The ‘Bangabandhu Pierre Trudeau Agricultural Research Center’ is going to be set up in Bangladesh to conduct research in the field of agriculture for ensuring food security system tolerant of global climate change.
Also, ‘Bangabandhu Research Chair’ has been set up at the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) under the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, reports BSS citing a press release.
The Bangladesh High Commission in Ottawa took the initiative to set up a research chair in a Canadian higher education institution in the name of Bangabandhu and to establish a research institute in Bangladesh in collaboration with Canada as part of various programs to mark the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The centre is expected to increase the existing commercial, research activities, technology exchange, development assistance between Bangladesh and Canada.
In September 2019, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Canada, Mizanur Rahman participated in a high-level meeting held in Saskatchewan, where he proposed to rename the centre as ‘Bangabandhu-Pierre Trudeau Agricultural Research Center.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between GIFS and Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) during the visit of David Marit, Minister of Agriculture of Saskatchewan Province, to Bangladesh last February.
Following the Memorandum of Understanding, it was decided to set up this research institute in Bangladesh as a joint venture between the Government of Canada and Bangladesh to promote agriculture, ensure food security and address environmental disasters, said the release.
The Bangladesh High Commission in Ottawa organized a virtual meeting on 9 November 2020 to discuss the overall progress in setting up the Agricultural Research Center. The meeting was attended by senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Ministry of Agriculture, International Development Research Center (IDRC), GIFS, and the Ministry of Agriculture of Bangladesh.
During the meeting, David Hartmann, Director General of the South Asia Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada, informed that the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada has announced a policy decision to rename the research institute as ‘Bangabandhu-Pierre Trudeau Agricultural Research Center’.
He also mentioned the government of Canada’s interest in developing relations between the two countries in various fields.
Chris Forbes, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, also expressed interest in increasing agricultural research and trade in agricultural products between the two countries.
Dr Abdur Rauf, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Bangladesh; Dr SM Bakhtiar, Executive Chairman, BARC; Prof. Dr Giasuddin Miah, vice-chancellor, Bangabandhu Agricultural School, Bangladesh; Dr Steven Webb, Chief Executive Officer, GIFS; Steve Visscher, Director, Strategic Partnership; Santiago Alba Corral, Director, Food System Department, spoke on the background, activities, importance and future action plan for setting up of ‘Bangabandhu Pierre Trudeau Agricultural Research Center’.
In his speech, High Commissioner Mizanur Rahman highlighted various aspects of the growing relationship between Bangladesh and Canada in recent times in terms of political, trade, research cooperation and increasing people-to-people contacts.
He thanked all concerned for naming the Agricultural Research Center as part of the success of the High Commission’s work to mark the centenary of the birth of the Father of the Nation and for setting up the Bangabandhu Research Chair at Saskatchewan University.
He hoped that the Center would play a vital role in ensuring food security in the context of global climate change, conducting better research in agriculture, exchanging advanced technology in Bangladesh and achieving Bangladesh’s sustainable development goals.
He noted that the establishment of this research centre would further enhance trade relations between the two countries and increase foreign investment in Bangladesh from Canada.
This is the first time such a research centre is being set up with the direct support and funding of the government of Canada.
Mia Md Mainul Kabir, Minister and Head of Embassy of Bangladesh High Commission conducted the discussion programme.