A high-level delegation from the government of Bangladesh has just taken a first-hand look at hybrid maize seed being produced by the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC). The group included M. Nurul Alam, Executive Chairman, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC); M. Sahadad Hussain, Director General, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI); A. Bari, Director, Department of Agricultural Extension; M. Matiur Rahman, Director of Research, BARI; and officials from BADC itself.
With technical support from CIMMYT, BADC is producing hybrid maize seed from CIMMYT-derived materials developed by BARI. The group visited the seed production plots and farmers growing the hybrids. The farmer and their families had taken part in whole family training on maize production, one of the key tools CIMMYT and partners in Bangladesh use to ensure farm families get the most from growing maize.
After visiting the seed production and grain production fields, the group attended a farmer’s rally where growers, seed producers from the public and private sectors, seed dealers, local level extension officers, NGOs and researchers participated and exchanged views.
The policy implication of this visit and meeting is that the CIMMYT whole family training approach for maize will continue with national and CIMMYT support. BADC will produce hybrid maize seed on 161 hectares of land in 2006 with contact growers contributing 20% of the total seed requirement and DAE will do country-wide demonstrations with these hybrids for farmer awareness and adoption.
The field visit was arranged by CIMMYT Affiliate Scientist, Nur-E-Elahi.