CSISA in Bangladesh

The third phase of CSISA runs from 2015-2020, and is implemented by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) with the backing of a wide range of public and private sector partners in Bangladesh. The project builds on previous efforts convened by CSISA in Bangladesh (Phase I and II activities, the CSISA expansion project in Bangladesh (CSISA-BD), and the Rice Value Chain Project). In its third phase, CSISA provides a strategic overarching framework that guides and supports inter-related projects, while maintaining a focus on scaling-out innovative crop management practices and technologies to smallholder farmers.

CSISA locations in Banglades (click to enlarge)

CSISA locations in Bangladesh (click to enlarge)

In Bangladesh, CSISA Phase III focuses on three thematic work streams covering the following topics:

  1. Directly sown rice to address labor and energy constraints to precision rice establishment.
  2. Agronomic and variety recommendations to reduce the threat of wheat blast.
  3. Re-envisioning viable scaling pathways for precision nutrient management.
  4. Increasing the capacity of NARES to conduct participatory science and technology evaluations.
  5. Rice-fallows development in coastal Bangladesh.
  6. Deployment of better-bet agronomic messaging through private sector partners and dealer networks.
  7. Healthy rice seedlings for higher yields.
  8. High-value, premium quality rice in expansion Bangladesh.
  9. Commercial expansion of two-wheel tractor based machinery and associated service provision models for reapers and seeders.
  10. Managing risk by coping with climate extremes: Early wheat for combating heat stress.


The CSISA Mechanization and Irrigation Project (CSISA-MI)

CSISA-MI is a five-year project led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), in partnership with iDE and funded by the USAID Mission in Bangladesh under the Feed the Future (FtF) Initiative. It has transformed agriculture in southern Bangladesh by unlocking the potential productivity of the region’s farmers through surface water irrigation, efficient agricultural machinery and local service provision.

In developing local agricultural service providers (LSPs) through economic and technical training, the project has transformed the agricultural mechanization value chain and scaled out agricultural machinery services to individual farmers at a lower cost but with improved yields. It has introduced the axial flow pump (AFP) for water conveyance, power tiller operated multi-crop seeders (PTOS) for mechanized land preparation and seeding and reapers for mechanized harvesting.

Intervention Location: 20 districts & 105 upazillas in 3 rural hubs in southern Bangladesh

LSP Developed: 1,843 service providers with 2,052 machines (AFP 888, PTOS 816, and reapers 348)

Land Covered: About 50,000 hectares (AFP 17,529 ha, PTOS 25,775 ha, Reaper 6,681 ha)

Farmers Reached: More than 105,000 (AFP 26,171, PTOS 62,133, Reaper 17,095)

Training Provided: 30,648 farmers, LSPs, mechanics, dealers, civil society and Government of Bangladesh officials.

Public Sector Engaged: Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) and Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC).

Investment by Private Sector

CSISA-MI is working to commercialize and catalyze a broad availability of agricultural machines for LSPs in the FtF zone through partnerships with machinery manufacturers and importers, such as Advanced Chemical Industries (ACI), Rangpur Foundry Limited (RFL) Group, The Metal (Pvt.) Ltd., Chittagong Builders and Janata Engineering. These companies and their LSP clients have invested their own funds to purchase, import, distribute, and market the equipment and the use of machinery services. This has assured available machinery, much of which was imported from abroad, for farmers in the FtF zone. Consequently, US$ 2.3 million has been added to the value of the project.

BIG Wins

  • Evolution of farmers into LSPs as a new business, some of whom have also become machinery dealers.
  • Unlocked potential production on fallow land by introducing annual triple cropping such as rice–maize/wheat/mung–jute.
  • Developed manufacturers, engineering works, local repair workshops and mechanics.
  • Raised mechanization awareness along the entire value chain, developed machinery learning villages.
  • Established spare parts hubs, transformed spare parts shops into machinery dealers.

Connecting LSPs with Micro Finance Institutes (MFIs)

CSISA-MI established linkage between the LSPs and MFIs to ensure credit support. During year four of the project, 91 LSPs received US$ 54,825 in credit to buy agricultural machinery. The majority of the credit went to reaper LSPs (40) , a significant portion of credit was taken by 38 PTOS LSPs and a small proportion was used by the 12 AFP LSPs. Eight national and local MFIs (ASA, BDS, GJUS, JCF, PBSS, SDC, TMSS and Wave Foundation) provided financial services to the LSPs.

