Tag Archives: Department of Agricultural Extension

First blast resistant, biofortified wheat variety released in Bangladesh-A great breakthrough of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute

First blast resistant, biofortified wheat variety released in Bangladesh

by Hans Braun, Pawan Singh, Ravi Singh, Shahidul Haque Khan, Velu Govindan / October 18, 2017

Members of National Technical Committee of NSB evaluating BAW 1260 in the field. Photo: CIMMYT
Members of National Technical Committee of NSB evaluating BAW 1260, the breeding line used to develop BARI Gom 33. Photo: CIMMYT

DHAKA, Bangladesh (CIMMYT) — As wheat farmers in Bangladesh struggle to recover from a 2016 outbreak of a mysterious disease called “wheat blast,” the country’s National Seed Board (NSB) released a new, high-yielding, blast-resistant wheat variety, according to a communication from the Wheat Research Centre (WRC) in Bangladesh.

Called “BARI Gom 33,” the variety was developed by WRC using a breeding line from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), a Mexico-based organization that has collaborated with Bangladeshi research organizations for decades, according to Naresh C. Deb Barma, Director of WRC, who said the variety had passed extensive field and laboratory testing. “Gom” means “wheat grain” in Bangla, the Bengali language used in Bangladesh.

“This represents an incredibly rapid response to blast, which struck in a surprise outbreak on 15,000 hectares of wheat in southwestern Bangladesh just last year, devastating the crop and greatly affecting farmers’ food security and livelihoods, not to mention their confidence in sowing wheat,” Barma said.

Caused by the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae pathotype triticum, wheat blast was first identified in Brazil in 1985 and has constrained wheat farming in South America for decades. Little is known about the genetics or interactions of the fungus with wheat or other hosts. Few resistant varieties have been released in Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, the countries most affected by wheat blast.

The Bangladesh outbreak was its first appearance in South Asia, a region where rice-wheat cropping rotations cover 13 million hectares and over a billion inhabitants eat wheat as main staple.

Many blast fungal strains are impervious to fungicides, according to Pawan Singh, a CIMMYT wheat pathologist. “The Bangladesh variant is still sensitive to fungicides, but this may not last forever, so we’re rushing to develop and spread new, blast-resistant wheat varieties for South Asia,” Singh explained.

The urgent global response to blast received a big boost in June from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), which funded an initial four-year research project to breed blast resistant wheat varieties and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), which also provided grant to kick-start the work in South Asia. Led by CIMMYT, the initiative involves researchers from nearly a dozen institutions worldwide.

Chemical controls are costly and potentially harmful to human and environmental health, so protecting crops like wheat with inherent resistance is the smart alternative, but resistance must be genetically complex, combining several genes, to withstand new mutations of the pathogen over time.

Key partners in the new project are the agricultural research organizations of Bangladesh, including the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), and the Instituto Nacional de Innovación Agropecuaria y Forestal in Bolivia, which will assist with large-scale field experiments to select wheat lines under artificial and natural infections of wheat blast.

Other partners include national and provincial research organizations in India, Nepal and Pakistan, as well as Kansas State University (KSU) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Services (USDA-ARS). The U.S. Agency for International Agricultural Development (USAID) has also supported efforts to kick-start blast control measures, partnerships and upscaling the breeding, testing and seed multiplication of new, high-yielding, disease resistant varieties through its Feed the Future project.

BARI Gom 33 was tested for resistance to wheat blast in field trials in Bolivia and Bangladesh and in greenhouse tests by the USDA-ARS laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland. International partnerships are critical for a fast response to wheat blast, according to Hans-Joachim Braun, director of CIMMYT’s Global Wheat Program.

“Worldwide, we’re in the middle of efforts that include blast surveillance and forecasting, studies on the pathogen’s genetics and biology, integrated disease management and seed systems, as well as raising awareness about the disease and training for researchers, extension workers, and farmers,” said Braun.

With over 160 million people, Bangladesh is among the world’s most densely populated countries. Wheat is Bangladesh’s second most important staple food, after rice. The country grows more than 1.3 million tons each year but consumes 4.5 million tons, meaning that imports whose costs exceed $0.7 billion each year comprise more than two-thirds of domestic wheat grain use.

WRC will produce tons of breeder’s seed of BARI Gom 33 each year. This will be used by the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) and diverse non-governmental organizations and private companies to produce certified seed for farmers.

“This year WRC will provide seed to BADC for multiplication and the Department of Agricultural Extension will establish on-farm demonstrations of the new variety in blast prone districts during 2017-18,” said Barma.

As an added benefit for the nutrition of wheat consuming households, BARI Gom 33 grain features 30 percent higher levels of zinc than conventional wheat. Zinc is a critical micronutrient missing in the diets of many of the poor throughout South Asia and whose lack particularly harms the health of pregnant women and children under 5 years old.

