The funding, to be invested over five years, will support the establishment of the Bangabandhu-Pierre Elliott Trudeau Agriculture Technology Centre (BP-ATC) as a centre of excellence at the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute in Gazipur, Bangladesh.
The commitment to the BP-ATC will support the development of research infrastructure and help GIFS, BARC, and other partners to purchase equipment, train more than 30 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, and lead research enhancing wheat, rice, lentils, canola, and other crops.
Approximately $9.8 million will support research and training occurring within Saskatchewan through activities at GIFS and other partners, including the Global Institute for Water Security, USask College of Agriculture and Bioresources, the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre, the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute, and the National Research Council of Canada.
GIFS’ partnership with BARC was established in 2020 to promote sustainable food security. Bangladesh has experienced food security and production challenges resulting from rapid population growth, loss of agricultural land to urbanization, post-harvest losses and climate-induced stresses, including drought, heat, and soil salinity.
Research and innovation have driven Canada’s and Saskatchewan’s agriculture success and GIFS’ partnership with BARC is designed to use these assets to deliver joint programs that enhance farmer incomes, address the effects of climate change, and provide valuable research information for Saskatchewan and Canadian agriculture.
Through the BP-ATC, partners in Saskatchewan and Canada will contribute to programs pursuing the following research objectives within Bangladesh:
- Enhance crop breeding and plant improvement using genomics and phenomics;
- Advance soil health and quality;
- Improve soil water regime and adaptation;
- Deliver innovations for post-harvest food handling and processing; and
- Increase data management and analytics in agricultural research.
Since the establishment of the GIFS-BARC partnership, GIFS has opened its regional office in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and established two research chairs in food security — one at USask, held by Dr. Andrew Sharpe of GIFS, and a second in Bangladesh — who are already working with graduate students and post-doctoral fellows researching plant genomics and postharvest traits.
The BP-ATC’s name recognizes the longstanding ties between Canada and Bangladesh. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh, and Canada – led by Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau at the time – was one of the first countries to recognize Bangladesh’s independence in 1971.
The GIFS-BARC partnership also builds on the history of collaboration and trade between Saskatchewan and Bangladesh, which is one of the province’s Top 10 trading partners.
For more information on the GIFS-BARC partnership and the BP-ATC, see gifs.ca/Bangladesh.
“The Bangabandhu-Pierre Elliott Trudeau Agriculture Technology Centre is an exciting, collaborative initiative that will deliver tangible results for all stakeholders. With the expertise of Saskatchewan’s agri-food sector, we are building capacity and infrastructure to support advanced research in Bangladesh that can inform sustainable, climate-resilient agriculture in that country, as well as Canada. As part of this partnership, crop research into wheat, canola, and lentils will generate important data about growing crops in high-stress environments that will benefit Canada and other regions across the world. We are grateful for the continued support of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and our partners in Canada and Bangladesh who share our vision of a world where everyone has access to safe and nutritious food.”
– Dr. Steven Webb, Chief Executive Officer, Global Institute for Food Security
“The establishment of the Bangabandhu-Pierre Elliott Trudeau Agriculture Technology Centre is a significant accomplishment and a key component of our ambitious partnership with the Global Institute for Food Security that will have a long-lasting, positive impact on research and development in Bangladesh. The infrastructure we are building, scientists we are training and research we are conducting will support enhanced and sustainable agriculture for future generations in Bangladesh.”
– Dr. Shaikh Mohammad Bokhtiar, Executive Chairman, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council
“The Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh has embarked on a strategic initiative to enhance the production of safe and nutritious food within Bangladesh — an effort that’s supported through important initiatives like Bangabandhu-Pierre Elliott Trudeau Agriculture Technology Centre. Saskatchewan is a leader in innovative agricultural research and development, and the knowledge and technology transfer facilitated by the Global Institute for Food Security and other partners are contributing to these goals and promoting a resilient and sustainable food system within Bangladesh.”
– Wahida Akter, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
“The continued development of the Bangabandhu-Pierre Elliott Trudeau Agriculture Technology Centre strengthens the important and growing relationship between Bangladesh and Saskatchewan. We look forward to the insights and innovations this research and training initiative will deliver and the advancement of agricultural production and trade in both countries.”
– Dr. Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, Minister of Agriculture, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
“USask researchers are committed to discovering the most sustainable and innovative methods to address the world's complex food security issues. The Bangabandhu-Pierre Elliott Trudeau Agriculture Technology Centre combines state-of-the-art technologies and some of the brightest minds in the field to tackle these urgent challenges. This valuable work will help people around the world and right here in Saskatchewan.”
– Dr. Peter Stoicheff, President, USask
“The growth and expansion of the Bangabandhu-Pierre Elliott Trudeau Agriculture Technology Centre is a testament to USask's ongoing commitment to collaboration, international partnerships and being the university the world needs. USask’s agriculture researchers at GIFS and our College of Agriculture and Bioresources have been at the forefront of novel methods that have shaped the way people approach agriculture and food security across the world. By working in partnership with agriculture scientists in Bangladesh, we can aptly harness our knowledge and resource the next generation of researchers who will continue to combat the global food security crisis. This collaboration will make a difference not only for the people of Bangladesh but also for Canada and the world.”
– Dr. Baljit Singh, Vice-President Research, USask