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Traveling workshop in Bangladesh unites researchers

The ACIAR-funded project “Sustainable intensification of rice-maize (R-M) systems in Bangladesh” held a traveling workshop in Bangladesh during 03-08 April. Fifteen researchers attended and traveled to four featured project sites in the Bangladesh districts of Comilla, Gazipur, Rajshahi, and Rangpur.

Participants visited fields at many collaborating institutions, as well as farmers’ fields. The selected visits focused on rice and maize cropping systems sown with conservation agriculture (often in comparison to farmers’ practice) and site-specific nutrient management (SSNM). At each site, they formed three groups to critically evaluate key trials and they often had the opportunity to talk with local farmers.

The workshop took participants to numerous sites and field locations, including several Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) research locations, Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Services (RDRS) trials, and project sites of the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), among others. Participants came from four collaborating organizations: the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), the Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD), BRRI, and RDRS. Jagadish Timsina, IRRI-CIMMYT senior cropping system agronomist and project leader, led and coordinated the workshop.

This workshop was modeled off of a previous rice-wheat consortium for the Indo-Gangetic Plains and a fruitful experience from the ACIAR rice-maize project conducted in October 2009.The course helped established further links among researchers and the Cereal System Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) project.