FAO in Bangladesh

FAO Programmes

The Country Programming Framework 2019-2020 defines FAO’s strategic priorities, key areas of technical cooperation, and medium-term country-level programming in support of the Government of Bangladesh. In order to maximise its impact, FAO will transition to a programmatic approach that will optimise the leverage of its technical expertise and financial resources across projects and sectors. FAO will find integrated solutions with its partners and increase collaboration with other UN organizations, notably the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. There are three priority areas. Each is aligned with the Government’s development priorities and FAO’s strategic objectives. The priority areas contribute towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Priority 1: Healthy, Safe, and Nutritious Food

Bangladesh's rapid economic growth has been accompanied by urbanisation, loss of arable land, and increased demand for animal protein. These factors pose challenges for the provision of enough healthy, safe, and nutritious food. There is widespread chronic malnutrition: the diets of more than half of Bangladesh’s large and growing population are considered to be nutritionally inadequate. A weak regulatory environment leads to problems such as food adulteration. Poor sanitary standards and food hygiene result in a high risk of food contamination. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics elevate the risk of spreading dangerous pathogens, including avian influenza and antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. FAO will:

Promote nutrition interventions in agriculture, fisheries, and livestock
• Deploy its technical expertise to develop a national food and nutrition policy, dietary guidelines, food composition tables, consumption data, and nutrition programmes.

Animal disease and antimicrobial resistance threats mitigation
• Design and implement disease control programmes. Develop sustainable approaches to disease surveillance as part of a comprehensive livestock capacity development programme.

Management of public health threats emerging from food systems
• Develop an effective and efficient food regulatory and control system that targets food producers, food handlers, consumers, and food control agencies.

Priority 2: Sustainability of Productive Ecosystems

With a dense population and high rate of urbanisation, pollution and overexploitation of natural resources damage the ecosystems on which people’s livelihoods depend. Furthermore, the country’s geography and topography make it extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change (floods, droughts, extreme weather). FAO will work with the government to foster a sustainable greener economy that is inclusive and equitable.

Sustainable management of ecosystems
• Restore, conserve, and protect land and water resources. Promote biodiversity, wildlife conservation, and initiatives to increase forest cover.

Climate change adaptation and mitigation
• Piloting and scaling up climate resilience approaches for agriculture, fishery, forestry, and livestock.

Environmental pollution and waste reduction
• Strengthen policies, regulatory frameworks, and institutional capacity. Scale up innovative measures to reduce air, soil, and water pollution. Promote renewable energy.

Priority 3: Resilient and Inclusive Agri-Economic Growth

The agricultural sector in Bangladesh is predicted to grow significantly but in order to reach its full potential it will need to adapt. For growth to be inclusive and sustainable, food producers must be resilient and adaptable.
Productivity gains and value addition are the foundation for increasing the earning power of agricultural workers and reducing rural poverty. There is a need, however, to balance increased productivity with inclusivity and environmental protection. FAO will promote diversification and value addition.

Risk informed strategies and practices for diversification of agriculture production
• Work to ensure that marginalized populations benefit from agri-economic growth though capacity development and access to resources.

Enhanced market opportunities
• Accelerate mechanization and value addition.

Enhanced production, productivity and agri-economic growth is inclusive
• Provide technical assistance for resource-efficient production and processing. Encourage innovative research; promote market linkages.

Support implementation of the National Social Security Strategy
• Technical support will focus on reducing rural poverty, while strengthening economic and productive capacities at the household and community levels.

Resilient livelihoods against multiple shocks
• Provide support for coordinated and effective preparedness.