American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham) on Sunday started giving cash and technical assistance to 1,000 farm households, affected by the ongoing pandemic, in Sirajganj.
The AmCham assistance is being provided under its "Support for the peasantry during COVID – 19 Pandemic' programme.
Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque inaugurated the programme through an online conference, organised jointly by AmCham and agriculture ministry.
Lawmaker of Sirajganj -2 Dr Md Habib E Millat, US ambassador to Dhaka Earl Robert Miller, deputy commissioner of Sirajganj Faruq Ahmed also spoke while AmCham vice president Syed Mohammad Kamal moderated the online meeting.
AmCham started providing Tk 3.0 million primarily to the farmers in Sirajganj and later the families will get input and other technical supports.
Dr Razzaque said the government has given topmost priority to agriculture and food production.
He said government's all initiatives helped achieving self-sufficiency in food.
“The selected farm households will get a comprehensive support from us-- from cultivation to marketing of products”, said President of AmCham Syed Ershad Ahmed.
He said the outbreak of the pandemic in Bangladesh has caused a significant and adverse impact on agricultural production, food supply and it has also hit regular supply and demand.
Marginal farmers have already been going through difficult times due to economic losses amid the outbreak, said Mr Ershad, also country manager and managing director of Expeditors (Bangladesh) Ltd.
"A cash grant will enable farmers to increase their resilience to the COVID-19 crisis by improving the sustainability of their businesses whilst it also allows their families subsistence needs to be met", he said.
AmCham in association with SAJIDA Foundation has initiated the project to help the COVID-19 affected marginal farmers and their families to provide a grant to address the immediate economic needs.
The organisation aims to strengthen income generation through agricultural inputs, linking marginal farmers into mainstream economy and to facilitate linkages between farmers and government agricultural institutions for further advice and supports.