While many developing countries have made breakthroughs in the agricultural sector, chronic hunger remains our biggest challenge. Today about 805 million people suffer from chronic hunger globally, and around 65 per cent of them exist in Asia and the pacific. We know that the global population is expected to increase to nearly 9 billion by 2050. To meet the growing food demand we need to increase agricultural production by 60 per cent globally. In the newly formed SDGs, agriculture is a crosscutting theme.
It is said that the total number of hungry people in the world could be reduced by 12-17 per cent if women’s access to resources were equivalent to that of men. Still perceived to be a male-dominated field, the agriculture sector in Bangladesh has seen a dramatic rise in female participation, now exceeding 50 per cent. October 15th is International Day for Rural Women and here are some of their stories.
Newspaper headlines have become something we do not look forward to anymore. It reads mostly on the lines of corruption, crime, tragedies and conflicts. Some of us are frustrated and have stopped reading the papers. Good news is somewhat hard to find it seems. Or maybe we just miss out on it because we don’t really read through. So when there is a series of positive news being reported it is bound to catch the eye. It speaks of all the good work that is being done all around us. In recent times, one such continuous stream of positive news I have read is about farmers with photographs of them smiling with their healthy crops. This is indeed good news for Bangladesh. In an industry as labour intensive as the agriculture sector of our country, it means that the conditions are improving for a large number of people. The news is about the lives of Jamir, Rafiq, Hossain, Rashida and many more. These are the stories of BRAC’s agriculture and food security programme which has gained coverage in The Daily Star, The Daily Sun, The Janakantha, Naya Diganta after its success in the fields of maize and sunflower.
“BRAC has set up a global record for establishing world class development programs. They are very successful in microfinance and they are considered to be one of the most successful organisations globally,” Minister Bhumba said during her visit.