The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) recently organized an event to help create awareness about quality seed production. IRRI also provided a power tiller to the participating women seed producers group, Maddha Rakudia IPM Club. The power tiller aims to reduce the labor, time, and maintenance cost in the production cycle and help in better productivity and is provided as part of One CGIAR’s Seed Equal program being implemented by the IRRI Seed System Unit. The participants comprised 200 women farmers from Babuganj Upazila of the Barisal district of Bangladesh. As members of this seed producer federation, the participants are either formally or semi formally associated in the seed business and are being supported through training activities by IRRI.
The Seed Equal Initiative aims for the efficient delivery of improved climate-resilient varieties and market-preferred and nutritious seeds for priority crops to farmers, with an emphasis on ensuring equal access by women and smallholder farmers. The initiative promotes improved seed systems and value chains to distribute genetic gains for yield, reduced biotic and abiotic stresses, which ultimately support the national seed systems. IRRI recognized the achievements of the women farmers at this event which aims to further enhance their contributions to the seed business.
The event was attended by key stakeholders from the country, namely, Dr. Nazmul Islam, Chief Coordinator, Research Cell; Mr. Akhter Hossain, Deputy Director; Mr. Kishore Kumar, Senior Assistant Director; and Mr. Mamunur Rashid, Assistant Director of the Bangladesh Agriculture Development Cooperation (BADC). The Bangladesh Agriculture Development Cooperation is the largest public sector body in seed business in Bangladesh. In the event, BADC committed its support to the women farmers of the federation for seed production, processing, and marketing along with access as their contract growers. Ms. Shirin Akther from the Seed Certification Agency was also present at the event and expressed to help and support these women farmers on the seed certification process and monitoring for ensuring seed quality.
Through the Seed System Unit’s efforts, IRRI had earlier supported many quality seed production training activities to ensure enhanced capacity and sustainability of labeled seed production. Women and smallholder farmers in Bangladesh now have better access to new and improved varieties of rice seeds through stronger IRRI-NARES-led interventions for ensuring the availability of certified seeds of newer and more suitable varieties.
Visit rbi.irri.org to learn more about IRRI’s Seed Systems and Product Management work.
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