GIFS partnership with Bangladesh highlights bilateral trade, investment and cooperation opportunities
Director of Operations Pierre-Luc Pradier speaking with delegates about plant imaging
Saskatchewan’s strong agri-food ecosystem, technology transfer and trade opportunities between the Province and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh were highlighted in a recent visit by representatives of the Government of Bangladesh to the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).
In attendance were Tipu Munshi, Bangladesh Member of Parliament and Honorable Commerce Minister, and an accompanying delegation from his government.
“This visit forms part of our important multidisciplinary research, training and development partnership established last year between GIFS and the Bangladesh Ministry of Agriculture – to help promote sustainable food security in the country,” said GIFS Director of Strategic Partnerships and Chief Operating Officer Stephen Visscher CBE.
“Research and innovation have driven Canada and Saskatchewan’s agriculture success and this partnership was designed to take these strengths from our province’s agri-food ecosystem to deliver programs to Bangladesh that are focused on enhancing farmer incomes, addressing the effects of climate change, and strengthening the country’s delivery of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including around reducing hunger and empowering women.”
As part of this relationship, GIFS is connecting partners within Saskatchewan’s research, development and agri-food ecosystem – including the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre, USask colleges, the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) – to deliver initiatives that meet specific agriculture needs in Bangladesh.
Led by GIFS, the collaboration will see the set-up of an agricultural technology centre in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where the Saskatchewan organizations will offer programs to enhance crop breeding and plant improvement, advance soil health and quality, improve soil water retention and deliver innovations for post-harvest food handling and processing – a specific area of concern for the country.
“Saskatchewan is such an important partner for Bangladesh, and like our country, agriculture is a key sector of the province’s economy, meaning we can learn a lot from each other and build more bilateral trade” said Munshi.
“We are pleased that our relationship with GIFS will help connect us to even more key players in Saskatchewan’s leading agriculture sector – players with strengths in specific areas relevant to us and to meeting our peculiar needs in Bangladesh.”
As part of this visit, the delegates met with some Saskatchewan ministers, and GIFS hosted a meeting with elected representatives from the federal and municipal government in Canada, as well as with industry and research representatives from the ecosystem.
The group discussed trade and investment opportunities and the strong bilateral relationship that exists between the province and Bangladesh.
“Saskatchewan is a leading agri-food exporter in Canada and Bangladesh is one of the province’s top 10 markets, with 2020 exports to the country alone valued at $612.9 million. Bangladesh is also emerging as a trade and investment destination with pro-business and pro-investment policies, vast interconnectedness within the South East Asia region, growing exports, expanding infrastructure and strong domestic demand.” said GIFS Chief Executive Officer Steven Webb (PhD).
“We’re pleased to see that this partnership between GIFS and Bangladesh will help enable a mutually beneficial bilateral relationship to drive additional trade and investment opportunities between Bangladesh, Saskatchewan and Canada.”