The International and Bangladesh Rice Research Institutes Continuously Work Together to Ensure Food Security in Bangladesh
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) continuously work together to ensure food security through hybrid rice adoption by farmers.
Food security is a serious challenge in Bangladesh, which is predominantly an agrarian economy with a high population density. Agriculture is a vital component of Bangladesh's rural employment and revenue generation, and is thus regarded as a lifeline for the country’s economy.
In terms of consumption, output and geographical coverage, rice is Bangladesh’s most important food crop. The crop subsector dominates the agricultural sector, accounting for 14.3% of gross domestic product (GDP), with rice accounting for around 53% of it. Rice accounts for more than 80% of the entire food supply.
The potential for increasing hybrid rice acceptance is considerable. The Government of Bangladesh has the chance to improve policy guidelines covering the following areas once it is informed about the existing condition of hybrid rice: first, to build or strengthen essential interrelationships and/or linkages among stakeholders, such as the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), BRRI and the Department of Agriculture.
For more than five decades, Bangladesh and IRRI have collaborated. IRRI’s first foreign outreach project was in Bangladesh. In 1965, 303 rice cultivars were tested at the Savar Farm, a government-run dairy venture west of Dhaka. In 1967, the first extensively distributed, high-yielding semidwarf rice variety, IR8, was introduced into the country.
According to IRRI, the country’s rice production has increased 3.6 times in the last five decades, from 15 million tonnes in 1971 to 54 million tonnes in 2019, making it the world’s fourth-largest.
Because of major government investments in research, farming methods and incentives, Bangladesh has achieved cereal self-sufficiency.
In the spread of hybrid rice, the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC), seed producers, dealers and farmers are all involved. Second, after determining the state of varietal information, the relevant authorities may investigate the challenges farmers encounter when producing their variety. Finally, by suggesting the appropriate hybrid rice variety, the authority can have a substantial impact on hybrid rice farming. As a result, field extension staff, particularly Sub Assistant Agriculture Officers (SAAO), may be able to assist farmers in selecting the appropriate variety and following the recommended technique.
To meet the expanding population’s food needs, modern cultivars must be adopted for cultivation. Rice growers’ adoption decisions will be aided by the availability of high-quality seeds and region-specific cultivars.
Education, marginal and small farm size, training, distance to the local market, price volatility, taste, number of varieties cultivated and yield variation are all factors that positively and significantly influence the adoption of BRRI cultivars.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University, IRRI and the Agribusiness Education and Research International (AERI) Head to Head Adaptive Trial (HHAT) Implementation
AERI conducted a “Head to Head Adaptive Trial (HHAT) of Modern Rice Varieties (IRRI-BRRI Protocol)” at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University in Bangladesh during the Boro 2021-2022 season.
Under the Accelerated Genetic Gain in Rice (AGGRi) initiative, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University partners with IRRI to undertake HHAT. The project’s goals include gathering reliable data and verifying the suitability of modern, high-yielding, promising rice varieties in various parts of the country; comparing popular varieties with candidate products; selecting suitable varieties for specific regions; rapid expansion of candidate products in the field level; and gathering farmers’ feedback on cultivable varieties and taking appropriate steps. Dr. Zilhas Ahmed Jewel, an assistant professor in the Department of Agriculture at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University, is in charge of 30 AERI-sponsored trials in hill tracts areas.
The AGGRi seed system team in Bangladesh is providing all types of technical support for the trials, including coordination, field supervision and need-based field assistance, as well as supporting and assisting the partner in conducting the trials in accordance with the IRRI-BRRI protocol guidelines to avoid bias.
The AGGRi seed system team already visited trials in some hill tracts areas.
AERI also successfully implemented the trial titled “Head to Head Adaptive Trial (HHAT) of Modern Rice Varieties” under the Transforming Rice Breeding (TRB) project of BRRI in the Boro 2020-2021 season, Aman 2021 season and Boro 2021-2022 season (ongoing) in Bangladesh.
The trial was implemented in five districts in Bangladesh. AERI will be successfully completing the implementation of the trial, as per the guidelines.
AERI is committed to providing comprehensive, syndicated research to farm industry leaders, evaluating market dynamics in agribusiness, agriculture, crop protection, seeds and more. The broad experience of our team in the agriculture industry, combined with marketing research expertise, forms the basis for reports which provide clear insights and realistic tactics.
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