Through the fourth Agrow Award, Standard Chartered Bank, Bangladesh honored individuals and institutions who served as outstanding examples in the agriculture sector of Bangladesh in recent time. An award giving ceremony was organized at The Westin Hotel, Dhaka on 26th of November. Mr. A H M Mustafa Kamal, FCA, MP, Honourable Minister, Ministry of Planning, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh graced the ceremony as the Chief Guest and handed over the awards to the winners.
Also present at the ceremony were Mr. Naser Ezaz Bijoy, CEO, Standard Chartered Bank, Bangladesh; Ms. Bitopi Das Chowdhury, Country Head of Corporate Affairs, Standard Chartered Bank, Bangladesh and Mr. Shariful Islam, Founder & Managing Director, Bangladesh Brand Forum (BBF).
To recognize this immense contribution of the farmers in nation building, in 2014 Standard Chartered Bank, Bangladesh initiated “Agrow Award: Excellence in Agriculture”, to celebrate the heroes who serve the nation from the core. Bangladesh Brand Forum is the implantation partner of this event ever since.
This year, AGROW Award honoured the industry contributors in seven categories, namely – Farmer of the Year – Male, Farmer of the Year – Female, Farmer of the Year – Subsistence to Market, Best Agricultural Organization in Research & Innovation, Best Agricultural Organization in Support & Execution, Best Agricultural Exporter, and Best Use of Technology in Agriculture.
A total of 217 nominations were received this year. The winners and honorable mentions in each category were selected through two rigorous jury sessions conducted by experts from the various agricultural and related sectors, development agencies, and policymakers.
Speaking at the ceremony, Honourable Planning Minister Mr. A H M Mustafa Kamal, FCA, MP said, “Bangladesh has come a long way since independence in 1971 and recently attained lower-middle income status. In this journey, the agricultural sector has always played a vital role in the economy. Bangladesh economy is shifting towards industrialization, yet the root stays at agriculture. The performance of this sector has an overwhelming impact on major policy objectives like poverty alleviation and food security. Agriculture has always been a priority in government plans.”
“Mr. Naser Ezaz Bijoy, CEO, Standard Chartered Bangladesh said, “The Agrow Award is our attempt to honor the leaders and visionaries who are taking our agriculture sector to new heights. It is our hope that this initiative will strengthen the roots of our nation, by honoring those individuals whose work can serve as shining examples of what is possible, whose lives and achievements can inspire us all.”
He added, “As the oldest financial institution in the country, supporting the agricultural sector has been an important part of our legacy of 112 years. We have been involved in this sector in many forms, including Agri-lending, and also through supporting food processing industry and agro-businesses.”
The winner and honorable mention in each category received a crest and a certificate from the Honourable Minister for their exemplary contribution. In addition, two winners of Farmer of the Year (Male) jointly and one winner from Farmer of the Year (Female) categories were handed over prize money of BDT Five Lac each, with the one honorable mention getting BDT Fifty Thousand. The award ceremony was attended by around 250 invited guests from the agriculture sector and related organizations.