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Researchers explore new data analysis tools

Fifteen researchers gathered at the headquarters of the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) in Gazipur, Bangladesh, earlier this month to learn more about data processing. The course, “Statistical analysis of field experimental data using CROPSTAT,” ran from 11- 13 January 2010 as part of the project “Sustainable intensification of rice-maize systems in Bangladesh,” which is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

CROPSTAT is a data analysis program that uses balanced and unbalanced designs for single and multi-site analysis. None of the participants had used CROPSTAT before, though several had some background knowledge on other statistical software. CIMMYT-IRRI senior scientist and project leader Jagadish Timsina coordinated the course; Shahjan Kabir from BRRI, and Shalimuddin from the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), provided handson training. The project is jointly implemented by CIMMYT and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in collaboration with national partners: BARI, BRRI, the Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD), the Rangpur-Dinajpur Rural Services (RDRS), and the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC). The 15 researchers who attended the training were from the four project sites (Comilla, Gazipur, Rajshahi, and Rangpur) of BARI, BRRI, BARD, and RDRS.

After course completion, participants expressed interest in using CROPSTAT 7.2 to analyze ACIAR project data, and suggested a second, more advanced CROPSTAT course. One of the objectives of this ACIAR-funded, 5-year project (2008-13) is to provide training for researchers, farmers, and extension workers from governmental and nongovernmental organizations. The CROPSTAT training is one example of researcher-geared training.