Agricultural Research Vision 2030
Agriculture is the most important sector of Bangladesh economy for its significant role in food security, employment generation and livelihood support. Eighty percent people of Bangladesh depends directly or indirectly on agriculture. The current share of agriculture to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is 21% and employs about 48% of the working force. Again Crops dominate in Sub-sectoral contributions to GDP having 11.70% followed by that of Fisheries (4.64%), Livestock (2.90%), and Forestry (1.80%) (BBS & FAO, 2011). As regard sub-sectoral contribution to GDP in agriculture, Crops sub-sector contributes 56%, Fisheries 22%, Livestock 13%, and Forestry 9%. In order to achieve the GDP growth rate of 7% per year, agriculture must grow at least by 4-4.5% per year, which is possible through an increase in agricultural productivity based on appropriate agricultural technologies and a supply chain linking farmers with consumers in the domestic as well as overseas markets.
The present population of the country is about 149.69 million which will increase to 189.85 million by the year 2030 at a growth rate of 1.26%. The estimated food requirement, especially rice and wheat will be 43.6 million metric tons (mmt), fish requirement 5.80 mmt, meat, milk, and egg requirement will stand at 8.30, 17.50 mmt and 19750 million numbers, respectively. The projected demand of timber and fuel wood is 47.07 million cubic meters, while the demand of bamboo will be 1109.03 million culms. There will be a serious gap between demand and supply if the current rate of productivity and production continues. Therefore, the increase in productivity and production rate in all agricultural sub-sectors is of prime importance to meet future demand.
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) is the apex body of the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) and functions as a coordinating body to improve the overall activities of the NARS as well as to formulate and guide the research systems of the country. BARC prepared a Vision Document-2020 for agricultural research in the year 2000 that had significant contributions in inventing and adopting appropriate technologies by ARIs, agricultural universities, and private organizations.
The agriculture sector though plays the key role in food security and livelihood, it faces setbacks created by both human and nature. The agricultural arable land is shrinking with an alarming rate due to urbanization, roads, infra-structure, etc, while serious degradation of natural resources like soil, water, climate, etc. occur and frequent but devastating flood and drought appear on a regular basis and salinity increases in the coastal region. Further, the change of climate and its adverse effect on agriculture, in Bangladesh, is considered as the worst resulting in temperature rise, abnormal rainfalls, sea-level rise, cyclone and storm surges in high frequency and volume, encroachment of more areas by salinity, further aggravation of drought problem and reducing availability of surface and ground water, etc. In other words, Bangladesh agriculture is going to face serious natural problems that warrant special attention to this sector.
The present realization is that the agriculture sector as earlier stated is going to face critical issues emerging out of various problems and threats which will seriously affect food security and livelihood of the people, especially for poor and vulnerable groups. With this realization, BARC recently prepared 12 sub-sectoral documents on prioritized researchable areas in order to mitigate and overcome the foreseeable problems. The Project Coordination Unit (PCU) of National Agricultural Technology Project (Phase-1) appointed three specialists each on Crops, Fisheries and Livestock to prepare the Vision Document-2030 for Crops, Fisheries, and
Livestock Research in Bangladesh keeping in view the sectoral documents, national programs and policies, and emerging challenges. These three vision documents were prepared separately which have been compiled and edited for preparing Vision Document-2030 for Agricultural Research in Bangladesh. This Vision Document-2030 narrates the key challenges and approaches to identify the technologies to be required, research focus and support, and appropriate strategies in shaping up the overall research needs of the country.