Unlocking Char Potential: Economic Policy and Technological Adaptations

Sep 12, 2023

Hosted by Rural Development Academy (RDA) and National Char Alliance (NCA) in collaboration with Unnayan Shamannay

The Rural Development Academy (RDA) and National Char Alliance (NCA), in collaboration with Unnayan Shamannay, organized a seminal roundtable discussion on September 12th, 2023, at the Bishwo Shahitto Kendro, Banglamotor, Dhaka. This high-profile event brought together prominent figures from civil society, think tanks, and the private sector, all dedicated to addressing the unique challenges and opportunities presented by the Char areas of Bangladesh.

The event featured distinguished speakers and experts who shared their insights and recommendations on the economic policies and technological adaptations necessary to harness the potential of Char areas for the betterment of the disadvantaged communities inhabiting them.

Keynote speaker Dr. Atiur Rahman, Chairperson of the National Char Alliance and Unnayan Shamannay, emphasized the need for increased fiscal allocation to Char areas and the alignment of national policies with the specific needs of these communities. Dr. Rahman highlighted the changing landscape of the Char areas and called for greater investment and resources to uplift the lives of Char dwellers while addressing the challenges posed by climate change. He also identified opportunities such as the adoption of solar technology for irrigation and storage facilities, as well as e-commerce platforms for marketing Char-produced goods.

Md. Abdul Majid (PhD), Project Director of M4C at the Rural Development Academy, provided valuable insights into technological adaptations for enhancing agricultural productivity in Char areas. He discussed the potential for upscaling these adaptations to create a more robust agricultural basket, thus improving the lives and livelihoods of Char dwellers.

Roundtable on ‘Char in the economic policy landscape of Bangladesh’

Mujibul Hasan Cezanne, the Country Director of Swisscontact, echoed the sentiment that Char areas hold immense potential for organic agricultural production. He expressed optimism about the possibilities of fulfilling high demand for a variety of agricultural products through sustainable practices in Char areas.

The event was graced by the presence of Chief Guest Mr. Swapan Bhattacharjee, Member of Parliament and Honourable State Minister of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives, Government of Bangladesh. Mr. Bhattacharjee underscored the immense potential of Char areas for organic agricultural production, highlighting the prospects for meeting high demand in an environmentally friendly manner.

In her chair speech, Mosammat Hamida Begum, Secretary of the Rural Development & Cooperative Division (RDCD), emphasized the importance of expanding tourism in Char areas to provide additional opportunities for Char dwellers. She stressed the need to learn from the experiences and insights of Char dwellers and their rural villages, drawing inspiration for future development efforts.

The roundtable discussion was skillfully moderated by Zahid Rahman, Secretary of the National Char Alliance (NCA), ensuring a constructive and insightful exchange of ideas among the participants.

The Rural Development Academy (RDA), the National Char Alliance (NCA), and Unnayan Shamannay are committed to continuing their collaborative efforts to unlock the potential of Char areas and improve the lives of the communities residing within them.

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