Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday urged the country's youths to work towards enhancing agricultural production and improve livelihoods of people living in villages through cooperatives.

"Cooperatives are absolutely essential for our agricultural production, life and livelihood. Cooperatives create enormous scope for a densely populated country like ours," she said.

The premier was addressing a function, arranged to mark the 51st National Cooperative Day-2022 and give away the National Cooperative Award-2021 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) -- joining it through a virtual platform from her official residence Ganabhaban.

Sheikh Hasina stressed the need for giving utmost importance to cooperatives for the development of the country.

"If the youths come forward and get engaged in cooperatives -- uniting all in villages, we'll be able to advance," she said.

The PM said her government has been working for the people and wants to create scopes so that every individual can improve their life and livelihood.

She said her government opened every sector for private entrepreneurs so that employment is generated.

Talking about inflation, Sheikh Hasina said prices of commodities have soared throughout the world due to the Russia-Ukraine war and Covid-19 pandemic, which affected Bangladesh as well. Now almost all countries are suffering from high inflation.

"Every country has to use its reserves (of foreign currencies). We too are doing that for the wellbeing of the common people of the country," she said.

She said Bangladesh needs to purchase fertiliser, fuel and edible oil at very high prices amid high transportation costs for the sake of people and agricultural production.

With the theme of "Philosophy of Bangabandhu is Development through Cooperatives," the day is being observed in the country this year.

On behalf of the premier, LGRD and Cooperative Minister Tazul Islam handed over the National Cooperative Award-2021 to nine cooperative societies and an individuals under 10 categories for their contributions to the sector. Each awardee was conferred with a gold medal and a certificate.

State Minister for LGRD and Cooperative Swapan Bhattacharjee presided over the function, while Rural Development and Cooperative Secretary Mashiur Rahman and Director General of Cooperatives Department Dr Tarun Kanti Sikder spoke on the occasion.

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