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Research in agriculture needed to be enhanced

Published : 02 Feb 2020 09:01 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 08:43 PM

The impact of climate change is augmenting the process of desertification and salinity in the country’s coastal areas adding much woes to the people.

Experts opined that a grand research plan should be taken to tackle the upcoming challenges of the agriculture sector by boosting sustainable development.

According to sources, the allocation for the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) research institutes in the financial year 2015-16 was Tk 687 crore 20 lakh.

In the next the financial year, the allocation decreased to Tk 47 crore 20 lakh. However, in the financial year 2107-2018, the allocation increased to Tk 688 crore.

The agricultural research of this country deals with innovation and technology.
Adapting rice, especially disaster tolerant varieties, is underway to adapt to different types of environmental situations. Work is being done to develop nutrient-rich rice.
Increasing the allocation of research and the need for skilled researchers and laboratories to accelerate innovation is a timely call, said Enamul Rahman Showkat, a seed researcher at a privately-owned firm in the capital.

The majority demand for sugar, pulses, spices, and oilseeds is met by imports. Besides, the agriculture sector is exposed to lack of crop versatility, sudden rise or fall in temperature, water and land crisis and lack of quality agro inputs, especially seeds and fertilizers, he added.

He also said that there is no alternative to research for the development of agriculture, including food output and nutrition.

Asifur Rahman, Director of seed innovation program at the Vision World NGO, said as it is necessary to increase the allocation of research, it is necessary to develop the research infrastructure.

Besides, the researchers have to be careful considering climate change, he added.

He further said besides obstacles in the marketing system, the challenges of reducing the fertility of land and the technical deficit have to be addressed.

Besides, emphasis should be given to production management, fertilizer, irrigation and pest management. That is why, research needs to be geared up.

National Agricultural Research System (NARS) is working in coordination with 10 agricultural research institutes. It sets priorities for planning and future research topics.

The NARS also monitors ongoing research activities and evaluates the outcome of the activities. Among the NARS’ research institutes, there are six under the Ministry of Agriculture.

Agriculture Secretary Nasiruzzaman said, “Now-a-days there is no alternative to research for advancement of the agricultural sector. New varieties and technologies are being researched to address the risks of climate change, modernization in the cultivation and marketing system.”

Success is also evident because the country is self-sufficient in cereal grains today. Projects of research are being taken as per requirement, he added.

The official also said that, the allocation is increasing every year. More allocation will be made in the days ahead. Besides, subsidies are being increased in the agricultural sector.