Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) is the largest multi-crop search institute conducting research on a wide variety of crops, such as cereals, tubers, pulses, oilseeds, vegetables, fruits, spices, flowers, etc. Besides variety development, this institute carries out research on such areas as soil and crop management, disease and insect management, water management and irrigation, development of farm machinery, improvement of cropping and farming system management, post-harvest handling and processing, and socio-economic studies related to production, processing, marketing and consumption.
BARI (Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute) is the largest multi- crop search institute conducting research on a wide variety of crops, such as cereals, tubers, pulses, oilseeds, vegetables, fruits, spices, flowers, etc. Besides variety development, this institute carries out research on such areas as soil and crop management, disease and insect management, water management and irrigation, development of farm machinery, improvement of cropping and farming system management, post-harvest handling and processing, and socio-economic studies related to production, processing, marketing and consumption. The institute functions with the director general as the chief executive along with three directors of three of its major wings, such as Research Wing, Support Service Wing, and Training and Communication Wing. The Research Wing executes and monitors all the research programmes and other research activities through 7 special crop research centres, 17 research divisions, 6 regional research stations and 28 sub-stations. Support Service Wing provides all the logistic supports in research and personnel management. This wing is also responsible for infrastructural development and general procurement of the institute. The Training and Communication Wing is responsible for human resource development through conducting trainings and arranging scholarships for higher studies. Dissemination of information through print and electronic media, organizing seminars and symposia are also the important areas of activities of this wing.
BARI has a long historical background of its own. The emergence of the Institute in its present form has occurred through a number of changes starting from simply a sub-ordinate status under the Department of Land Records in the then Bengal. On the recommendation of the Famine Commission in 1880, the Bengal Department of Agriculture was established as a sub-ordinate part of the Department of Land Records in the then Bengal. In 1906, Lord Curzon, the then Vice Roy of India had granted separate status to the Bengal Department of Agriculture and in the same year, a nuclear agricultural research laboratory under this department was established at Tejgaon, Dhaka. In 1908, an experimental station what has become known as Dhaka Farm was established on an area of 161.20 hectares of land. This Dhaka Farm was the predecessor of BAR! and some other research institutes. Establishment of Dhaka Farm offered a good scope for conducting research in the field. In 1947, Bengal Department of Agriculture was renamed as East Pakistan Department of Agriculture. The two constituent divisions of the department were Research and Extension. In 1962, there was a severe blow to agriculture research when the land of Dhaka Farm was acquired for establishing Second Capital (today called Sher-e-Bangla Nagar). In 1968, two separate directorates were established - one was Directorate of Agriculture (Extension and Management) and the other was Directorate of Agriculture (Research and Education).The Directorate of Agriculture (Research and Education) was mostly concerned with research. This Directorate as well was responsible for the management of Bangladesh Agricultural Institute (BAI) at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka. Later in eighties and nineties, two other agricultural colleges, one in Patuakhali and the other in Dinajpur, were established. These two agricultural colleges were also administered by BARI until these became universities. In 1971, the former provincial organization took on national responsibilities. Like many other sectors, agriculture as well inherited poor manpower and insufficient administrative set ups. Therefore, it was rightly thought to have established a coordinated and comprehensive research and some major decisions were taken up in 1973. Another important development in the year was the Presidential Order No. XXXII that helps strengthen and reconstitute agricultural research organizations and system in the country. Upon subsequent developments of research institutions led to further restructuring. In 1976, through the Presidential Order No. LXII, the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) was emerged as an autonomous and effective research organization following the dissolution of the Directorate of Agriculture (Research and Education) with sufficient operational flexibility, structural modification, and improvement of regional and sub-stations.
The mandates of the Institute as contained in the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute Amendment Act. No. 14 of 1996 are to:
- Approve the course study in broad outlines;
- Undertake research to ensure a stable and productive agriculture through scientific management of land, water, evaluation of new varieties of various agricultural products and development of appropriate technologies and pest management methods;
- Provide farmers with information necessary for carrying out their farming business efficiently and profitably;
- Set up research centres, sub-stations, project areas and farms in different regions on various problems of agriculture;
- Carry out demonstrations, tests or trials of new varieties of crops and their management practices;
- Publish annual reports, agricultural manuals, monographs, bulletinsand other literatures related to crop research and activities of the Institute;
- Train research and extension officers in the improved technology of crop production;
- Provide post-graduate research facilities;
- Organize seminars, symposia and workshops on selected problems which may afford specialists from different research institutes and stations opportunity to exchange ideas and be acquainted with the recent advancements in agriculture;
- Perform such other function as may be necessary for the purpose of the Act.