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GIFS-Bangladesh Partnership

Bangladesh delegates on a lab tour at GIFS

A strategic partnership to enhance food security, maximizing Saskatchewan and Canada’s expertise in agriculture-biotechnology.

In 2020, GIFS and the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) entered into a multidisciplinary research, training and development partnership to help promote sustainable food security in the country. The five-year agreement, defined in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), will advance knowledge and technologies for agricultural research and development in Bangladesh. This work will take place through a consortium jointly led by GIFS and BARC, which coordinates the National Agricultural Research System on behalf of the Bangladesh Ministry of Agriculture.

The partnership is designed to help promote sustainable food security in Bangladesh by advancing knowledge transfer and technology development for agriculture research in the country.

Using Saskatchewan and Canada’s strengths in the agri-food and biotechnology sectors, and engaging various research institutes, our partnership will 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.
GIFS-Bangladesh Agricultural Technology Centre

An essential focus of the GIFS-Bangladesh partnership is the creation of a new Agricultural Technology Centre in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital. The centre will run four thematic research and development programs to build research and training capacity in Bangladesh, develop innovative solutions to enhance food security in the country and aid technology transfer between Bangladesh and Canada. GIFS and other USask partners will lead the four thematic programs, listed below:

1. Genomics and phenomics for plant breeding for crop improvement.

2. Soil health and quality for farm productivity.

3. Soil water regime and adaptation.

4. Post-harvest food handling and processing.

The partnership will also institute a new research chair at GIFS, plus a counterpart position in Bangladesh’s leading agricultural research university, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU).

Why Bangladesh?

The purpose of the GIFS-Bangladesh partnership is to elevate Bangladesh’s agricultural research capability and build its internal capacity. Its commitment will be to deliver innovative multidisciplinary agricultural technologies (agtech) which can be applied to Bangladesh challenges. The partnership has a strong focus on UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and women empowerment.

International partnership and trade is a major contributor to Western Canada’s economy. In addition, Canada and Bangladesh enjoy strong political stemming from the latter’s 1971 war of independence. Bangladesh is a high priority trading partner for Saskatchewan and the GIFS-Bangladesh partnership and resulting outcomes will promote Canada and Saskatchewan’s trade and export goals even further, including the Province’s Growth Plan targets of increased trade and exports.

For more than a decade, Bangladesh’s economic growth has been among the highest in the world and the country is a major emerging market opportunity for Canada. In addition, the Bangladesh government is very keen to adopt new technologies.

Saskatchewan strengths

Saskatchewan is a world-class centre for agriculture and has one of the world’s strongest agri-science ecosystems, including major large and small agriculture companies and highly productive and innovative farmers. It also includes Saskatoon and the University of Saskatchewan’s world-class training, research and development facilities and institutes such as GIFS, the Global Institute for Water Security (GIWS) and federal laboratories.

A partnership with Bangladesh will provide the opportunity to extend Saskatchewan’s global impact even further – opening up avenues to promote the Province’s research and development strengths in agriculture, agri-food and technology.

By working collaboratively with various stakeholders, GIFS is driving an international and multilateral partnership truly designed to enhance relations, advance trade and deliver economic value for all jurisdictions.