DHAKA, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Bangladeshi government Thursday signed a 240 million U.S. dollars financing agreement with the World Bank to help improve management and production in marine and coastal fisheries and aquaculture.
The Sustainable Coastal and Marine Fisheries Project will help improve fisheries management systems, infrastructure, value chain investments, and encourage private sector investment to increase the availability and quality of sea fish, said the Washington-based lender.
Kazi Shofiqul Azam, senior secretary of Economic Relations Division of Bangladesh, and Qimiao Fan, World Bank country director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides in Dhaka.
According to the bank, it will also support reforms in fisheries policies and regulations.
"In the last decade, the fisheries sector accounted for around four percent of Bangladesh's economy and is the country's second largest export earning sector after garments," said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
"World Bank financing will aim to expand coastal and marine fisheries with the goal of further increasing the fisheries sector's contribution to the economy," he said.
In 16 coastal districts, World Bank said the project will set up community co-management associations with fishing communities, enabling them to adopt supplementary and alternative livelihoods.
While empowering fishing communities, especially women through skills development and nutrition awareness, the project will also establish 100 model fishing villages, it said.
"For Bangladesh, the fisheries sector is a major driver for growth. The marine and coastal fisheries have significant potential for sustainable and higher production," said Azam.
"The project will directly contribute to Bangladesh's Blue Economy initiatives."