Researchers have identified sustainable crop production models and technologies that farmers and researchers in Bangladesh can adopt to revolutionise their farming practices.
In a workshop hosted by the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) on Sunday at Fars International Hotel and Resort in Dhaka, it was said the amount of technologies agricultural scientists develop is largely disproportionate to the number of them being adopted by end users including farmers and researchers.
The workshop, facilitated by Scientists from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), was also told that the low adoption rate is compounded by other factors, including climate change, poor access to market, and lack of know-how.
To address this gap, stakeholders from the BADC and the IRRI have been working together for the past three years to develop solutions that would improve the adoption of technologies for more sustainable crop production in the country.
BADC team members and IRRI researchers identified that the "Crop Cafeteria Model" is the most suitable model for BADC to validate the demand for rice varieties, helping to make crop production more efficient.
It is also considered the fastest way to ensure technology transfer toward different stakeholders.
Crop Cafeteria is a replicated trial to promote the diffusion of the different rice varieties among stakeholders and allow them to carry out a systematic comparison of these varieties, and eventually select their most preferred varieties.
Participants also learned about the SeedCast app for seed demand estimation and rice variety information. SeedCast is a digital tool designed to reliably collate demand for rice seeds from dealers, generated based on farmer's demand.
Md Sayedul Islam, secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, emphasised the need for the joint collaboration with BADC and IRRI to increase research activity for strengthening the seed sector especially when it comes to seed security in Bangladesh.
Lauding Bangladesh's achievements in agriculture going from food-deficit to food-surplus, Elizabeth Anne Ali, manager - corporate services, IRRI, said, "Although the nation's agricultural achievements should be recognised and celebrated, there is still a need to remain vigilant."
Dr Nazmul Islam, chief coordinator, Research Cell, BADC and Dr Swati Nayak, scientist and South Asia lead for Seed Systems & Product Management of IRRI also spoke at the event.
Islam sought IRRI's help for future research activities and capacity development of BADC officials.
Meanwhile, Nayak focused on points for strengthening the partnership between IRRI and BADC in rice research and new technological advancement contributing to sustainable food production.
The BADC also honoured the IRRI Seed System South Asia Team with a recognition for contributing and collaborating on research, technical support and capacity development for strengthening the rice seed sector.
Nayak received the award from Md Sayedul Islam and AFM Hayatullah, chairman (Grade-1), BADC.
Several special guests also attended the event such as Md Shahjahan Kabir, director general, BRRI and Md Benojir Alam, DG, DAE, Md Ruhul Amin Talukder, additional secretary, Ministry of Agriculture.