With funding from HarvestPlus and the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition, CIMMYT is leading global efforts to breed biofortified wheat with better agronomic and nutritional quality traits. The wheat line used in BARI Gom 33 was developed at CIMMYT, Mexico, through traditional cross-breeding and shared with Bangladesh and other cooperators in South Asia through the Center’s International Wheat Improvement Network, which celebrates 50 years in 2018.

Stable window 1 and 2 (W1W2) funding from CGIAR enabled CIMMYT and partners to react quickly and screen breeding lines in Bolivia, as well as working with KSU to identify sources of wheat blast resistance. The following W1 funders have made wheat blast resistance breeding possible: Australia, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada, France, India, Japan, Korea, New Zeland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the World Bank. The following funders also contributed vital W2 funding: Australia, China, the United Kingdom (DFID) and USAID.

(This report has been taken from the website of CIMMYT,http://www.cimmyt.org for greater dissemination to inform and inspire all concerned.I specially congratulate the team of scientists for this great breakthrough.I also thank the funding agencies for their great contributions towards food and nutrition security.I heartily acknowledge the authors of the article,”First blast resistant, biofortified wheat variety released in Bangladesh” who depicted the details of the breakthrough and published at http://www.cimmyt.org/first-blast-resistant-biofortified-wheat-variety-released-in-bangladesh)

Seminar on Improved Flower Cultivation Methods and Potentiality of Export Organized by Export Promotion Bureau of Bangladesh : Dr Syed Md Zainul Abedin

Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) of Bangladesh organized a special seminar on Improved Flower Cultivation Methods and Potentiality of Export on 25 January,2017 at its head office located in Kawran Bazar,Dhaka.Dr. Farjana Nasrin Khan,Senior Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) presented the keynote paper at the seminar.A good number of stakeholders of the promising flower industry attended the seminar.The existing situation of flower industry and way forward were revealed in the seminar.

The seminar was initiated by the welcome address of Mr. Md Jahangir Hossain, Director (Policy and Planning),EPB. Mrs.Mafruha Sultana,Vice Chairman,EPB presented the inaugural speech and declared the seminar open.She elaborated the programmes of EPB regarding the export of flowers from Bangladesh and stated that all necessary measures would be taken to support export of flowers.

Dr. Farjana Nasrin Khan presented the keynote paper emphasizing all aspects of flower farming and export.She pointed out the prospects and constraints in connection with the production of quality flowers and their export.After her lively presentation
the floor was opened for discussion and question and answer session.Professor Dr. AFM Jamal Uddin of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University,Dr.Shah Md.Shaiful Islam of Shah nursery Jhenaidah,Kazi Liakat Ali of Root and Shoot,Mr.A K M Manirul Alam,Deputy Director(Fruit and Flower) of Horticulture Wing of Department of Agricultural Extension(DAE),Mr.Mohammad Quamaruzzaman,Senior Assistant Secretary of Bangladesh Export Processing Zone (BEPZA),Ms.Kamrunnahar,Additional Deputy Director of Plant Quarantine Wing of DAE and a number of other participants joined in the open discussion and presented very important points for successful management of flower production and export.
Mr.Avijit Chowdhury,Director General-1,Export Promotion Bureau concluded the seminar with optimism and thanked the keynote presenter and participants for their valuable contributions.

Mr.Md. Jakir Hossain,Deputy Director(Policy),EPB conducted the event.

The seminar was a milestone for the flower industry of Bangladesh.It may be reasonably hoped that the flowers grown by Bangladeshi farmers will soon bring recognition for Bangladesh in the foreign countries and strengthen the economy of Bangladesh.

Agriculture Sector Programme Support of DANIDA in Bangladesh(Based on the Website of Denmark in Bangladesh)

DANIDA is the term used for Denmark’s development cooperation, which is an area of activity under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

Denmark’s development policy aims to contribute to reducing global poverty and helping people to take charge of their own destinies. This is the overriding objective for which DANIDA works.

DANIDA has responsibility for the planning, implementation and quality assurance of development cooperation. There are local and posted staff at Danish embassies and missions abroad, who are responsible for the administration and management of development cooperation with the individual country

 

 

 

DANIDA facts

  • Denmark grants an annual approximately DKK 15 billion in development assistance.
  • Denmark is one of five countries in the world to live up to the UN’s recommendation to grant a minimum of 0.7 per cent GNI in development assistance.
  • Denmark has been granting development assistance since the end of the Second World War.

Agriculture Sector Programme Support

(This content is taken from the following link for further dissemination of the support and  activities of DANIDA in Agriculture Sector of Bangladesh:http://bangladesh.um.dk/en/danida-en/agriculture-sector-programme-support/)

 

The agricultural sector plays a very significant role in the Bangladesh economy, socially as well as culturally. The Sixth Fiver Plan emphasizes the role of agriculture in generating employment, alleviating poverty and fostering growth


Agriculture’s main role in poverty reduction lies in maintaining the supply of food at least at a rate at which the demand has been growing, thereby keeping the food prices stable and within affordable limits of low-income households. The impact of agricultural growth on rural wages is an important element in the process since a major share of income of the poor originates from wage labour in agricultural and related activities. A high agricultural growth creates opportunities for diversification of the rural economy and development of the rural non-farm sector with greater poverty-reduction impact.

