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Farmers market will be established in Ward No. 28 and 54 in Gazipur

There is no substitute of safe and healthy food to ensure good health. Gazipur City Corporation is focusing on ensuring safe food to the city dwellers. As the surrounding areas depend on agriculture, Gazipur has more supply of fresh vegetables and fruits than other cities. Yet due to the influence of middlemen and lack of proper market system, farmers are not getting the right price and consumers are deprived of safe food at affordable prices. To solve this problem, two farmers' markets are going to be established in Gazipur City Corporation under the Dhaka Food System Project of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, where the farmer will directly deliver his safe products to the consumer in the absence of middlemen. This is a weekly market, and 10 farmers (verified by Department of Agricultural Extension as safe producer) will participate in the initiative.

On 5th July 2022 at 11.00 am in the auditorium of Engineering Building, Gazipur, the launching meeting on 'Establishing Neighbourhood Farmers' Market in Gazipur City Corporation' was jointly organized by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Gazipur City Corporation, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust and speakers opined such in the meeting.

Secretary of Gazipur City Corporation Md. Abdul Hannan was present as the chief guest in the meeting. Also, Councilor of Ward No. 54 of Gazipur City Corporation; Nasir Uddin Mollah, Reserved Councilor of ward no 28,29,30 Ayesha Akter, Reserved Councilor of ward no 52,53,54 Keya Sharmin, Zonal Executive Officer of Zone-5 Md Firoz Al Mamun, Chief Town Planner Md Moinul Islam, Planner Sanjida Haque, Deputy Director of District Agricultural Extension Office Md Saiful Islam, District Fisheries Officer Dr. Kaiser Muhammad Moinul Hasan, district livestock officer. SM Okil Uddin, Senior Upazila Fisheries Officer Jannatul Shaheen, Upazila Agriculture Officer Md Hasibul Hasan, Marketing Officer Md Abdus Salam, Sustainable Agriculture Specialist of FAO Jahangir Alam, Food System City Coordinator of Gazipur City Corporation Md Shahidul Islam were present in the meeting. The meeting was presided over by Gaous Pearee, Director, WBB Trust and was moderated by Senior Project Manager Ziaur Rahman and the keynote was presented by Project Manager Naima Akter.

Md. Abdul Hannan said, to ensure safe food, Gazipur is going to establish two farmers' market in wards 28 and 54. These markets can be sustainable by integrating with the existing City Corporation markets. There will be full cooperation from the City Corporation and Councilor's office. I request to update the Corporation office regularly with relevant information.

Dr. SM Ukil Uddin said since the market will be organized once a week, farmers may face problems in supplying produce to the farmers market. However, there will be cooperation from the district livestock office to ensure product supply. Qaiser Muhammad Moinul Hasan said, without waste management, water and sewage facilities, it is difficult to sell fish in the farmers market. Freezing vans are required for transporting goods. It will be wise to engage contract farmers with the initiative.

Md. Hasibul Hasan said, we provide training and supporting materials to farmers to promote safe farming. But all these are project-based work. A long-term initiative is needed to encourage farmers to practice safe farming. Farmers will be benefited if supporting materials are provided to farmers under farmers market project. Md. Saiful Islam said that the farmers will benefit more if the farmer's market is organized at least two days a week. A significant number of our farmers grow vegetables using vermicompost, organic fertilizers, organic pesticides. They can be easily involved in this project.

Md. Abdus Salam said, if the farmer's market is made a permanent initiative by determining the location from the City Corporation, it can be made sustainable, and all the necessary facilities can be easily ensured. Md. Moinul Islam said, ward No. 28 and 54 are suitable according to the criteria of farmer selection and location selection. However, food safety must be ensured in the market ans security should be provided to the farmers. Md Firoz Al Mamun said, along with the city corporation, efforts should be made at the farmer and consumer level for waste management.

. Ayesha Akhter assured to provide full cooperation in setting up farmers market in Ward No. 28. Md. Nasir Uddin Molla said, the councilor's office will provide full cooperation in organizing, managing, and ensuring the facilities of the farmer's market. But the products must be safe. Selling fish within the area is difficult but chicken, eggs, milk can be easily sold. He suggested a few schools and an open space as possible site to set up farmers' market in ward No. 54.

Zonal Executive Officer of Zone-4 of Gazipur City Corporation Rezaul Karim, Planner Sumona Sharmin, Town Manager of Gazipur LIUPC Mahbubur Rahman, Community Training Assistant of FAO Laila Akhtar, Vice President of Gazipur Branch of BAPA were also present in the event.