Statement by Ms. Shanchita Haque, Minister, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York at the Interactive Dialogue on “Targeting Hunger: South-South Cooperation for Transforming Agriculture” on 12 February 2020


  • I thank all the Panelists for their thought-provoking presentations.
  • The 2030 Agenda has recognized the intrinsic connection between ending hunger and sustainable development. We are deeply concerned that the number of hungry people is on the rise globally. If the current situation prevails, certainly we will be far behind in meeting the SDG 2 target of Zero Hunger.
  • South-South Cooperation is making a vital contribution to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda complementing, not substituting, North-South cooperation and its importance as an effective form of development cooperation have been growing. South-South Cooperation can be an effective tool to reverse the current global hunger trend.
  • The countries of the South have many success stories in transforming the agriculture sector. My own country Bangladesh has remarkably progressed in agriculture and this contributed to our efforts to combat hunger and malnutrition.
  • The contribution of the agriculture sector to our GDP is 14.75% and it still absorbs the biggest share of the labour force. Our Government has adopted bold policies aiming at transforming the agriculture sector which in turn contributes to promoting rural development, empowering the marginalized people and protecting smallholder farmers and small- scale producers within local food supply systems.
  • Our farmers are being provided with a timely supply of agriculture inputs including high-yielding seeds, fertilizer, irrigation, pesticides, etc. The Government has made all-out efforts to reach the farmers in the remote and difficult terrains and ensure their integration with the overall agriculture development.
  • Bangladesh is an extremely climate-vulnerable country. We have invested a lot in research in the agriculture sector to diversify crops and to adapt our agriculture to the impacts of climate change. Our scientists and researchers have invented climate change and salinity-resistant varieties of crops. We were benefitted from our cooperation with the countries of the South. We stand ready to share our experience with other countries.
  • We have to leverage South-South and Triangular Cooperation in agriculture for enhancing investment in research on agriculture development, technology transfer, infrastructure development and marketing of agricultural products. Many countries have achieved success in transforming agriculture by ensuring productivity of crops, boosting production and raising farmers’ income, diversifying crops, producing safe foods and developing a marketing system, profitable agriculture and the use of natural resources. There must be more sharing of best practices among the South.
  • In the absence of modern technology and adequate finance for food processing and storage facilities, many developing countries experience food loss and waste. The supporting industries also need to be developed to generate agro-based economic activities. The Southern financial institutions and initiatives such as the New Development Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and IBSA Fund should extend more support to the weaker countries of the South to address these challenges. The private sector in the Southern countries can collaborate to harness local solutions and develop the local and regional value chains for reforming agriculture.

Thank you.