The Daily Observer
Dhaka. 10 July 2018
The Cabinet on Monday gave its nod to the draft of ‘The National Agriculture Policy 2018’ incorporating the facilities of using nano-technology in the agriculture sector to control diseases and determine generic nutrition.
The approval was given at the regular Cabinet meeting held at the Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
The meeting also endorsed the drafts of the ‘Bangladesh Shishu Academy Act, 2018″, “The Health Development Surcharge Management
Policy, 2018” and the draft of “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons”.
While briefing journalists after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam told journalists that some new issues were incorporated in the new draft policy including research on agriculture development, technology transfer and agriculture extension, mechanisation, specialised agriculture, ICT, marketing of agricultural products, women empowerment and use of nano-technology in the sector.
About use of ‘nano-technology’, the Cabinet Secretary said initially nano-technology will be used to identify diseases in crops, determine the demand of generic nutrition and increase the capability of collection of nutrition. Sensor-technology will be used to examine the soil quality.
“The new policy was formulated incorporating some new issues following the expiry of the Agriculture Policy 2013,” he said, adding that the policy was prepared aiming at ensuring profitable agriculture and nutrition and food safety and security in the country.
“The main goal of the policy is to ensure food safety and security and socio-economic development through productivity of crops, boosting up production and raising farmers’ income, diversifying crops, producing safe foods and developing marketing system, profitable agriculture and use of natural resources,” the Cabinet Secretary said.
Regarding Bangladesh Shishu Academy Act, he said that the draft of “The Bangladesh Shishu Academy Act, 2018” was given approval in principle bringing some changes in the existing ‘Bangladesh Shishu Academy Ordinance, 1976’ promulgated during the military regime.
According to the new draft law, a ‘Director General’ will head the Shishu Academy’s administration instead of a Director. The status of the administrative head of the academy will be upgraded to Director General while the draft law will be endorsed.
“And the Director General will be a fulltime official,” Shafiul Alam said, adding that the governance and administration of this academy will be entrusted with a 17-member management board headed by a chairman.
Other members of the board will be Director Generals (DG) of Bangla Academy, Shilpakala Academy and Shishu Academy, Dean of Fine Arts Faculty of Dhaka University, joint secretary-level representatives from Women and Children Affairs Ministry, Finance Division, Social Welfare Ministry, Information Ministry, Cultural Affairs Ministry, Primary and Mass Education Ministry, Health Services Division and Shishu Kalyan Parishad and ICT Division as well as four persons including at least two women to be appointed by the government for their special contributions to development of children.
He said a new provision was incorporated in the draft bill to confer fellowship titled ‘honorary fellow’ to the persons involved in grooming children by their outstanding contributions to education, language, literature, arts and culture, sciences and society. A 7-member committee will determine the Shishu Academy Honorary Fellow.
Shafiul Alam said the headquarters of the academy will be in Dhaka, its branches can be set up in divisional cities on the government’s permission.