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" ..... it is beyound any question, rice industry has an overwhelming influence on national economy .."
Two research projects have been initiated ' These are discussed below. For the third item, the concept has been developed and discussed, and a research proposal is presently being developed.
1. Study, of the potential of exporting aromatic and fine rice from Bangladesh
This study was initiated in December 2002 with the financial assistance of the BRAC. The principal investigator of the research is Dr. Rezaul Karim Talukder, Professor of Agricultural Economics, Bangladesh Agricultural University. He is supported by two other specialists who work as consultants. The study addresses issues of aromatic and fine rice in relation to (a) production, productivity, 3. and economic considerations; (b) quality of processing; (c) marketing and trade; and (d) constraints to increasing export. The study will be completed in December 2004. A progress report on the research has been included in this volume.
2. Study of the impact of trade liberalization on the rice sector
This study has been financially supported by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Dr. Naimuddin Chowdhury, a noted economist who is now the Managing Director of Grameen Software, is the Principal Investigator. The study commenced in April 2004 and will be completed in December 2004. A progress report on the project has been included in this volume.
The major objective pursued in this research is to evaluate the impact of trade liberalization on food security at the national and household levels, with a particular emphasis on rice and wheat. The major concern is that the cost of rice production is higher in Bangladesh than in neighboring India. Over and above, the Govt. of India is providing substantial cash incentive to exporters of rice and wheat. The question that must be answered is: what might happen to Bangladesh's rice industry and food security situation if cheaper rice from India is dumped on Bangladesh's markets freely and on a large scale?
National Rice Policy: A conceptual analysis
Deliberations within the Program Committee on the issue of National Rice Policy started in mid 2003 and there was consensus on the importance of this topic and on the positive role that BRIF could play in addressing it. This view was endorsed by the Board of Trustees and hence this topic was flagged as a priority for inclusion in the medium term program of the Foundation.
An analysis of this issue done by the Program Committee has been reported in this volume under Research Portfolios.