Increasing food security through improved seed quality in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is a sub-tropical country with 70 percent of its population engaged in agriculture. Major crops include rice, potatoes, vegetables, maize, wheat, oil and pulses, and fruits. Due to an inadequate supply of quality seeds, crop production is lower than that of developed countries. Until the early 1990s, the country's public sector controlled the seed industry and there were few quality seeds available.
In 1995, Bangladesh's Government began encouraging private-sector involvement in both seed production and supply. Today, the private sector provides seeds for both the local and export markets, and there are now a handful domestic companies investing in seed research and production.
Lal Teer Seed Limited, a Bangladesh-based research company involved in the development and production of high-quality seeds, joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to increase the quality and quantity of seeds produced for domestic use, providing 30 percent of the quality seeds needed to secure Bangladesh's food supply by 2020.
In addition to developing and distributing new breeds of high-yield, open-pollinated and hybrid seeds, Lal Teer's inclusive business model calls for integrating an additional 5 million smallholder farmers into the country's value chain, and innovating new packaging and distribution methods.