Agricultural transformation is the key to Bangladesh's food security transformation in northern Bangladesh is essential for determining government and development partner investment priorities and challenges. Focusing on agriculture transformation as a key priority, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Agriculture jointly organized a workshop in Mymensingh to finalize the thematic areas for investment in transforming agriculture in Bangladesh’s northern region, with participation from officials from extension, research, the private sector, and producer organizations.

Due to the extensive flooding and disadvantageous location, high population density, and widespread poverty, the population of this region is more vulnerable, with the majority of rural households dependent on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture and fishing. Strengthening agricultural production and income opportunities through agricultural transformation reduces poverty, ensures sustainable food security, and can improve livelihoods for food insecure vulnerable populations in these regions.

This workshop results support a holistic strategy that considers the connections, trade-offs, and priority areas for agricultural transformation in Bangladesh's northern region. The discussions identified the partners to collaborate on future joint initiatives and investment. Priorities range from normative, advocacy and policy support activities, to research and development projects.

In order to achieve transformation in the agri-food systems, FAO introduced a holistic approach, which demands complementary efforts from relevant sectors. FAO with the Ministry of Agriculture engage stakeholders throughout the key sectors and geographic areas of the country using multi-level consultative and participatory techniques.

As part of FAO's Hand in Hand (HiH) programmes, an 'Investment Forum' will be hosted at FAO Headquarters from October 17 to 19, 2022. Fifteen countries will exchange investment ideas centred on areas with significant agricultural potential at the sub/national level. A series of consultation workshops, including this one, have been organized by FAO as part of the buildup to the Investment Forum event October 2022.

Robert D. Simpson, FAO Representative in Bangladesh added “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development clearly marks the path to prosperity. To leave no one behind, transformative action is required, adopting sustainable principles and addressing the core causes of poverty and hunger. Sustainable agriculture growth must be a part of this agenda.”

Dr. Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, Minister of Agriculture, was present at the event as Chief Guest. Mr. Kabir Ahamed, Joint Secretary, UN Wing Chief, ERD was the special guest and Robert D Simpson FAO Representative in Bangladesh was the guest of honor. The occasion was chaired by Mr. Md Sayedul Islam, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture.