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FAO plans to establish fisheries digital village in Gazipur

TBP Desk
16 Mar 2023 00:00:00 | Update: 15 Mar 2023 23:32:34
FAO plans to establish fisheries digital village in Gazipur
Speakers address a dialogue celebrating International Women’s Day at the Sheraton Hotel in Dhaka on Tuesday– Courtesy Photo

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with Department of Fisheries (DoF) is planning to establish a dedicated fisheries digital village in Bohuriachala of Gazipur.

Speakers of a discussion programme organised by FAO on the inclusion of women in the digital transformation of the blue economy in Bangladesh confirmed the matter on Tuesday, according to a press release.

The project, which will be implemented jointly with the Department of Fisheries (DoF) and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), has been working with fishers and fish farmers in six districts, the speakers said, adding that, by providing technology, information and skill development training, it is leading the way in promoting the digitalisation of the fisheries and aquaculture sector.

Earlier, FAO in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture established 60 digital villages which serve as information hubs. FAO’s Digital Village initiative complements the government’s vision for reducing the digital divide between urban and rural areas.

The event, which had an all-female panel, was part of FAO’s celebration of International Women’s Day. The dialogue was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Dhaka, and was organised through FAO’s ‘Community-based Climate Resilient Fisheries and Aquaculture Development in Bangladesh’ project.

Robert D Simpson, FAO Representative in Bangladesh, said “Not everyone, especially women, has the opportunity to explore and tap into the vast opportunities that the digital space offers. Widening access for the country’s many female fishers as well as smallholder farmers will provide many benefits and open up many opportunities for them and in turn, will help accelerate the transformation of the country’s aquaculture and agriculture sectors.”

“Bringing women into technology results in more creative solutions and has greater potential for innovations that meet women’s needs and promote gender equality”, he said.

Norman Mushabe, FAO senior technical advisor (Fisheries and Climate Change), said “If Bangladesh is to accelerate the transformation of the blue economy, then women fishers must be part of the digital revolution. FAO is working with the government to achieve this. Let us all take time to appreciate the hard work of the county’s millions of female fishers and think about how we can better empower them with information and technology.”

In order to achieve the goals of enhancing food and nutrition security and sustaining livelihoods, aquatic value chains require innovations to make them more efficient, transparent, responsive, and inclusive, the speakers said.

Digital technologies are at the forefront of innovation and will be necessary to transform fisheries and aquaculture, as well as agriculture. Since women form around a third of the fisheries sector in Bangladesh, they have great potential to drive transformation if they are given equitable access to digital technology, they added.

The event was chaired by Kh Mahbubul Haque, director general of Department of Fisheries and moderated by Sadeka Halim, professor of Dhaka University.

Panellists included Mukta Biswas, president of Rudaghora Bagda Chashi Samittee, Khulna; Kamrun Nahar, senior gender and nutrition specialist of WorldFish Bangladesh; Medina Ali, founder and CEO of Median Tech Limited; Ferdousi Begum, joint secretary of the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs and Shamim Ara Begum, director (Inland Fisheries) of Department of Fisheries.