CAB International


 Bangladesh trainees

Agricuture in Bangladesh

Agriculture accounts for about one third of Bangladesh’s gross domestic product and more than 30% of export earnings. Nearly two thirds of the country’s population works in agriculture. About 80% of the 150 million Bangladeshis depend on agriculture for their subsistence. Bangladesh now deems itself to be self-sufficient in food grain production. This is a significant accomplishment as food security has long been a major part of national policy. The major crops are rice, wheat, pulses, jute, oilseed, vegetables, potatoes, fruits, sugarcane, spices and cotton. Losses due to pests vary from 10 to 25% of expected yield. 

Plant clinics in Bangladesh

To gain a better understanding of plant health problems, Rural Development Academy (RDA) and NGO's Agricultural Advisory Society (AAS) and Shushilan have established 11 plant clinics in Natore, Bogra and Satkhira districts and Gazipur and Khulna.

 The plant clinic approach was first introduced for farmers in Shahjahanpur upazila of Bogra district from 2004, in Baraigram upazila of Natore district by AAS from 2005, and in Kaliganj upazila of Satkhira district from 2006 under funding and technical support from CABI. The aim of the plant clinics was to:

  • enhance crop production
  • reduce production costs by avoiding frequent use of chemicals
  • increase income
  • remove the risk of crop failure due to pest and disease infestation,
  • help to save the environment from pollution 

Women plant doctors at newly opened plant clinic in Bangladesh


Monitoring progress

A good monitoring system is essential to document clinic progress, assess the service quality, identify weaknesses and difficulties and define actions for continuous improvement. In 2008, a monitoring workshop in Satkhira with RDA, AAS and Shushilan was held as a first attempt to establish a simple monitoring system for the plant clinics. In 2009 progress on this was reviewed...Read more here >

Making a difference

A study looking at the performance and impacts of the plant clincs was conducted by Rural Development Academy (RDA), Agricultural Advisory Society (AAS) and
Shushilan in January 2010...Read more here >

The study showed that smallholder farmers benefitted by an average of $325 or 24% increase in net income. They invested this additional income back into farming (43%) through the following:

  • buying a cow - 13%
  • planting - 9%
  • buying land - 9%
  • growing a crop - 7%
  • agriculture - 5%

They also invested the extra income into their children’s education (25%) and into improving their homes (21%).

Find out more about plant clinics in Bangladesh


Diagnostic support from CABI, CSL and Rothamsted Research, UK