A Deep Dive into the Land of Rivers: Taking Stock of the Role of CGIAR Research in Bangladesh
Independent Advisory and Evaluation Service
Previously threatened by widespread famine in the 1970s due to its fast-growing population and low per capita food grain availability, Bangladesh has since achieved self-sufficiency in its domestic food needs. In the past decades, the country experienced a remarkable growth in rice yields, increasing from 1 ton per hectare in the early 1970s to 3 tons per hectare in 2013 (Gautam and Faruqee, 2016).
This significant increase in agricultural productivity can be attributed to major technological change in the country. SPIA is working on Bangladesh because it is believed that CGIAR was one of the key contributors to this progress, through a combination of research, technological innovation, and policy advocacy. CGIAR centers’ research efforts spanned a broad range including varietal development, and in the promotion of irrigation, mechanization, sustainable intensification, collaborative management of natural resources, and market-based solutions for the provision of agricultural services. To foster the creation of an appropriate enabling environment for these changes, much focus was also given to support the Government of Bangladesh in enacting a number of policy reforms.