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Sustainable Gadgets can help revolutionize farming practices: Experts




Researchers have identified sustainable crop production gadgets that farmers and researchers in Bangladesh can adapt to revolutionize 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 the 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 farmers’ demand.

Md Sayedul Islam, secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, emphasized the need for 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 – of corporate services, IRRI, said, “Although the nation’s agricultural achievements should be recognized 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 honored the IRRI Seed System South Asia Team with 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.

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Agri Biz

Bangladesh to Establish Int. Laboratory for Agricultural Certification



bangladesh agri

Agriculture Secretary Wahida Akter announced plans to establish an international laboratory in Bangladesh to issue accredited certificates, supporting the roadmap for exporting agricultural products. The country is also developing a world-class packaging system and training around 200,000 farmers to produce commodities meeting global demands.

Expressing optimism, Akter anticipates Bangladesh’s capacity to export agricultural products to all countries within the next two years. She addressed these initiatives at a workshop titled “Export of Agro Products: Challenges and Way Forward” at the Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council.

While acknowledging global praise for Bangladesh’s agricultural products, Akter stressed the need to enhance exports and reduce production costs. The Ministry of Agriculture has launched a dedicated export desk to expand the export of agricultural products.

Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Fisheries and Livestock Secretary Dr Nahid Rashid, and other officials discussed the challenges and opportunities for agricultural exports. Ghosh emphasized the importance of private sector investment in agri-processed industries and urged entrepreneurs to contribute to the agricultural sector’s growth.

In summary, Bangladesh is proactively taking steps to strengthen its position in the global agricultural market by focusing on certification, packaging, and training, with a vision to boost exports in the coming years.

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Agri Biz

Govt Approves Procurement of 90,000 Metric Tons of Fertilizer, 1.10cr Liters of Soybean Oil



Soybean Oil fertilizer

During the 39th meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP), the government approved several crucial proposals. This includes the procurement of 90,000 metric tons of fertilizer and 1.10 crore liters of soybean oil, aiming to meet the rising demand in the country.

Two separate proposals were also given the green light for fixing the power tariff for two power plants. The state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) will be responsible for procuring soybean oil from Green Nation Builders & Developers in India. Cabinet Division additional secretary, Sayeed Mahbub Khan, shared details on the approved power tariffs. This includes the 11 MW waste-based power plant in Brahmanbaria and the 100MW AC solar-based power plant in Sonagazi.

Furthermore, the Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) received approval for the procurement of urea fertilizer. The BCIC will acquire consignments from Muntajat in Qatar, KAFCO in Bangladesh, and SABIC Agri Nutrients Company in Saudi Arabia. Additionally, the CCGP meeting greenlit a road project involving the upgrading of the Aricha-Gheor-Doulatpur-Nagarpur-Tangail regional highway.

In a separate meeting, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs convened and approved the maintenance of the import agreement for non-urea fertilizer from six countries. These include Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia, Canada, Russia, and Belarus. The government will also initiate the procurement of non-urea fertilizer (TSP, DAP, MoP) from three more countries: China, Malaysia, and Jordan.

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Agri Biz

Vegetable Prices in Dhaka Markets Witness Significant Decline




The prices of most vegetables in various markets in the city are on a declining trend due to abundant supplies of early winter vegetables in the country over the past two weeks.

Prices of various vegetables, including beans, eggplants, radishes, cucurbits, yard-long beans, cauliflower, cabbage, papaya, okra, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, sweet gourd, and green chili, have seen a decrease of Tk 20-30 compared to their prices two weeks ago.

“Two weeks ago, vegetable prices reached a maximum of Tk 80-120 per kilogram in the city markets, but they have been significantly declining since then,” said Mohammad Shahadat Hossain, a vegetable retailer at Hazrat Shah Ali kitchen market, Mirpur-1.

“Vegetables like beans, eggplants, yard-long beans, and bitter gourds are now being sold at Tk 60-80 per kilogram, whereas they were Tk 80-120 two weeks ago,” said Md. Jewel, a retailer at Karwan Bazar, a hub for vegetables.

Retailer Taiyab expressed hope that vegetable prices would continue to decrease over the next two weeks, especially after a 100% arrival of vegetables in the city’s kitchen markets.

The prices of bundles of green leafy vegetables, including spinach, water spinach, and Malabar spinach, have also seen a 50% decrease compared to their previous prices.

However, the prices of newly-harvested potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots remain relatively high, ranging from Tk 120-140 per kilogram.

One resident, Mohammad Khalil, attributed the decline in vegetable prices to the sufficient supply of winter vegetables.

While prices are decreasing, advocate Mahmudul Hasan from Judge Court, Dhaka, suggested that the government should properly monitor prices, as they can vary from market to market.

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