Research in South Asia

February 27, 2012 at 9:36 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2nd Regional Coordination Meeting, 22-26 January, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Higher yields, lower production costs. Lentil farmers in Bangladesh share their perspectives with researchers

Scientists from six countries ― Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal and Pakistan ― have outlined a portfolio for collaborative research in South Asia, with ICARDA playing a central role as facilitator. The plans were developed at the Coordination Meeting of ICARDA’s South Asia and China Regional Program. The expanded portfolio could include a regional program on pulses; research on rangeland improvement, crop-livestock integration and water productivity; and training and graduate-study sponsorships for national researchers.

Over 300 participants attended the meeting, which was hosted by the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI). “Collaboration with ICARDA has made a major contribution to pulses production in Bangladesh.” The Hon’ble K.S.M. Shajahan, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee, Ministry of Agriculture, said. “I hope this research can be extended to new areas in the future, such as wheat, barley, protected agriculture and utilization of rice fallows.”

The meeting included field visits to BARI’s pulses research station at Ishurdi and to farmers’ fields in four surrounding districts. The highlight was lentil variety BARI Masoor 5, jointly developed by BARI and ICARDA. Farmers are using the new variety with recommended management practices including conservation tillage. The crop (mid-flowering stage) was in excellent condition. Farmers expect high yields, and are eager to share seed with their neighbors after the harvest. In addition to Masoor 5, several other BARI-ICARDA lentil varieties are being disseminated. Substantial improvements in yields, farm incomes and livelihoods can be expected in the coming years.

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