Cotton Development Board

Cotton Development Board (CDB) established in 1972 with the primary objective to introduce and promote cotton cultivation. During the early period, the Board could not do any substantial work. However, after the introduction of a new variety of seed from the USA in 1977, cotton cultivation in the country was strengthened, and the production reached to about 30,000 bales in 1983-84. After few years the production declined to about 12,000 bales because of the degeneration of the only imported variety, deterioration of quality, and lack of marketing.

Cotton research in the country was initiated under the then Agricultural Research Institute in the Minor Fibre and Tobacco Division. After the reorganisation and renaming of the Agricultural Research Institute as the bangladesh agricultural research institute, the Minor Fibre and Tobacco Division became a section under the Plant Breeding Division. Cotton research has now been strengthened with the following objectives: (i) evaluation of the needed characteristics of a commercial variety for the country and assessment of the suitability of local and introduced germplasm; (ii) establishment of a selection and breeding programme designed to meet present needs; (iii) agronomic work to provide information on best cultural practices; (iv) assessment of the extent and timing of pest damage and the development of appropriate control measures; and (v) detection of cotton diseases and development of preventive and control measures.

Research activities are carried out at the BARI Central Farm, Joydebpur; Regional Station, Jessore; Agriculture Station, Mahiganj, Rangpur; and the Central Cotton Seed Multiplication Centre, Sreepur, Gazipur.

After reorganisation and merging of research facilities with the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, CDB now has extension and research units. Its headquarters is located in Khamarbari, Dhaka. Extension activities are carried out through regional and zonal offices located at Dhaka, Mymensingh, Jessore, Kushtia, Jhenaidaha, Chuadanga, Rangpur, Bogra, Rajshahi, Pabna, Thakurgoan, Rangamati, Bandarban, and Khagrachari.

Research activities on breeding, agronomy, soil, fertility, entomology, and pathology are conducted at Central Cotton Research, Training and Seed Multiplication Centre, Sreepur, Gazipur; Regional Cotton Research, Training and Seed Multiplication Centre, Sadarpur, Dinajpur; Regional Cotton Research, Training and Seed Multiplication Centre, Jagadishpur, Jessore; Cotton Research Centre, Mahiganj, Rangpur; and Cotton Research Centre, Balaghata, Bandarban. In addition, on-farm trials of different technologies developed at the Research Centres are verified in the farmers' fields.

The Board is headed by an Executive Director who is assisted by Deputy Director, Cotton Development Officer, Unit Officer and Research Scientists (Chief Farm Manager, Subject specialists) for extension, research and marketing activities of the Board.

The Cotton Development Board has so far released eight varieties. These are CB-1, CB-3, CB-5, CB-7, SI/91/646, SA/CB-1/99, JA/CB-5/99, and AVA. Cotton cultivation in the country has now increased to about 34,642 ha producing 73,710 bales which can meet about 16% of the total cotton requirement of the country. [Md Shahidul Islam]

See also cotton.