First, of its kind in Bangladesh, the government has selected 13 farmers to award ‘Agricultural Important Person (AIP)’ status for their outstanding contributions to the development of the country’s agricultural sector, officials said.
To this effect, the ministry of agriculture has called an inter-ministerial meeting next week with the view to recognising such people finally.
A selection committee in this regard is working to give AIP status for calendar year 2020 to the farmers concerned for their significant role in the country’s overall agriculture sector. Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Bank has got one loan defaulter among the selected applicants.
When contacted, joint secretary of agriculture ministry Tanmaya Das said, “We received 41 applications from the interested people in this issue. Of the 41 applications, we have primarily selected 14 to give ‘AIP’ status. After scrutinising, the 14 applications had been sent to Bangladesh Bank for identifying loan defaulter.”
He mentioned said that the BB indentified one loan defaulter among the selected 14 applicants. “We have already received a positive opinion from the home ministry about the rest 13 applications,” he added.
The state honour for farmers would be as similar in status as the Commercially Important Person (CIP) award.
Mr Das informed that the CIP holders are not eligible to get the AIP status. The agriculture ministry is set to honour the 13 farmers as AIP.
The selection committee will take final decision at its meeting, scheduled to be held on March 23. The AIP awardees will get similar facilities as the CIP awardees get, said a high official of the agriculture ministry.
The award will be given in five categories as follow:
Agricultural Production/Commercial Farming and Agricultural Processing Industries; Production of Exportable Agricultural items and Agricultural Innovations on Technology or Breed.
The award-giving process will be held as per the Agricultural Important Person Policy 2019. The selection committee has picked the persons to give awards from the applications of interested people/farmer/producers who submitted the applications earlier, the official said.
It was supposed to award AIP status to farmers/producers concerned last year. But, the agriculture ministry could not arrange the award giving event due to spread of the COVID-19 across the country in 2020 despite completion of necessary preparation in this regard, source at the ministry said.