The cabinet yesterday approved in principle the draft of “The Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (Bari) Act, 2016”' aiming to increase the capacity of the institute alongside streamlining its research activities.
At a weekly meeting in Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, it also approved proposals to ratify agreements with Kuwait and Bahrain centring the promotion and reciprocal protection of investment.
Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam told journalists afterwards that Bari would formulate and approve detailed outlines to ensure stable research and conduct necessary research on various problems, including ones on tackling the adverse impacts of climate change.
He said it would take initiatives to innovate new varieties of crops, including those adaptable to climate change, and apply ICT in the agriculture sector, providing necessary information and technology to farmers.
Bari will also arrange exhibitions on new varieties of crops, publish annual reports and booklets on new crops, and provide necessary training to researchers, officials and employees of Agriculture Extension Department as well as facilitate postgraduate research, he said.
Bari is run as per an ordinance promulgated during the military regime in 1976 and was amended twice, in 1984 and 1996, said Shafiul, adding that now it has 22 sections, including four new ones.
According to an apex court verdict, all laws and ordinances promulgated during military regimes stand repealed and illegal and should be formulated afresh in Bangla.
Shafiul said Bari's office will be located at Joydevpur, Gazipur while its Board of Directors could set up branches with government approval.
The chairman of the 11-member board will be the institute's government-appointed director general, under whose jurisdiction will fall its annual budgetary allocation, administrative work, audit and property management.
The board members would be two agriculture scientists nominated by the Ministry of Agriculture, a representative of the ministry not below the rank of deputy secretary, a representative of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council and a representative from a private organisation working on agricultural research.
The other board directors will be nominated from various departments under the Ministry of Agriculture holding the position of director.