SPIA’s workflow reaches the land of rivers

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Bangladesh will be the fourth focus country of SPIA’s national data systems team. We recently launched a recruitment for two positions (a Postdoctoral fellow and a Liaison officer)* to be based in Dhaka to join our virtual team with members in Vietnam, Uganda, Ethiopia, France and the United States. We hope to have filled those positions by July 2022. The range of different topics that CGIAR centers have focused on in Bangladesh makes this a unique opportunity to work to incorporate adoption of CGIAR innovations into national data collection.

For example, aquaculture is a significant sector in Bangladesh, ranging from traditional carp polyculture systems (multiple species grown in the same pond) to more intensive systems focused on tilapia or shrimp. Aquaculture has gone through a period of significant growth in Bangladesh referred to as a “Blue Revolution” in a recent book by Rashid and Zhang. The production of fish by aquaculture quadrupled over the past two decades. Inland and marine capture fisheries in the country have also been subject to long-run research programs by WorldFish. One workstream may be to deepen understanding on how the fortunes of these different sub-sectors may have been supported by CGIAR research contributions, on management practices, policies and, in the case of aquaculture, fish genetics (the GIFT tilapia strains in particular).

Rice breeders have successfully worked on both flood tolerance and drought tolerance – traits for which the stakes are high, given both the continued importance of rice as a staple and the high level of exposure to climate shocks experienced by farmers in the country. There is room for research to understand which farmers are able to access seed varieties with these traits. To support this research, SPIA aims to enhance data collection on varietal adoption through both DNA fingerprinting and systematic national surveys.

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