Although the corona germ strikes without considering the difference between rich and poor, this invisible blow is mainly coming on the poor. The production of almost all types of products including food is being negatively affected. As a result, commodity prices are fluctuating rapidly all over the world. In particular, the production, storage and supply chains of fuel oil, food and other essential commodities have also been affected. Prices are also being manipulated. The Food Department’s report on rice imports and procurement of food products from the domestic market blamed the Corona situation for the rise in prices. To this end, the government has planned to increase stocks and procure uninterrupted food items from the domestic market to avoid crisis.
Meanwhile, the stock situation is rapidly declining. The total government stock of food grains of the Ministry of Food till February 26, 2021 is 8 lakh 44 thousand tons. Of this, 5 lakh 36 thousand tons of rice and 1 lakh 8 thousand tons of wheat. But till January 25, the government stock of food grains was 6 lakh 7 thousand tons. Of this, 5 lakh 46 thousand tons of rice and 1 lakh 56 thousand tons of wheat. And just six months ago, food stocks were more than 1 million tons. It is feared that the number of poor people in the post-Corona world could increase from 40 to 60 million. According to the latest figures from the Bureau of Statistics, 33 million of the country’s 175 million people are currently poor. Of this, 1 crore 80 lakh are extremely poor. However, according to private research institutes, the number of poor people has exceeded 40 million. The United Nations fears that in the days leading up to the Corona, famine could strike alongside the Great Depression. As a result, meeting the goal of eradicating poverty by 2030 will be a huge challenge. When this is the overall context, then the agricultural country Bangladesh has to think anew about agriculture. Out of 16 objectives of SDG, 10 are involved in agriculture in one way or another. As a result, the government has taken initiative to increase stocks and production in the coming days, taking into account the threat of food crisis.
In the post-Corona world, the number of poor people could increase from 40 to 60 million. In the overall context, the agricultural country Bangladesh has to think anew about agriculture. The government of any country is at ease when stocks of food products are strong. As a result, in the event of a disaster, first of all, the safety of the lives of the people and after that, ensuring food security. The government has also taken initiative to import food quickly to ensure food security. The backward working class of the country has lost their jobs in Corona. That is why the injury is coming more and more on the poor. The state needs to think deeply about what it has to do there. There is no solution just by distributing sacks of rice. The state will become truly welfare oriented if it takes initiative to develop small and medium industries and create employment. If such an injury occurs in the future, it will acquire the ability to cope.
Due to the development of rural infrastructure, the income of the poor people of Bangladesh has increased. Despite many frustrations, remittances sent by expatriates have raised hopes. According to the Human Development Index Report 2020 published by the United Nations Development Program, Bangladesh has advanced by 70 percent in the last 30 years in the continuation of the world’s human development index during the Corona period. Bangladesh is two steps ahead in the latest Human Development Index. The average life expectancy of people has increased.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has approved a revised development budget of Tk 1.96 trillion at the ECNEC meeting. Published in the news.
Abu Jafar Siddiqui
Writer and Researcher, Dhaka.
Source: Bhorer Kagoj by www.bhorerkagoj.com.
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