CIP in Bangladesh

CIP in Bangladesh

CIP has had a presence in Bangladesh since 1988 from where it supports variety development, crop enhancement, pest and disease management, nutritional improvement, and value chain development. CIP has contributed to the release of more than 15% of the new potato varieties and 50% of sweetpotato varieties released by the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) and Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) over the last 42 years. In collaboration with NARS, universities, government departments, private companies, INGOs and NGOs, CIP has helped improve the productivity, sustainability and resilience of the potato and sweetpotato sectors, strengthened the capacity of local partners, and supported government and other partners in scaling interventions.


CIP’s work in Bangladesh is focused on contributing to national development priorities through research, technology development and dissemination, and capacity strengthening. Specifically, CIP works closely with the Ministry of Agriculture through Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) and BARI to develop suitable export-oriented potato and sweetpotato varieties and production systems that foster agricultural diversification and rural development opportunities. Through biofortification of these crops, CIP contributes to strengthening the availability of nutritious, micronutrient-rich crops in Bangladesh. This approach has been recognized in national policies and action plans in both the nutrition and agriculture sectors. Working with government extension services, private sector farmer associations, and civil society programs, CIP also supports effective and efficient delivery systems for potato and sweetpotato planting material, technical inputs and services, and market chains.


With help from the International Potato Center (CIP) and local partners, almost 50,000 land-poor households began growing climate-smart and nutritious sweetpotato varieties between 2019 and 2022, producing food for more than 200,000 people and selling their produce for an additional 2,000,000 consumers. To disseminate new sweetpotato varieties, 283 farmers – more than half women – were trained in growing vines to produce quality cuttings for farmers to plant. Over the past three years, they’ve sold 29 million vine cuttings – enough to cover 500 hectares – to tens of thousands of women and men farmers.


In 2019, CIP began a FCDO-funded global program – Development and delivery of biofortified crops at scale (DDBIO, 2019-2023) – that seeks to develop and deliver biofortified sweetpotato on a large scale, enabling 10 million individuals in Asia and Africa to produce and/or consume OFSP or related products by 2023. Activities are focused on:

  1. developing new biofortified varieties of sweetpotato through existing breeding programs.
  2. increased production of biofortified crops.
  3. increased supply and demand for biofortified foods in the market.
  4. improved utilization of biofortified foods at household and institutional levels; and
  5. strengthening and sharing the evidence on the impact of biofortified crops and the effectiveness of different delivery models.

In Bangladesh, CIP has partnered with the Tuber Crop Research Center and On-Farm Research Division to develop new sweetpotato varieties, and with the NGO Gana Unnayan Kendra to implement delivery models for these new varieties in three northern districts of the country: Gaibandha, Kurigram, and Rangpur. Meanwhile, CIP has also been working in crisis areas of Bangladesh, partnering with FAO in Cox’s Bazaar to distribute vines among host community farmers to grow and sell OFSP roots in a special local market for refugees.

An innovative technology for sustainable intensification and diversification of rice-based systems to improve livelihoods of small-scale farmers in Asia.

In 2021, CIP launched a BMZ-GIZ funded project “Potato Production Through Zero-Tillage with Straw Mulch: an innovative technology for sustainable intensification and diversification of rice-based systems to improve livelihoods of small-scale farmers in Asia” that introduces an innovative farming practice – potato zero-tillage and straw mulching (PZTM) – in rice-based cropping systems in Bangladesh’s Southern Delta. This region is increasingly affected by salinity posing great challenges for agricultural cultivation and thus food security.

PZTM allows farmers to cultivate potatoes when salinity is very high adding an entire crop to the season which would have been left fallow otherwise. As such, PZTM is envisioned to contribute to sustainable intensification, diversification, and food security, among other outcomes. The objective of the project is to ensure innovative approaches for sustainable rice-potato-cultivation systems are established at smallholder level, gross margin of the smallholder farmer have increased, selected indicators of soil quality have improved, women’s position as agricultural producers in the rice-potato cultivation system has improved.

In Bangladesh, CIP has partnered with On-Farm Research Division (OFRD) of BARI to conduct farmer’s field research trial on potato zero tillage mulching and with local NGO Prodipan to establish potato demonstration plot with 700 farmers following zero tillage straw mulch practice and, disseminate gender and nutrition sensitive messages among 2,000 smallholder women farmers in Batiaghata and Dacope upazila of Khulna district.

Resilient Cities Through Sustainable Urban and Peri-urban Food Systems’ is a CGIAR initiative to strengthen evidence and capacities for improved management of urban food systems in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It will improve access to technologies, skills, and information to help improve the diets and livelihoods of the urban poor and reduce the environmental footprint of food systems serving the world’s growing urban population.

Securing a future for productive, green, and livable cities with healthy populations has become a global priority.

Scientific research needs to engage with urban capacities for innovation and investment to generate technological, institutional, and social change that can secure food and livelihoods for future urban generations. This Initiative will focus on five entry points for immediate research action:

  • Making urban and peri-urban food production more efficient and safer through better technologies, practices,
    services, and cleaner production environments.
  • Improving informal urban food markets and rural-urban supply chains, reducing food loss and waste and increasing food safety through access to better technologies (storage, processing) and business services for women and youth.
  • Supporting innovations for a circular bioeconomy by turning urban (food) waste and wastewater into safe and efficient resources for food production, driven by public-private partnerships.
  • Improving urban food environments and creating demand for and access to healthier diets for the urban poor to counteract the rising burden of diet-related non-communicable diseases in urban populations.
  • Strengthening capacities and tools for research and monitoring and supporting young urban food system entrepreneurs to engage with priority opportunities that can help unlock benefits for the urban poor.