart from the protection of local fruit varieties,” the Agriculture Minister said.
Mentioning that around 60 percent of the fruits are available in the country from May to mid-August, she said, “Agricultural scientists must increase their research works to ensure the production of fruits for most of the year.”
As part of National Fruit Fair, a colourful rally was brought out from the South Plaza of the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban to the KIB.
Later, a seminar titled ‘Contribution of the Nutrition-rich Fruit to Human Resources Development’ was held at the KIB auditorium with Agriculture Ministry senior secretary Mohammad Moinuddin Abdullah in the chair.
Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor Dr Kamal Uddin Ahmed presented the keynote paper at the seminar while Director General of Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) Mohammad Mohsin delivered the welcome speech.
Matia Chowdhury urged the agricultural scientists to put in their best efforts to have effective ways to save fruit trees in adverse weather or disaster-prone areas though extensive research. “If it can be done properly, it’ll be possible to increase the production or expansion of local fruits and meet the nutritional demand.”
Speaking at the programme, Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque said the country has already attained the food autarky and it has now become a role model for the world regarding the development and progress in various fields, including agriculture.
‘We need to eat fruits regularly to ensure nutrition and protect our health. So, we should plant the local fruit trees in homestead and take care of those properly to meet the fruits demand,” he added.
The Agricultural Information Service screened a documentary while posters, leaflets and booklets were distributed among people to make them aware of planting fruit trees.
Besides, an essay and painting competition was arranged to encourage students to plant fruit trees.
Eighty-one stalls are displaying around 203 species of fruits, including more than 70 species of mango, in the fair.
The fair will remain open to the public from 9 am to 9 pm daily till June 24 while the National Tree Planting fortnight will end on July 6.