BADC: Enhancing quality seed supply project

--Md. Azharul Islam

The Enhancing Quality Seed Supply Project, financed by Islamic Development Bank (IDB) aims at improving the capacity of three concerned agricultural institutions namely, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) and Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC), in order to increase the supply of quality seed to the farmers. A total quantity of 34,450 tons of high quality seed will be produced and distributed to the farmers by BADC, the principal government agency. The supply of quality seed will result in an additional increase of 1.4 million tons of food, thereby ensuring food security for the people.

Project Location

The project will cover BADC Component: in 28 Upazilas under Dhaka, Gazipur, Narsingdi, Sherpur, Tangail, Kishoregonj, Faridpur, Gopalgonj, Rajshahi, Pabna, Bogra, Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, Nilphamari, Chuadanga, Meherpur, Jessore, Satkhira, Barisal, Chittagong, Comilla and Habigonj Districts, BARI Component: in 16 Upazilas under Gazipur, Jamalpur, Munshigonj, Rajshahi, Pabna, Bogra, Rangpur, Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, Panchagarh, Chittagong, Comilla, Barisal and Jessore, Districts, BRRI Component: in 09 Upazilas under Gazipur, Faridpur, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Barisal, Satkhira, Comilla, Feni and Habigonj Dsitricts of Bangladesh.

Project Objectives

Quality seed is the foundation for enhancing crop production. But the availability of quality seed is the main constraint to crop production in Bangladesh. The use of quality seed can contribute significantly to increase grain yield as well as to increase the availability of everyday’s food intake. The production and supply of quality seed is thus very important. That’s why the government has recently given the seed sector a ‘Topmost Priority’ status. Therefore, the main objectives of this project are to attain sustainable food security and alleviate poverty through genetic improvement of crops; production, processing, preservation and distribution of quality seed; enhancement of crop productivity and improvement of the farm livelihoods in Bangladesh.

The specific objectives of the project are

w         To improve genetically, the seed of major crops;

w         To increase production of nucleus, breeder and quality seed of Rice, Wheat, Maize, Tube crops, Pulses, Oil seed crops, Vegetables, Fruits, Spices, etc.

w         To multiply and distribute Foundation, Certified and Truthfully Labeled Seed (TLS);

w         To build physical infrastructure and strengthen human resources development;

w         To impart training and technical backup to the public and private entrepreneurs, extension service providers and farmers for quality seed production and utilization; and

w         To strengthen on farm adaptive research at farmers’ field level on improved varieties and technologies of different crops.

Project output

A modern seed testing laboratory, training centre and dormitory are being built at Mirpur, Dhaka at a cost of Tk. 7 crore and 35 lakh in BADC component under the Enhancing Quality Seed Supply Project financed by Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Government of Bangladesh. Construction works has been started on 20th March, 2014 last is going forward properly with the help of local officers as well as under close supervision of the Engineers of consulting firm of the project named ‘Bets Consulting Services Ltd., Gulshan-1, Dhaka. Total area of 4 storied building is 1984 sm and are being built on 7 storied foundations. The present facilities of the under construction building are given below.

Private seed sector development through training The project has an important vision to develop human resources through training and motivation. Accordingly, different types of training are being organized by the project mostly for private seed sector development.  Seed dealers are the bridge between growers and Extension workers and the appropriate media for dissemination of new technology or message to the farmers. Enhancing Quality Seed Supply Project has taken an initiative to organize the seed dealers and make them spirited to learn modern technology. So the EQSS Project has initiated a massive program to provide training to the active seed dealers all over the country. Successively, 2940 seed dealers have received training on “Seed Regulation and Dealers Management” till December 2014. Seed dealers are becoming able to learn about the quality control of seed, seed processing and preservation and able to reinforce their knowledge on Seed Regulations. Training for rest 5100 seed dealers are in progress.

Training on quality seed production, processing, preservation, quality control and seed health management for the private entrepreneurs (seed producers) has been providing by Seed Wing Component of EQSSP. Total 125 seed producers in five groups have already been trained.  This will assist the private seed entrepreneurs to produce and enhance quality seed marketing which will ultimately lead to boost up production and increase farmers income to upgrade their livelihood. This type of training will continue till the project period.

Besides, three months Post Graduation Seed Technology certificate course has been initiated in different Agricultural Universities through project fund. The course is designed to provide updated theoretical a practical knowledge on Seed Technology (seed production, procurement, processing, storing, marketing, seed rules-regulation etc.) to Agricultural Graduates those are working in different Public and Private organizations. 80 participants  in four groups consist of 20 participants in each group have already received training from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU), Gazipur, Sylhet Agricultural University, Sylhet and Patuakhali Science and Technology University, Patuakhali and Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh. This course is very effective for field based officers of different organizations and through this course the participants are equipped with updated theoretical and practical knowledge on seed technology.

Through infrastructure facilities

Seed cannot remain alive and keep its vigour long period without proper preservation. The project has also a vision to develop infrastructure facilities to store seeds in proper condition. Accordingly 4 Seed Potato Cold Storage with capacity of 2000 MT each is establishing in Dhaka, Kishoregonj, Modhupur and Jhenaidah. A modern Seed Testing Laboratory with training centre is being constructed in Gabtoli, Dhaka. Besides, 30 dehumidified seed storage to preserve vegetable seed, pulse & oil seed, maize and hybrid rice seed is under process of construction. Also 3 seed godown with drying chamber of 4000 MT capacity will be constructed by the project. Private seed sector will enjoy the facilities by testing and storing of potato and other crop seeds in cold storage and dehumidified godown. They are also getting seed production, processing, preservation and quality control training on a regular basis from the project.