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IRRI, HSBC Bank team up to boost haor region rice production

This will be crucial for ensuring the long-term viability of rice production in haor, a region particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts.

Participants at a workshop organised by IRRI and HSBC on 4 June in Dhaka marking the launch of a three-year project aimed at transforming the rice value chain in Bangladesh’s haor region. Photo: Courtesy

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has joined forces with HSBC Bank to launch a three-year project aimed at transforming the rice value chain in Bangladesh’s haor region.

The project was officially kicked off at an inception workshop held in Dhaka, co-organised by IRRI and HSBC, read a press release.

The initiative, titled “Climate-Smart Rice Value Chain in the haor region,” seeks to address the challenges faced by rice farmers in the region through the adoption of improved technologies and more sustainable practices.

This will be crucial for ensuring the long-term viability of rice production in haor, a region particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts.

Dr Shaikh Mohammad Bokhtiar, head of Bangladesh’s agricultural research council, said during the workshop, “The sustainability and resilience of rice production in the haor region are not just local concerns; they are integral to our national food security and economic prosperity.”

The project aims to benefit 10,000 rice value chain actors within three years, focusing on five upazilas in Sunamganj and Kishoreganj. Activities will include introducing new rice varieties, promoting sustainable farming methods, strengthening seed systems, increasing mechanisation, and raising awareness about rice-related innovations.

Notably, IRRI’s digital tools like the Rice Crop Manager and Rice Doctor will be deployed to assist farmers in making informed decisions.

The project reflects HSBC Bangladesh’s commitment to climate change initiatives.

HSBC Bangladesh Corporate Sustainability Head Syeda Afzalun Nessa said, “HSBC’s core focus for philanthropy has been climate adaptation and mitigation, and as the haor region is one of the climate hotspots of Bangladesh, we have collaborated with IRRI to boost the productivity of the region and improve the climate-resilient rice value chain.”

The project launch workshop brought together representatives from various government departments, NGOs, universities, and farmers, showcasing a collaborative effort to ensure the success of this initiative.

Dr Humnath Bhandari, representing IRRI in Bangladesh, underscored the project’s potential benefits beyond the haor region. He highlighted goals like increased food security, economic improvements, and alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goals. The project also aims to empower women, youth, and ethnic minorities.

haors are vast wetlands crucial for agriculture and aquaculture, with over half the population relying on these activities for income. However, challenges abound, including limited crop production due to seasonal flooding and limited access to resources. Climate change further threatens rice production in the region.

The project will target these challenges by introducing new rice varieties, promoting sustainable practices, and improving seed systems and mechanisation.

IRRI’s digital tools will also be deployed to support farmers. By overcoming these hurdles and building climate-resilient rice production systems, the project aims to improve food security, livelihoods, and the overall economy of the haor region.

https://www.tbsnews.net/agriculture/irri-hsbc-bank-team-boost-haor-region-rice-production-868676 QR Code

Published Date: June 5, 2024

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