Research for Impact


An improved prototype of AFP was developed in collaboration with local manufacturers, who have also been trained on fabrication, installation, and its efficient operation. A pump test bed was installed at BARI. A booklet was published in Bengali for the LSPs to guide the proper installation and safe operation of AFPs. This and related research on surface water irrigation in Bangladesh has been published in an international peer-reviewed journal.


CSISA-MI has improved precision of maize seed meters, developed an operators’ calibration key to replace the tedious calibration process, simplified dog clutch design, modified seed metering in brush-type PTOS, developed improved rotary blades to allow strip-till seeding in moist clay soils and implemented numerous minor improvements based on the LSPs’ needs. The project has introduced a direct drill maize seeder and fertilizer to increase efficiencies and also developed press wheels for wet soils for 4-wheeled tractor operated zero-till seeder. A “Tillage-cum-Seeding Laboratory” has been established at BARI, which allows round the year advanced testing of farm machinery.


The 100 cm and 120 cm wide attachable reapers were modified for jute harvesting, especially for wet conditions. Developed sulky wheels to improve ergonomics of the self-propelled reaper operators during road transportation and field operation. Produced and distributed a simple language booklet to LSPs on operation, repair and maintenance of reapers.

Bangladesh News

  • New systems analysis tools help boost the sustainable intensification of agriculture in Bangladesh

    DHAKA, Bangladesh (CIMMYT) – In South Asia, the population is growing and land area for agricultural expansion is extremely limited. Increasing the productivity of already farmed land is the best way to attain food security. In the northwestern Indo-Gangetic Plains, farmers use groundwater to irrigate their fields. This allows them to grow two or three crops on the same piece of land each year, generating a reliable source of food and income for farming families. But in the food-insecure lower Eastern Indo-Gangetic Plains in Bangladesh, farmers have lower investment capacities and ...

  • Campaign for Healthy Rice Uses Video as a Medium to Extend Reach

    DHAKA, Bangladesh (CSISA) – The Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA), in collaboration with the Agricultural Advisory Society (AAS), is scaling out a campaign in Bangladesh to increase farmers’ knowledge and skills on quality rice seedling production. Reaching the vast number of individuals of rural Bangladesh’s huge farmer population presents a formidable challenge to the agricultural extension system’s capacity. The diversity and geographic spread of Bangladesh’s farmers also challenge extensions’ ability to link farmers with innovative and locally relevant agricultural research findings. CSISA has launched a partnership with the AAS, an ...

  • Dry Direct-Seeded Rice Increases Profitability in Bangladesh

    DHAKA, Bangladesh (CSISA) – The Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) recently organized field demonstrations to show how using direct-seeded rice (DSR) instead of transplanting rice crops not only minimizes water use but also reduces production cost and increases profitability. This event created significant awareness of, and interest in, DSR technologies among policymakers and farmers. Bangladesh has attained self-sufficiency in rice production, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS). In 2015–16, rice occupied 74% of the country’s total cropped area, 15.44 million hectares, and total paddy (rough rice) production ...

  • Weeding Out Yield Losses in South Asia

    Weed infestation is among the primary barriers to achieving the full yield potential of crops, including improved cultivars, in South Asia. According to Virender Kumar, Senior Scientist – Weed Science, International Rice Research Institute, “Unlike insects and disease where effects are more often immediately evident in the field, weeds are like a slow poison, working unseen in the background. Weeds are endemic to agricultural fields, have received relatively less attention from farmers, and are difficult to react to.” Studies have shown that yield losses due to weeds can range from 15 ...

  • Scientists Trained to Fight Wheat Blast in South Asia

    Last year, the devastating disease wheat blast was observed in South Asia for the first time. Caused by the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae pathotype Triticum (MoT) and first discovered in Paraná State, Brazil, in the mid-1980s, blast constitutes a major constraint to wheat production in South America. The sudden appearance of a highly virulent MoT strain in Bangladesh presents a serious threat to food and income security in South Asia, home to 300 million undernourished people and whose inhabitants consume over 100 million tons of wheat each year. Last year, blast ...

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