Denmark and Bangladesh have a long history of bilateral cooperation in agriculture, fishery and livestock. Denmark’s strategy to support the agricultural sector in Bangladesh includes a strong poverty reduction focus, together with special emphasis on poorer women, nutrition, marketing and environment. Support is provided to technology generation and delivery of essential services nearer to the farmers’ door steps.

Denmark’s support to agricultural development in Bangladesh has consistently been channelled through the Government of Bangladesh. This approach has been advantageous since these interventions have been well anchored at national level and have significant impact on present policies and strategies. Denmark also aims at harmonising its development assistance with other donor funded programmes in the same sector and geographical areas.

The Danish support to the agriculture sector started in late 80s and in 90s with Mymensingh Aquacultural Extension Project (1989), Smallholder Livestock Development Project (1992), Integrated Soil Fertility and Fertilizer Management Project (1993), Integrated Pest Management Project (1997), Patuakhali Barguna Aquacultural Extension Project (1997), Participatory Livestock Development Project (1998), Greater Noakhali Aquacultural extension Project (1998). The support has been continuing through Agriculture Sector Programme Support Phase I (2000-2006 ) and Agriculture Sector Programme Support Phase II (2006-2012).

Denmark has pledged to support a new “Agricultural Growth and Employment Programme” (AGEP) from 2013 to 2017. The Agricultural Growth and Employment Programme will be in line with the priorities of the Government of Bangladesh as set out in the Country Investment Plan (CIP) and the Sixth Five Year Plan. In line with CIP and the Sixth Five Year Plan, Agricultural Growth and Employment Programme will focus, among others, on:

  • Integration of crops, fishery and livestock extension
  • Diversification of agricultural production with special focus on high value crops
  • Formation of producer/marketing groups at village level
  • Agro Business Development

AGEP will have two components, namely Integrated Farm Management Component (IFMC) and Agro Business Development Component (ABDC). The Integrated Farm Management Component (IFMC) will be implemented by the Department of Agricultural Extension under the Ministry of Agriculture.

IFMC will promote the concept of Integrated Farm Management through Farmers’ Field School.

The Agro Business Development Component will support the third phase of the multi donor (SDC, DFID and the Netherlands) basket fund Katalyst.

 

(The article has been prepared and published on the basis of the website of Denmark in Bangladesh :http://bangladesh.um.dk/en/ for further dissemination of the information of support and activities of Denmark and DANIDA.)

 

FUTURE AGRICULTURAL SCIENTIST

I went to the countryside of Dhamrai,an Upazila under Dhaka district of Bangladesh to see the conditions of crops in the field.The day of the visit was in April,2010.The weather was sunny with clear sky and the temperature was around 34 degree.The major crops at this time were paddy,maize,cucurbits,brinjal and other vegetables.The fruit trees at the early bearing stage were mango and jack fruit.Moringa, a tree with choice vegetable was also in fruiting stage in some households.This area is also famous for a special variety of lemon which is grown by many farmers in compact blocks.

I was accompanied by two colleagues from the Department of Agricultural Extension(DAE) who served in this Upazila.
We were moving on motorbikes.The paddy fields were showing brilliance and fresh look.At some points we stopped to take a closer view.We were particularly interested about Brown Plant Hopper(BPH) and Sheath Blight of rice.They are real panic for rice crop. BPH is considered as a great threat at this moment for it can damage 100 percent of rice crop.At a point of our journey we stopped at a roadside spot noticing a small patch of rice field with suspicious
appearance.We examined the base of the rice plants to see BPH .We could not find BPH from the surveyed plant bases but we found Sheath Blight affected plants.We compared the specimen with the photo and description of the book published by Bangladesh Rice Research Institute(BRRI).Sheath Blight was confirmed in BRRIDHAN-29 variety.When we were doing the exercise ,a little student going back home from school on a bicycle stopped there.He was trying to listen to what we had been discussing.I felt very good and awaited curiously what the boy would do next.But he was very meek and did not come closer. I invited him to come closer and allowed him to see the specimen and then inspired him to read the note on Sheath Blight contained in BRRI publication.He was very happy for being able to participate.He was a special boy,more intelligent and curious than his classmates who were going back home then along the same road.He took an important practical lesson which might be utilized immediately in husbanding their own crop or answering the examination question on biology.He is a student of local high school and is studying in class seven.He aspired to be an agricultural scientist when he will grow up.The world will need more talented agricultural scientists in the future when there will be more mouths to feed and more challenges to face with fewer land and resources.
The name of the little boy is Abdul Khaleque.I became impressed by his curiosity for learning and for his aspiration to be an agricultural scientist.
I dedicate this Future Agricultural Scientist to the world and invite all concerned to support their education with conducing environment to enable them to face the future challenges across the world.