Innovation of Improved Crop Varieties and Sustainable Seed Supply
Innovation Name: Innovation of Improved Crop Varieties and Sustainable Seed Supply for Food and Nutrition Security.
Category: Best Innovation in Agriculture
Company: Lal Teer Seed Limited
The agricultural sector is one of the main drivers of poverty reduction in Bangladesh since 2000 (World Bank, 2016). Therefore, quality seed is the key input for successful crop production. Quality seed itself can increase the crop production up to 25-30% (100-150% for vegetables). Only 35-40% quality seeds are supplied by public and private sectors, rest are of poor quality resulting in poor yield.
Bangladesh agriculture is badly affected by climate change. The country owns a huge coastal region in the southern part covering 2.85 million hectares where about one million hectares is affected by different levels of salinity caused by an accelerating sea-level rise. Another vulnerable area of about 7,770 sq. km, is a huge drought prone area called Barind Tract covering the northern districts.
Given the scarcity of quality seeds, Lal Teer Seed Ltd was established to develop high yielding crop varieties with resilient characteristics against salinity, heat, drought, and pest & disease.
In the late nineties the scenario of vegetable seed production and supply was very poor, at best 5-10 tons of seeds were produced and supplied by public sector against the requirement of 3,500 MT (1990). The rest of the seeds used were farmers retained seeds of poor genetic and physical quality. vegetable production and consumption were far below than the requirement. Short supply of quality vegetable seeds was the key reason for low yield. Given the importance of quality vegetable seeds, Mr. Abdul Awal Mintoo, the Chairman of Multimode Group established Lal Teer Seed Ltd in 1995 to develop high yielding vegetable hybrids from local germplasm.
Lal Teer Seed follows the tested approach-
■ The company developed a qualified and experienced R&D team to develop high yielding varieties using local germplasm so that the developed crop varieties are more adaptable to local climate and soil.
■ Development of high yielding, disease-pest resistant, climate resilient (saline/heat/drought tolerant) varieties of vegetables, rice and other crops.
■ Development of crop varieties with special features through molecular interventions.
■ Timely distribution of seeds to farmers through dealers.
■ Conducting adaptability and demonstration trials in farmers’ fields.
■ Capacity building of farmers through training and field days.
■ After sales service and troubleshooting.
Understanding the needs of Bangladesh, Lal Teer has initiated research since its inception developing high yielding saline, heat and drought resilient, and pest and disease tolerant vegetable varieties and production practices. The company follows the tested R&D approach for developing varieties using local germplasm. In fact, Lal Teer is the pioneer in developing and introducing vegetable hybrids in Bangladesh.
Results and Impact
Currently, Lal Teer is the largest producer of seeds in the private sector of Bangladesh. The company is ISO 9001 : 2015 certified and ranked 7th among the South and Southeast Asian seed companies by the assessment of Access to Seeds Index 2021. Lal Teer has three R&D centers and 10 production centers throughout Bangladesh. It also manages its own sales and marketing infrastructure. Headquartered in Dhaka, Lal Teer has 24 sales offices at district level, supplying to 1,500 dealers countrywide. The core products are vegetables, rice, wheat, maize, jute, cotton, oilseeds and pulses.