Central Extension Resources Development Institute

Central Extension Resources Development Institute a training institute of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) under the Ministry of Agriculture located at Joydebpur, gazipur. The institute was established in 1976 as a joint venture of the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Government of Japan through a memorandum of understanding signed in 1975. The institute has about 20 ha of land of which about 9 ha is for farming and field research. In addition, three Community Development Centres (CDC) were established under the institute at the three union headquarters of Joydebpur Thana for developing suitable extension methods and media. These centres were initially used as field laboratories, but were later handed over to the Food Crops Wing of the Department of Agricultural Extension.

The Central Extension Resources Development Institute (CERDI) is an outcome of the long work experience of Bangladeshi and Japanese agricultural experts who initiated agricultural development programmes as early as 1960 through the 'Pakistan Japan Agricultural Extension Training Institute'. These programmes proved fruitful, and useful information was generated in the field of Extension, Agronomy, Horticulture, Plant Protection, Irrigation, and Farm Machineries. A six-month regular training programme was introduced for Thana Agricultural Officers of DAE. This programme continued until 1965 when the Institute was named the Farm Mechanization Training Institute under an agreement between the Government of East Pakistan and Japan. Union Agricultural Assistants and progressive young farmers were also trained in a three-month course. The values of these activities were appreciated by the government and it was felt necessary to institutionalise the programmes for creating Bangladeshi's capacity for running the same on a continuous basis in an upgraded form. As a result, CERDI came into operation in 1976. Until 1983 the institute operated as a joint project of the Government of Bangladesh and the Government of Japan. After Japanese assistance was withdrawn in late 1983, the activities of the institute were reorganised and the programmes were re-allocated under a special Gazette Notification of June 27,1984.

The Government of Bangladesh has assigned the following functions to CERDI: (a) Planning, organising, conducting, monitoring and evaluating training of extension personnel in extension method, approaches and communication techniques; Foundation training of new recruits of BCS (Agriculture) cadre officers; and Management training for mid and senior level extension personnel; (b) Developing appropriate training materials for use by trainers; (c) Establishing linkage between research and extension for transfer of applied technology through field adaptive trials, and training on farm implements; and (d) Testing various approaches to extension work in pilot areas adjacent to CERDI with the purpose of using the experience towards developing training materials.

CERDI has the set-up of four functional units, these are coordination unit; farm implement adaptation unit; training material development unit; and administration and finance unit.The administrative head of the Institute is the Executive Director who is assisted by 22 technical officers and 119 supporting staff.

CERDI has good physical and academic facilities including well-equipped laboratories, class rooms, audio-visual equipment, farm machineries, dormitories, an offset printing press, a photo-processing laboratory, a library, and residential staff quarters. In cooperation with BARI, BRRI and other research institutes, CERDI carries out adaptive field trials/demonstrations to bring out appropriate technology packages to be used by field level extension workers. In the last five years, more than 3000 participants were trained by CERDI through the following programmes: Foundation Training, integrated pest management (IPM) Training, Trainers' Training, Field Training, Input and Agricultural Credit Training, Village Mechanic Training, Seed Production Technology Transfer Training, Vegetable Production Training, Village Youth Training, Village Women Training, Post-harvest Handling and Marketing of Fruits and Vegetables Training; as well as Propagation and Nursery Management Training. [Md Shahidul Islam]