Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council

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Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) the apex body of the National Agricultural Research System (NARS), located at Farm Gate, dhaka. It was established in 1973 by Presidential Order 32 of 1973 under the Ministry of Agriculture. At present, NARS exists in the country through 10 research institutes. Among these, six are under the Ministry of Agriculture ie Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, Bangladesh Jute Research Institute, Bangladesh Sugarcane Research Institute, Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture and Soil Resources Development Institute. Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute and Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute are included under the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. Bangladesh Forest Research Institute is under the Ministry of Environment and Forest, while the Bangladesh Tea Research Institute is included under the Ministry of Industries.

The charter of BARC was amended in 1976 and 1988 to provide greater flexibility for coordinating research activities among the above four government ministries. As the apex body, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council coordinates research activities within NARS, and leads NARS in terms of planning and fixing priorities for future research agenda as well as monitoring existing research programmes and feeds back evaluation of programmes.

In order to improve the efficiency of NARS, the Government of Bangladesh, with assistance from IDA, launched the Agricultural Research Management Project (ARMP) which focuses on institutional reforms by addressing issues related to resource allocation, research management, operational autonomy, and institutional capability.

To provide maximum functional autonomy to BARC and most Agricultural Research Institutes (ARIs), new ordinances were promulgated between May and August 1996. No new Ordinance or Act, however, was made for the Bangladesh Tea Research Institute, Bangladesh Forest Research Institute, and Soil Resources Development Institute.

Activities of BARC The major objectives of the council are: to identify priorities in the areas of research under the guidelines of National Agriculture Policy; provide guidance and direction of research activities of ARIs and recommend budget proposals on research activities; scrutinize, evaluate and approve budget of contract research proposals; review and monitor the progress of research activities of NARS institutes; establish or assist in establishing research institutes, research centres, experimental stations, libraries and information centres, museums, herbariums, plant introduction centres and germplasm banks; monitor the technology transfer process, and advise ARIs to implement research results and popularise evolved technologies for field level applications; arrange higher education and training and participation in national and international seminars, workshops, meetings, and conferences in the field of agricultural research and technology; and maintain liaison with national and international agricultural research organisations/institutions.

Organisational framework of BARC is organised into three main constituents: the Governing Body, the Executive Council, and the Secretariat. The Governing Body (GB) consists of 26 members, responsible for control, direction and overall supervision of matters pertaining to research planning, coordination and policy formulation. Among others the ministers in-charge of the Ministry of Agriculture; Fisheries and Livestock; Forestry and Environment; Secretary-in-charge of respective ministries; Member (Agriculture) of Planning Commission; Vice-Chancellor, Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU); Vice-Chancellor, Bangabandhu Shiekh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU); and Executive Chairman BARC, are included in the GB.

A 20-member Executive Council (EC), consisting of the Executive Chairman and nine Member-Directors, BARC; and Director-General/Directors of scheduled institutes, advises and assists in various scientific, technical, administrative, financial, and policy issues of BARC. The Executive Chairman is the chief executive of BARC.

BARC makes periodic studies of manpower positions in agricultural research and initiates manpower development programmes for the scientists of NARS institutes. Such programmes include both in-country and foreign training leading to MS and PhD degrees as well as postdoctoral programmes in the areas of crop, livestock, fisheries, agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, and other agriculture-related fields.

International linkages BARC has been a partner working with research centres of the Consultative Groups of International Agricultural Research Centre (CGIAR) and research coordination bodies of various countries. Developments in rice, wheat, vegetable, potato and pulses are excellent examples of international cooperation. At present, BARC maintains formal working relations with a large number of national and international research organisations. [Md. Shahidul Islam]

See also bangladesh agricultural research institute; bangladesh fisheries research institute; bangladesh forest research institute; bangladesh jute research institute; bangladesh rice research institute; bangladesh tea research institute; soil resources development institute.