Global Institute for Food Security at USask develops Bangladesh partnership

The Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) invited and hosted His Excellency Mizanur Rahman, Bangladesh High Commissioner to Canada, as well as representatives from the country’s ministries of agriculture and education and leading research and training institutions, in weeklong meetings and negotiations to establish a research and training development partnership. 

“Saskatchewan is an important partner to Bangladesh, with hundreds of millions of dollars in trade flowing between both partners every year and I am pleased with the strong ties that exist between our country and the province,” said Bangladesh High Commissioner to Canada His Excellency Mizanur Rahman. “I look forward to even closer ties and an exchange of knowledge, skills and expertise that will help further strengthen our agriculture sector.”

The partnership will be executed through a Bangladesh Advanced Technologies for Agriculture Research consortium, a GIFS-led collaboration with USask and other research partners that would offer expertise, technologies, specialized personnel, and facilities to support sustainable agricultural research and human resource development in Bangladesh.

“Bangladesh is a top export market to Saskatchewan and I am pleased to welcome Ambassador Rahman and all the delegates to the province,” said Saskatchewan Minister of Advanced Education Tina Beaudry-Mellor. “Like Saskatchewan, agriculture is a key economic driver in Bangladesh, and this visit will serve to further strengthen the partnership and relationship that exists between our two jurisdictions.”

In 2018, Saskatchewan’s exports to Bangladesh were valued at $306 million. Top export products include lentils, wheat, peas and potash. The consortium will provide opportunity for a sharing of research knowledge and expertise from Saskatchewan, to support ongoing agricultural development in Bangladesh.

GIFS is a public-private partnership established in 2012 by Nutrien (formerly PotashCorp), the Government of Saskatchewan and USask. Its mission is to help feed the world through transformative innovations in agriculture and food production that will benefit Saskatchewan’s economic, social and environmental well-being and will empower other countries to achieve local food security.

“Saskatchewan has a thriving research and development ecosystem, comprising multiple players with strengths in diverse fields,” said GIFS Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Steven Webb. “The Bangladesh Advanced Technologies for Agriculture Research Consortium will provide an avenue to promote the valuable research and technical expertise in the province beyond our borders, through a long-term strategic partnership of mutual benefit to Saskatchewan and Bangladesh. GIFS is delighted to be leading this initiative and working closely with a range of partners across the USask campus in Saskatoon.”

This week’s meetings took place at GIFS on the USask campus. The delegates also visited research institutes on campus, and met with members of the university community.

“The University of Saskatchewan is one of the top research-intensive universities in Canada, and is home to world-leading research in areas of global importance, such as food and water security,” said USask Vice-President Research Karen Chad. “Through this partnership with Bangladesh, we will be sharing the research strengths our institutes have to offer, supporting the development of the agriculture sector in Bangladesh.”

In addition to representatives from the Bangladesh High Commission to Canada, other members of the delegation include senior representatives from the Bangladesh ministries of agriculture and education in the Government of Bangladesh. The delegates from Bangladesh include:

  • His Excellency Mizanur Rahman, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Canada;
  • Professor Dr. Md. Giashuddin Miah, Vice-Chancellor, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University, Ministry of Education, Government of Bangladesh;
  • Abdur Rouf, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Bangladesh;
  • Md. Kabir Ikramul Haque, Executive Chairman, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Bangladesh;
  • Md. Shahjahan Kabir, Director General, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Bangladesh; and
  • Shakil Mahamud, Commerce Councillor, Bangladesh High Commission to Canada.

The visit and deliberations in Saskatoon will be followed with a visit by GIFS and some USask partners to Bangladesh to sign Memoranda of Understanding to establish the consortium and begin implementing the agreement.

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