Fourth Workshop of the IBO Training Program

    June 8, 2022-June 9, 2022
    9:00 am - 6:00 pm
    BCDM Rajendrapur
    Gazipur, Bangladesh

The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute (AFSI), in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Bangladesh, under the auspices of the South Asia Biosafety Program (SABP), is conducting a series of workshops targeting Institutional Biosafety Officers (IBOs) and Committees (IBCs) at research institutions engaged in biotechnology research and development in Bangladesh. The purpose of this by-invitation-only workshop series is to ensure that institutions in Bangladesh are aware of their obligations under the biosafety regulatory system and are empowered to work with researchers to meet these obligations while continuing their research.

The introductory workshop was held on December 2, 2021. The discussion on biosafety compliance while working with genetically engineered organisms continued during the second workshop, which was held virtually on February 17, 2022. The third workshop focused on capacity building exercises for IBOs and IBCs, covering additional topics, including the development of standard operating procedures for greenhouse work, key considerations for containment of GE crops, and key components for record keeping, handling, storage, transfer, shipment, and disposal of GM plant material. Compliance for import, exchange, and research involving GM crops was also discussed.

The fourth workshop in this series covered all aspects of confined field trials (CFTs). This included presentations on how to plan and conduct a CFT, requirements for risk assessment and risk management in the context of CFTs of GM plants, understanding the application process for CFTs and the requirements in Bangladesh, and standard operating procedures for conducting a CFT, including handling materials, maintaining isolation, harvest and termination, and documentation. One session focused on the preparation of crop-specific SOPs, recording formats, compliance with regulatory requirements for a CFT, and monitoring and inspection of field trial sites by regulatory authorities.


Debasish Sarker, Ph.D.
Director General Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI)
Md. Shahjahan Kabir, Ph.D.
Director General Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI)


Rakha Hari Sarker, Ph.D.
Country Coordinator South Asia Biosafety Program (SABP)
Andrew Roberts, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer Agriculture & Food Systems Institute (AFSI)
Aparna Islam, Ph.D.
Professor Brac University
Bhavneet Bajaj, Ph.D., PMP
Manager, Scientific Programs Agriculture & Food Systems Institute (AFSI)
Vibha Ahuja, Ph.D.
Senior Advisor South Asia Biosafety Program (SABP)
Sium Ahmed
Deputy Manager South Asia Biosafety Program (SABP)
Md. Kamrul Islam, Ph.D.
Senior Scientific Officer Cotton Development Board


Day 1 - June 8, 2022

9:30 am


10:00 am


Dr. Rakha Hari Sarker, Country Coordinator, South Asia Biosafety Program (SABP) and Professor, Dhaka University, Bangladesh

10:10 am

Recap of the First, Second, and Third IBO Workshops

Dr. Andrew Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, Agriculture & Food Systems Institute (AFSI), USA

10:20 am

Biosafety Regulations for CFTs of GE Plants in Bangladesh

Dr. Aparna Islam, Professor, Brac University, Bangladesh

10:30 am

Inaugural Address

Dr. Debasish Sarker, Director General, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI)

10:45 am

Special Address

Dr. Md. Shahjahan Kabir, Director General, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI)

10:55 am

Vote of Thanks

11:00 am

Tea Break

11:30 pm

Understanding Requirements for Risk Assessment and Risk Management in the Context of Confined Field Trials of GM Plants & Group Exercise

Dr. Andrew Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, AFSI, USA

1:00 pm


2:00 pm

Using Plant Biology Documents for Planning and Conduct of CFTs

Dr. Bhavneet Bajaj, Manager – Scientific Programs, AFSI, USA

Dr. Vibha Ahuja, Senior Advisor, SABP and Chief General Manager, Biotech Consortium India Ltd. (BCIL), India

2:30 pm

Group Exercise

Mr. Sium Ahmed, Biosafety Officer, SABP, Bangladesh

3:30 pm

Tea Break

3:45 pm

Application for Confined Field Trials: Requirements and Process of Review in Bangladesh

Dr. Rakha Hari Sarker, Country Coordinator, SABP and Professor, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

4:00 pm

Experience Sharing: Approval and Conduct for CFTs

Representatives from BARI/BRRI/CDB and other participants

4:30 pm

SOP for Conduct of a CFT: Handling Material, Maintaining Isolation, Harvest and Termination, Documentation

Dr. Bhavneet Bajaj, Manager – Scientific Programs, AFSI, USA

5:00 pm

Guidance on Preparation of Crop Specific SOPs

Dr. Aparna Islam, Professor, Brac University, Bangladesh

5:15 pm

Experience Sharing

Dr. Md. Kamrul Islam, Senior Scientific Officer, Cotton Development Board

6:00 pm

Close of Day 1

Day 2 - June 9, 2022

9:00 am

Recap of Day 1

9:30 am

Recording Formats for Compliance with Regulatory Requirements

Dr. Andrew Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, AFSI, USA

10:15 am

Field Trial Monitoring and Inspection by Regulatory Authorities

Dr. Vibha Ahuja, Senior Advisor, SABP and Chief General Manager, BCIL

10:45 am

Experience Sharing

Representatives from BARI/BRRI/CDB and other participants

11:00 am

Tea Break

11:30 am

Non-Compliance and Corrective Action

Dr. Vibha Ahuja, Senior Advisor, SABP and Chief General Manager, BCIL

12:00 pm

Preparation of Field Trial Report

Dr. Rakha Hari Sarker, Country Coordinator, SABP and Professor, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

12:30 pm

Ask Anything Session

1:00 pm

Lunch & Close of the Workshop