Making Bangladesh’s Agricultural Sector More Sustainable

SBA project photo


In partnership with the UK and Norway


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The Opportunity


Agriculture is a major economic driver in Bangladesh, accounting for 23 percent of its gross domestic product and 65 percent of its labor force.


However, climate change poses an especially serious challenge to Bangladesh’s agricultural output and puts its food security at risk. As a low-lying country situated on a delta, Bangladesh can expect increased flooding, salt water intrusion, drought and other natural disasters. At the same time, rising salinity levels in coastal regions are cutting the productivity of many seed varieties long used by its farmers.


As a result, Bangladesh is losing 1.75 percent of its arable land each year – faster than its population growth of 1.5 percent. This means that by 2025, its poorly performing agricultural sector will have to feed 19 million more people with considerably less land.


For food security reasons, it is imperative for farmers to deploy innovative and sustainable practices and technologies, such as stress-tolerant seed varieties that withstand prolonged periods of submergence, high levels of salinity, and drought conditions.



Our Approach


IFC is actively promoting climate-resilient agricultural practices in Bangladesh, working with both the private and the public sectors to build greater efficiencies in the use of their resources.


More specifically, IFC works with:


  • Four of Bangladesh’s largest private seed companies (Energypac Agro-G Ltd, Supreme Seed, ACI Ltd., and Lal Teer Ltd.) to demonstrate the business case for stress-tolerant seeds and raise awareness of how they can be used.
  • Seed growers, dealers, and retailers to expose them to new seed varieties and their production process by supervising field demonstrations.
  • The Bangladesh government to bring together public and private sector representatives to discuss their respective roles and responsibilities in promoting stress-tolerant seeds. 


IFC’s objective is to support farmers in adapting to climate change as well as strengthening food security and social inclusion by:

  • Increasing the production, distribution, and adoption of stress-tolerant seed varieties and promoting these varieties to farmers who need them but are not aware of their availability or the respective farming practices.
  • Promoting high-yielding seed varieties, which boost agricultural output.


Including rural women in seed production in remote areas and linking them to seed supply chains.



Results & Impact *


  • 67,000 farmers received training on stress-tolerant seeds.
  • 45,200 of trained farmers reported improved performance, i.e. better productivity and business outcomes.
  • 15percent increase in revenue for trained farmers, compared to farmers who did not receive training over the same period of time.
  • 26,000 of trained farmers implemented changes related to climate change adaptation.
  • 19,200 farmers adopted new practices related to productivity improvement.
  • Eight new stress-tolerant seed varieties were introduced by the Bangladesh government.



 *As of December 2012


SBA project quote


Related Links and Resources


Print a two-page fact sheet on this project [PDF] »

Building capacity among seed growers in Bangladesh [Video] »




Minakshi Seth | New Delhi, India
5741+1058 / 91-11-4111-1058 |