Lal Teer Seed Bangladesh Limited was proclaimed the winner under ‘SDG Inclusion’ category at the Bangladesh Business Innovation Award (BBIA) 2019 for their innovation and development of a resilient crop. Find out more about the story of Lal Teer’s innovations.
In Bangladesh, about 60% of total population live in rural areas and depend on agriculture. The agriculture sector is the main driver of poverty reduction in Bangladesh since 2000 (World Bank, 2016). Quality seed is the key input for successful crop production. In Bangladesh, only 35-40% quality seeds are supplied by public and private sectors, rest are of poor quality.
Bangladesh agriculture is badly affected by climate change. The country owns a huge coastal region in the southern part where about one million hectares is affected by multi-level salinity caused by the sea-level rise. Another vulnerable area of about 7,770 sq.km is a huge drought prone area called Barind Tract at northern part. This region is usually free from flood water; rain is the only source of ground water recharge. Scarcity of water exists here during the dry season due to little rainfall.
Understanding the need, Lal Teer Seed Ltd has initiated research since inception (1995) developing high yielding resilient crop varieties. Today Lal Teer is the largest producer of seeds in the private sector in Bangladesh. The company has developed 176 high yielding varieties, where 76 are hybrids. It has developed some good saline, heat, drought, and pests and diseases tolerant varieties. Through the innovation, miles of fallow lands are being used for cultivation and reducing food and nutrition deficiency; millions of farmers are benefiting, financially and socially.
Lal Teer has developed country’s first specialized R&D for developing and testing salt resilient varieties, partnering with ICCO Cooperation and Saline Farming. The company is also involved implementing some donor funded projects (i.e. SWFF, G4AW) for promoting resilient seeds and disseminating climate-smart cultivation techniques and necessary advisory services.