Biotechnology Outreach Conference

    June 14, 2022-June 15, 2022
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    The Westin Dhaka
    Dhaka, Bangladesh

The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute (AFSI), in collaboration with Biotech Consortium India Limited (BCIL) and under the auspices of the South Asia Biosafety Program (SABP), organized the Biotechnology Outreach Conference, a two-day workshop planned and conducted in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS). Since 2005, SABP has been working with governments in South Asia to strengthen institutional governance of biotechnology and is currently supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The event aimed to be a biotechnology knowledge sharing effort and a platform for outreach to stakeholders in Bangladesh, including government officials, academics, researchers, the private sector, and other interested parties.

Taking place on June 14-15, 2022 at The Westin Dhaka, the conference brought together research scientists, developers, and users of biotechnology, providing them with an opportunity to discuss current developments, understand each other’s perspectives, and learn about the use of biotechnology in Bangladesh. Plenary sessions involved presentations and panel discussions on aspects of biotechnology, including research and development in Bangladesh, regulations, trade in products of modern biotechnology, and science communication. The event served as a forum to better understand how research is being conducted in compliance with environmental and human health protection goals in Bangladesh, while providing a pathway for safe technologies to receive authorization so that the benefits of biotechnology can be realized.

Media Coverage


Dr. Md. Ruhul Amin Talukder
Chief Guest - Additional Secretary (PPC) Ministry of Agriculture
Megan Francic
Special Guest - Agricultural Attaché USDA Foreign Agricultural Service
Rakha Hari Sarker, Ph.D.
Country Coordinator South Asia Biosafety Program
Andrew Roberts, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer Agriculture & Food Systems Institute
Md. Shahidul Haque, Ph.D.
Professor Bangladesh Agricultural University
Swapan Datta, Ph.D.
Former Deputy Director General (Crop Science) Indian Council of Agricultural Research
Stuart Smyth, Ph.D.
Associate Professor University of Saskatchewan
Md. Abdullah Yousuf Akhond, Ph.D.
CSO and Head - Biotechnology Division Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute
Md. Abdul Kader, Ph.D.
Principal Scientific Officer - Plant Breeding Division Bangladesh Rice Research Institute
F. H. Ansarey, Ph.D.
Managing Director & CEO ACI Agribusinesses
Mohammed Solaiman Haider
Director - Planning Department of Environment
A. B. M. Khaleduzzaman
Director Livestock Academy
Md. A. Saleque, Ph.D.
Chief Technical Advisor ACI Animal Health
Bhavneet Bajaj, Ph.D.
Manager - Scientific Programs Agriculture & Food Systems Institute
Zach Bachtell
International Trade Specialist USDA Foreign Agricultural Service
Reaz Ahmad
Executive Editor Dhaka Tribune
Haseena Khan, Ph.D.
Secretary Bangladesh Academy of Sciences


Day 1 - June 14, 2022

8:00 am


Inaugural Session

9:00 am

Welcome Address and Introduction to SABP

Prof. Dr. Rakha Hari Sarker, Country Coordinator, South Asia Biosafety Program (SABP)

9:15 am

Remarks by Special Guest

Megan Francic, Agricultural Attaché, United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS)

9:30 am

Remarks by the Chief Guest

Dr. Md. Ruhul Amin Talukder, Additional Secretary (PPC), Ministry of Agriculture

9:45 am

Vote of Thanks

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

10:00 am

Tea Break

Session 1: Agriculture and Technology

Session Chair: Dr. Bhavneet Bajaj

10:30 am

Modern Agricultural Challenges

Dr. Md. Shahidul Haque, Professor, Department of Biotechnology, Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU)

11:00 am

Agriculture and Innovation

Dr. Swapan Datta, Former Deputy Director General – Crop Science, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)

11:45 am

Global Status of Biotechnology

Dr. Stuart Smyth, Associate Professor, University of Saskatchewan

12:30 pm

Panel Discussion and Q&A

Session 2: Biotechnology Developments in Bangladesh

Session Chair: Dr. Rakha Hari Sarker

1:00 pm

Biotechnology Research at BARI

Dr. Md. Abdullah Yousuf Akhond, CSO and Head- Biotechnology Division,
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI)

2:45 pm

Biotechnology Research at BRRI

Dr. Md. Abdul Kader, Principal Scientific Officer – Plant Breeding Division, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI)

3:30 pm

Cotton Improvement

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

4:00 pm

Panel Discussion on Challenges Facing Biotechnology Development in Bangladesh and Q&A

Dr. F. H. Ansarey, Managing Director & CEO, ACI Agribusinesses

Representative from NIB

5:00 pm

Adjourn – Day 1

Day 2 - June 15, 2022

Session 3: Regulation of Biotechnology in Bangladesh

Session Chair: Dr. Aparna Islam

10:00 am

Current Picture and Context for Biotechnology Regulation

Dr. Andrew Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, AFSI

10:30 am

Biotechnology Regulation in Bangladesh

Mr. Mohammed Solaiman Haider , Director – Planning,
Department of Environment

11:00 am

Resources for Biosafety in Bangladesh

Prof. Dr. Rakha Hari Sarker, Country Coordinator, SABP

11:30 am

South Asia Harmonization Initiative

Dr. Bhavneet Bajaj, Manager – Scientific Programs, Agriculture & Food Systems Institute

12:00 pm


12:30 pm


Session 4: Biotechnology for Animal Feed

Session Chair: Dr. Andrew Roberts

1:30 pm

Animal Feed: Status and Policy in Bangladesh

Mr. A. B. M. Khaleduzzaman, Director, Livestock Academy

1:50 pm

Animal Feed Needs and Trade in Bangladesh

Dr. Md. A. Saleque, Chief Technical Advisor, ACI Animal Health

2:10 pm

GM Crops and Derivatives for Animal Nutrition

Dr. Bhavneet Bajaj, Manager – Scientific Programs, Agriculture & Food Systems Institute

2:30 pm

Trade, Biotechnology, and Animal Feed

Mr. Zach Bachtell, International Trade Specialist, USDA FAS

3:00 pm

Panel Discussion and Q&A

3:30 pm

Tea Break

Session 5: Science Communication - Biotechnology, Science, and Society

Session Chair: Dr. Andrew Roberts

4:00 pm

Science Communication

Mr. Reaz Ahmad, Executive Editor, Dhaka Tribune

4:30 pm

Role of Bangladesh Academy of Sciences in Science Communication

Dr. Haseena Khan, Professor, University of Dhaka and Secretary, Bangladesh Academy of Sciences

5:00 am