Bangladesh survived its bloodshed Liberation War and become an independent nation in 1971, but the War left the country struggling in the years that followed. Despite this, Bangladesh managed to steadily increase its rice production from 16 million tons before the Liberation War, and the production of rice was about 48 million tons in the year 2009. This was largely because of modern rice varieties coupled with improved management practices and irrigation development that helped farmers to increase their production.
Modern rice production technologies helps Bangladesh become nearly a self-sufficient country in rice production despite of monsoons and floods, which took their toll on rice production efforts. The steady increases in rice production also helped the country avert food insecurity in the face of severe natural disasters such as major floods in the year 1987, 1988, 1998 and 2004.
The relationship with Bangladesh and IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) goes back more than 30 years. In 1966, the government of what was then East Pakistan emphasized rice research within the Cereals Section of its Agricultural Laboratory in Tejgaon, Dhaka. During this time, collaborative research to test rice lines from IRRI also began with support from the Ford Foundation. In the following year, the first widely distributed semi dwarf rice variety called IR8 was introduced into the country.
In 1970, the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) was established and has worked closely with IRRI ever since. This partnership paved the way for a series of initiatives that soon followed. Donors like the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Asian Development Bank (ADB), the International Development Research Centre of Canada (IDRC) as well as the Rockefeller Foundation, supported initiatives to help Bangladesh in its efforts to overcome rice insufficiency.
Focus was given on improving cultivation practices (cropping patterns, plant nutrient management, water management, integrated pest management, farm mechanization, and post harvest technologies), preserving the diversity of the rice gene pool, developing high-yielding and stress-tolerant varieties, capacity building, and others.
Dear Readers, The information’s in this post has been taken from the link provided in this post, For more information’s about Bangladesh and IRRI go to the above links.
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