Sustainable Intensification of Mixed Farming Systems Initiative officially launched in Bangladesh

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On 16 November 2022, CGIAR researchers in collaboration with the National Agricultural Research and Extension System (NARES) organizations and other relevant stakeholders held a country launch event for the One CGIAR Sustainable Intensification of the Mixed Farming Systems Initiative in Rangpur, Bangladesh.

The three-year Initiative is one of the 32 new research and development initiatives unveiled in 2022 by CGIAR. It aims to provide equitable, transformative pathways for improved livelihoods of actors in mixed farming systems through sustainable intensification within targeted agroecologies and socioeconomic settings.

Speaking to participants at the event virtually via video link, the Initiative lead, Dr. Fred Kizito, introduced participants to its main objectives and goals noting that the work of the Initiative is predicated upon CGIAR innovations, tools, and approaches from various thematic specializations, including agronomy, livestock, aquaculture, soil, and water management, mechanization, gender, and socioeconomics. It will promote better food security, nutrition, and health.

Context was added to Kizito’s comments by Dr. Santiago Lopez-Ridaura, the Initiative Co-Lead, who presented an overview of the Initiative and explained the five work packages through which it will be implemented. Ridaura also took participants through the Initiative’s research questions, activities, outputs, and outcomes.

Also speaking during the event, the Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension (Rangpur Region), Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Mr. Muhammad Shah Alam, emphasized the importance of the mixed farming systems in ensuring food and nutrition security, improving farmers’ livelihoods, and enhancing environmental sustainability in Bangladesh. He hoped that the proper implementation of the mixed farming systems initiative will play a vital role for sustainable agricultural development and achievement of SDGs in the country.

The launch meeting was a platform to build stronger partnership and common understanding of the Mixed Farming Systems Initiative among the implementing partners. Stakeholders also got an opportunity to discuss how to develop partnerships to achieve common goals of the Initiative.

Breakout group discussions helped identify the dominant farming systems of selected areas; challenges and opportunities; socio-technical innovation bundles; enabling and implementing partners; and the selection of key innovation bundles.

In his closing remarks, Head of the Rice Farming System of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, Dr. Md. Ibrahim commented that “the participatory discussion identified the challenges, opportunities, research and development gaps, and national priorities for a sustainable and intensified mixed farming systems of Bangladesh.”

Dr. Humnath Bhandari, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Representative for Bangladesh, thanked the 50 participants/stakeholders who took part in the meeting and contributed to the design of the Initiative activities in Bangladesh.

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