What the papers say

Automation Arrives

A weekly round up of articles about employment, the labor market, skills training and workforce development. This week’s round up is drawn from The Daily Star. Here is the news for the week ending 15 February 2018.

This week in the Bangladesh English Press…

…we hear about cash incentives for the Information and Communication Technology industry. The introduction of automation in the garment sector leads to skills training programs for garment workers. Unilever supports key UNDP projects to create employment opportunities for women and also support small entrepreneurs in disadvantaged communities. The agriculture sector on the other hand faces some ups and downs.

Business, Investments, Trade and Growth

The government of Bangladesh has granted the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry a 10 percent cash incentive against their exports. This incentive will help the country achieve target export earnings of $5 billion from the ICT sector by the year 2021.

Education and the Labour Market

Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE) in collaboration with Chittagong-based Pacific Jeans Ltd organized an event  attended by global garment retailers and brands, trade analysts, leaders of trade bodies and diplomats.  Manufacturing experts claim Bangladesh is automating to make garments faster and to retain competitiveness.

Automation could take remove around 80 percent of jobs the next 15 years. So advanced training is essential to for workers to take more skilled jobs required in the new automated production lines.

Farmers and Agriculture

Many farmers have switched to rice cultivation from wheat cultivation. Rice is more profitable due to its high price. This has affected the production of wheat, which has declined 3 percent year-on-year to around 1 million tonnes in fiscal 2016-17. Similarly, many tobacco growers in Aditmari Upazila of Lalmonirhat have switched to maize farming instead of tobacco this year. They claim to make more profits from maize farming.

Some traders at Durakuti Haat in Sadar Upazila of Lalmonirhat are selling Boro saplings at high prices. They are taking advantage of the shortage of Boro saplings resulting from the prolonged cold and dense fog. As a result, farmers have to buy the saplings at a higher price that has increased their production costs.

Thousands of farmers in five upazilas of Jhalakathi District face serious problems in transporting their harvests. This is because most of the canals next to their croplands have not been re-excavated and have dried up. Farmers can no longer transport their harvests on small boats.

A new form of fish farming known as cage culture is expanding in various parts of the country. Fish farmers find it more profitable because they can produce more fish in cages compared to ponds.

Other News

Unilever Bangladesh and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Bangladesh has recently signed a memorandum of understanding to help Bangladesh attain the Sustainable Development Goals. Unilever will support key projects to create employment opportunities for women and also help small entrepreneurs in disadvantaged communities.

And that’s the news for the week ending 15 February 2018.