Collaboration drives new ACIAR Bangladesh strategy

24 March 2021
Farmer in Bangladesh

ACIAR has launched a new strategy with Bangladesh outlining key agricultural research priorities for the coming decade.

The Bangladesh Collaboration Strategy 2021-2030 was launched today in a virtual event and will underpin future research partnerships between Australia and Bangladesh.

Australia’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Jeremy Bruer, said the new strategy would further strengthen the partnership between the two countries.

‘ACIAR’s expertise in agricultural research for development contributes to Bangladesh’s sustainable economic growth, supports rural livelihoods and enhances regional stability,’ said the High Commissioner.

‘The strategy reflects the research collaboration between Australia and Bangladesh, which has thrived since the mid-1990s, and recognises the current and emerging challenges and opportunities in the agriculture sector.’

ACIAR CEO, Professor Andrew Campbell, said the new strategy affirmed the commitment to an equal, mutually beneficial, long-term research partnership between the two countries.

The new strategy outlines research priorities: crop improvement, improved farming systems, water management, soil fertility and management, markets, and agricultural mechanisation. It also emphasises the continued importance of building research capacity within Bangladesh.

‘This strategy reflects that Bangladesh has really impressive research capability, very strong visions of the directions it wants agricultural research to take, and resources to co-invest in this research,’ said Prof Campbell.

‘A 10-year strategy also enables longer-term and flexible programs to deal with complex issues such as climate change.’

The strategy highlights the memorandum of understanding that ACIAR has with the Krishi Gobeshona Foundation. First signed in 2015 and refreshed and renewed earlier this year, the agreement frames how the organisations jointly support and conduct research, development and other activities to improve food security.

Prof Campbell said that these types of agreements—and the new strategy—demonstrate the positive relationship, mutual trust and goodwill between the two countries.

Dr Shaikh Mohammad Bokhtiar, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) said BARC was pleased that ACIAR had reaffirmed its commitment supporting agriculture research for development in Bangladesh.

‘Agriculture has been playing a very significant role in ensuring food and nutritional security, employment generation, export market promotion and thereby increasing economic growth and sustainable development of the country,’ Dr Bokhtiar said.

‘While Bangladesh has made impressive progress in achieving national food security, we must continue to progress agricultural research to boost productivity and resilience to challenges including climate change,’ Dr Bokhtiar said adding that Bangladesh and Australia shared common research interests in sustainable agricultural intensification and diversification, mechanisation and precision agriculture, which BARC was keen to progress in the next decade.

The new strategy can be downloaded via the ACIAR website, with more information about ACIAR investment in South Asia also available.