The Cabinet on Monday cleared the draft of the National Agricultural Marketing Policy, 2023 in order to modernise the marketing system and ensure the highest benefits for the farmers through different measures including fixation of minimum and maximum rational prices for the agricultural goods.
The approval came from the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office.
“The policy has been designed incorporating some goals and targets in a bid to modernise the marketing system of agricultural goods,” said cabinet secretary Mahbub Hossain while briefing reporters at Bangladesh Secretariat after the meeting.
He said the policy focuses on how the market of agricultural goods can be monitored and the farmers can be given the highest benefits.
“Steps will be taken to fix and implement the minimum and maximum rational prices of agricultural goods,” he said.
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Other steps which will be taken as per the policy include enhancing links between the farmers and markets, strengthening information management, improving marketing infrastructures, promoting digital markets, strengthening community-based, group-based and contract-based marketing, promoting e-agricultural marketing system and digital markets, and developing the overall supply chain, he said.
During the approval of the policy, the Prime Minister directed to design an agricultural goods-processing policy with a view to modernising the sector, maintaining international standards of products and thus promoting the export of processed goods, said the cabinet secretary.
He said the directive came as the markets for Bangladeshi processed agricultural goods have created worldwide as Bangladeshi diaspora communities use the goods and foreign people are also showing interest to the commodities.
The PM also directed to consider jute goods as agricultural ones saying that the jute sector should get all sorts of facilities entitled for the agricultural sector.
Jute goods have been treated as industrial products. But now the use of jute fiber has enhanced massively and created a huge prospect for the goods locally and internationally. So, now jute goods need to be considered as agricultural ones to unlock this huge prospect, said Mahbub Hossain.
The Cabinet also approved in principle the draft of the Sheikh Hasina Agricultural University Act, 2023 to establish the country’s 9th agricultural university in Shariatpur. “It will be an institute like the existing agricultural universities,” said Mahbub Hossain.
Besides, the Cabinet cleared the draft of Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (Amendment) Act, 2023 in a bid to replace an existing ordinance that paved the way for the government to adjust the prices of gas and electricity without public hearings.
On December 1, 2022, the “Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (amendment) Ordinance, 2022” was promulgated amending the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) Act-2003. The new ordinance was placed in Parliament on January 5.
“This ordinance is now being turned into an act. No change was made here. It is the same as the ordinance,” said the top bureaucrat.