Foreword

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BANGLADESH FOOD SECURITY INVESTMENT FORUM 2010

On May 26–27, 2010, the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, convened the Bangladesh Food Security Investment Forum. The goal of the Forum was to discuss and coordinate investment plans, priorities, and strategies to advance agricultural development and achieve food and nutrition security in Bangladesh. This opportunity to identify and forge consensus on priority investment areas in each dimension of food security—availability, access, and nutrition—is regarded by many as a milestone in the history of country-led initiatives.

The Forum brought together high-level policymakers, researchers, and representatives of UN agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and donor agencies. The Forum received support from the United States Agency for International Development, the International Food Policy Research Institute, the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, and the European Commission.

Food and nutrition security is high on the Government of Bangladesh’s agenda. The country has achieved some important successes, including tripling its annual rice production in only three decades. Nevertheless, 60 million people still live in absolute poverty, and 28 million are chronically hungry or undernourished. More than 40 percent of Bangladeshi children lack the nutrition they need for healthy lives.

To address these challenges, the Government of Bangladesh commissioned six papers, which were presented and discussed at the Forum. They covered the following six key areas for investment:

  1. Agricultural Growth and Productivity of Crops, and Adaptation to Climate Change
  2. Growth and Development Potential of Livestock and Fisheries
  3. Agricultural Marketing, Price Stabilization, Value Chain, and Global/Regional Trade
  4. Income Growth, Social Safety Nets, and Public Food Distribution
  5. Food Utilization and Nutrition Security
  6. Cross-Cutting Issues: Governance and Gender

In addition, a seventh paper—Bangladesh Draft Country Investment Plan: The Road Map Toward Investment in Agriculture, Food Security, and Nutrition—was prepared by drawing upon priority investment areas identified in the above papers and consultation with stakeholders.

Guided by this exercise, the Government of Bangladesh hopes to support the production of and access to greater quantities of higher quality food through effective investments in these crucial areas, with a focus on the particular needs of the very poorest citizens, as well as women and children. Recognizing this, the Forum calls upon the development partners and the multilateral financial organizations to mobilize and deliver adequate technical and financial resources in a harmonized and predictable manner for the implementation of the Bangladesh Draft Country Investment Plan. The Government of Bangladesh believes that once these investment programs are implemented, they will bear fruit for all Bangladeshis through improved incomes, food security, and nutrition.

Along with the papers presented at the Forum, this folder contains the addresses delivered by Inaugural Ceremony speakers, papers by special guest presenters, the comprehensive summary prepared by the International Food Policy Research Institute, and the Forum agenda.

It is hoped that these documents will help inform discussions at upcoming global and regional forums, including the Investment Forum for Food Security in the Asia and Pacific Region held in Manila on July 7–9, 2010, where Bangladesh will be showcased for its commitment to sustainable food and nutrition security. It is also expected that this effort will help reinforce collaboration and stimulate support from the development partners for the effective implementation of the Bangladesh Food Security Investment Plan.

Muhammad Abdur Razzaque
Minister, Ministry of Food and Disaster Management
MP, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Shenggen Fan
Director General
International Food Policy Research Institute