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USAID team lauds PQR value chain process in Bangladesh

USAID experts praised northern Bangladesh's premium quality rice (PQR) value chain process.


Daily Sun Report, Rangpur

Experts of a visiting team from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have lauded the premium quality rice (PQR) value chain process in northern Bangladesh.

They made the admiration while visiting the Bengal Auto Rice Mills at Pulhat in Dinajpur and exchanging views with its owner, PQR farmers, local service providers (LSP) and traders on PQR production, milling and marketing.

Dr. Zachary P. Stewart, Production Systems Specialist of the Center for Agriculture-Led Growth, Bureau for Resilience, Environment and Food Security of the USAID from Washington led the team during their three-day tour in Northern Bangladesh that ended on Saturday.

John Laborde and Muhammad Nuruzzaman from the USAID’s Bangladesh Mission, Program Director of Sustainable Agrifood Systems at CIMMYT in Mexico Dr. Sieglinde Snapp and CIMMYT Country representative for Bangladesh Dr. Timothy J. Krupnik accompanied by him.

The Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia CSISA-III project, funded by USAID and implemented by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), has been actively engaged in expanding and enhancing PQR value chains since 2016 in the Khulna division and since 2019 in the Rangpur division in Bangladesh.

The team members visited the entire Auto Rice Mills to observe the process of milling, sorting and packaging of PQR rice.

Owner of Bengal Auto Rice Mills Mr. Zahangir Alam informed that previously he sourced BRRI dhan50 (Banglamoti) from the southern part of Bangladesh.

However, since establishing a connection with CSISA in 2019, he has been procuring 30 percent to 40 percent of the total annual demand for BRRI dhan50 for producing PQR from the CSISA-beneficiary PQR farmers’ groups and others locally.

He highlighted how farmers have benefited from direct paddy purchases from them and obtaining high-quality and admixture-free rice.

“With assistance from CSISA, I have successfully branded this variety using its original name (BRRI dhan50) since 2020,” Zahangir Alam added.

Lead farmer Md. Azad expressed the advantages they have experienced from cultivating BRRI dhan50 through CSISA and higher yield of the BRRI dhan50 variety compared to the BRRI dhan28.

He highlighted their affiliation with the Bengal Auto Rice Mills, which has enabled them to fetch prices 7-8 Bangladesh Taka (BDT) higher per kilogram of paddy than those for BRRI dhan28.

During the visit, Agronomist from Bangladesh Office of IRRI Dr. Sharif Ahmed provided an overview of the PQR initiatives conducted by CSISA.

He also facilitated the tour alongside Md. Alanuzzaman Kurishi, Hub Coordinator at CIMMYT’s Dinajpur Field Office and Abdullah Miajy, a Specialist in Agricultural Research and Development at IRRI’s Rangpur Hub.

Photo: Daily Sun