Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Women farmers in Bangladesh trained on quality seed production to build a pool of instructors for peer-to-peer learning

by Muhammad Ashraful Habib, Swati Nayak, & Md. Ahadat Hossain

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and its partners hosted quality rice seed production training for women farmers to facilitate peer-to-peer learning among women-led groups in Bangladesh. 

Held on 07 February 2024 at the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute Regional Station in Barisal, the program trained 40 women from the Maddha Rakudia IPM Club Women’s Group and the Islampur Women Development Cooperative on rice seed production, processing, storage, and certification. The objective was to enable the participants to become master trainers who will coach new women trainers with less experience in quality rice seed production. 

The training was created with the help of several women-focused initiatives to provide women farmers with a conceptual and practical understanding of the various aspects of rice seed production, marketing, seed licensing, and seed registration. 

The participants also visited the seed conditioning system and lab equipment and received hands-on training in the use of power tillers in the field.

Because women are involved in rice production, training them is an effective way of developing entrepreneurship and promoting seed security. Building on this, IRRI initiated the Community-based Rice Seed Entrepreneurship Model (CBRSEM) in Bangladesh to develop their communication skills, social relationships, and decision-making abilities as well as rice production.  

CBRSEM helps women’s farming groups pool their resources and use their expertise to create resilient community-level seed systems that increase their access to quality seeds that lead to higher yield, better livelihood, and empowerment. A noteworthy accomplishment in the dissemination of better varieties through informal or semi-formal women-led social networks is the successful seed-production enterprises by women farmers’ organizations

Additionally, IRRI Bangladesh and complimenting initiatives will promote new varieties through farmer networks conduct seed production of promising varieties, and organize cluster demonstrations through women farmers' groups formed by IRRI's networking partners in Bangladesh. 

The activities are supported by the CGIAR Seed Equal Initiative and IRRI’s One Rice Breeding Strategy. 

For more information, please contact:

Muhammad Ashraful Habib is the Lead Specialist in seed System & Product Management at IRRI Bangladesh. Email: m.habib@irri.org;  Md. Ahadat Hossain is a Field Technician Barisal region at IRRI Bangladesh. Dr. Swati Nayak is a Scientist and South Asia Lead for Seed Systems in IRRI and Global Lead for cereal seed systems in the CGIAR initiative, SeedEqual.


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