Bilateral meeting with Dr. Md Shahjahan Kabir, Director-General of the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI)
19 February 2020, Dhaka, The People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
H.E. Mr. Yerlan Baidaulet Director-General of IOFS met Dr. Md Shahjahan Kabir, Director General of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) during his mission to Dhaka on 19.02.2020.
Mr. Baidaulet introduced IOFS, its main mission, and programmes focusing on the development of strategic commodities, which would include future projects on Rice development and control of their implementation.
The potential of a forthcoming Steering Committee, the future role of Bangladesh in Plan of Action on Rice Development, value chain development, priorities, and opportunities for rice development were under discussion. Also, BRRI showed a high level of interest in the benefits of IFPA and manifested a willingness to collaborate in research and biotechnology. BRRI also highlighted the vast difference between the real costs of production and market prices that reach up to nearly 400%. Such unacceptable fact is occurring due to the dishonesty of so-called middlemen that intermediate between supply and demand.
Dr. Md Shahjahan Kabir briefly introduced BRRI, established in 1970 at Joydebpur, a small township 36 km north of the capital city Dhaka as a response measure to food shortages of that time. The institute employs 300 scientists and owns modern research facilities that include laboratories, greenhouses, and experimental fields. Besides, BRRI owns a modern germplasm bank with more than 8600 accessions, twenty major laboratories, ten greenhouses, ten net houses, and a 76.83-ha experimental farm. BRRI occupies around 80% of all land used for rice cultivation and 91% of rice-producing areas in Bangladesh.
Nine out of eleven regional stations also have reasonably good research facilities, particularly at field Levels Research facilities at the two newly established regional stations at Sirajganj and Gopalganj districts.
BRRI cultivates 102 types of rice and 54 among them are table rice, including a very specific aromatic one, and one for people with food sensitivities. Bangladesh produces more than 37,7 m. metric tons of rice, mainly for consumer consumption (25 m. metric tons) and utilizes an outstanding amount of surplus for export, animal feed, and garment production purposes.
BRRI showed keen interest in programmes of IOFS that aimed at the improvement of rice and the development of sustainable rice production technologies, such as Reverse Linkage Programmes, Center of Excellence. BRRI was also interested in the achievement of high-yielding and quality crops at lower cost through gene modification, improvement of institutional capacity and linkage for advanced research and broader market access, facilitation of trade and export potential.
Director-General of IOFS explained that Secretariat is made of professional and experienced personnel that could manage all interaction with BRRI. Mr. Baidaulet invited BRRI to visit Kazakhstan and study the potential of its market, as well as build a relationship with Kazakhstani rice-producing enterprises. Parties concluded that the meeting was very informative and fruitful.