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BARC

Department of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering

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Department of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering

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Department of Botany

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Department of Food Engineering and Tea Technology

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Department of Food Engineering and Tea Technology

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Department of Food Engineering and Tea Technology

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Faculty of Animal Science (FAS)

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Bangladesh: ASTI–BARC Country Factsheet

ASTI publicaiton cover

Authors:
Gert-Jan Stads, Md. Mustafizur Rahman, and Lang Gao

Year:
2014

Publisher
International Food Policy Research Institute and Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council

Publication category

Asia and the Pacific

Related country page(s)
Bangladesh

The total number of agricultural researchers in Bangladesh increased considerably in recent years, largely due to a major influx of PhD-qualified scientists at BARI and the agricultural universities.

Agricultural research spending has followed a somewhat erratic trend over time, but the launch of NATP (2009–2014) spurred a marked increase in overall investment levels.

Underinvestment in agricultural R&D is, nonetheless, pervasive: Bangladesh’s 2012 agricultural R&D intensity ratio of 0.40 is very low, especially in the context of rapid population growth, a shrinking natural resource base, and the adverse impacts of climate change.

Public Agricultural R&D in South Asia: Greater Government Commitment, Yet Underinvestment Persists

ASTI publicaiton cover

Authors:
Stads, Gert-Jan; Rahija, Michael

Year:
2012

Publisher
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Publication category

Overview publications

Related publication(s)

Bangladesh: ASTI–BARC Country Note

New quantitative evidence presented in this report demonstrates that total public agricultural R&D spending in South Asia more than doubled between 1996 and 2009, while the number of agricultural researchers decreased by 6 percent. These trends were largely driven by India, which has the highest investment levels and strongest human resource capacity in agricultural research South Asia by far (both in terms of size and qualification levels), as well as the highest agricultural research spending intensity at 0.4 percent of AgGDP. Despite rapid increases in recent years, South Asia’s agricultural R&D spending is still very low compared with other developing regions around the world.

Compared with India, agricultural R&D in the four other South Asian countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) faces greater challenges. Relative investment levels are lower in these countries than in India and have shown greater year-to-year fluctuations, in many instances due to the instability of donor funding. Agricultural research staff in these countries is also significantly less-qualified than in India, the combined result of prolonged recruitment freezes, losses of highly qualified senior staff, limited training opportunities, and an aging population of researchers. In addition, political instability in some countries has either delayed or complicated much needed institutional and policy reforms.

The scientific competence of South Asia’s agricultural R&D agencies is high, particularly in India, but as in many developing regions of the world, stronger linkages are needed to connect agricultural research agencies and their staff with the end users of their research to improve the relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency of research outputs. Further efforts to strengthen subregional linkages are also needed in order to better utilize limited resources and reduce wasteful duplication. In addition, good governance is key to promoting the effectiveness and efficiency of research, and ongoing policy and institutional reform will be needed to further strengthen agricultural R&D and innovation in South Asia.

Bangladesh: ASTI–BARC Country Brief

ASTI publicaiton cover

Authors:
Beintema, Nienke; Kabir, Wais

Year:
2006

Publisher
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); and Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC)

Publication category

Asia and the Pacific

Related publication(s)

Bangladesh: ASTI–BARC Country Note

Related country page(s)
Bangladesh

Overarching responsibility for the coordination of public agricultural research in Bangladesh lies with BARC, which is responsible for planning, integration, implementation, and evaluation of research.

Like many other low-income countries, Bangladesh’s agricultural research capacity has deteriorated in terms of researcher numbers and researcher qualifications as the more qualified and experienced researchers are drawn away by opportunities abroad. Despite this brain-drain, Bangladesh still has a high share of MSc- and PhD-trained research staff compared with surrounding countries like Sri Lanka and Malaysia.

Agricultural research has depended on donor funding, especially through various World Bank credit, which enabled Bangladesh to make considerable investments in its
infrastructure and equipment. Nevertheless, and despite increases in recent years, the intensity of the country’s agricultural research investments remains low. A primary goal of the most recent World Bank project was to improve the efficiency of the agricultural research system, but the wideranging institutional reform necessary for the successful achievement of this goal did not occur. BARC still has no control over the allocation of financial resources at the institutes it oversees since these are administered by four different government ministries and have individual, legally enacted management boards. In addition, the efficiency of the system continues to be poor because of its large number of, often overlapping, research stations and substations, each with its own management and support facilities. This has been recognized as an ongoing problem requiring attention, and plans to address the issue are in development.

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