On 20 February, 2017 a2i Programme of Prime Minister’s Office, Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) and Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch the competition called “Challenge Fund” for exploring innovative and sustainable irrigation technologies as an alternative to using scarce underground. The ‘Challenge Fund’ has been designed such that, specific solutions for ‘Using Above-Ground Water for Irrigation’ emerge for the following priority areas: Drought prone areas, salinity prone areas, chars (riverine islands), hilly areas and haors/baors (seasonal wetlands).
Kabir Bin Anwar, Director General (Administration) and Project Director of a2i Programme; Md. Abdur Rashid, Executive Director (In-charge) of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority; and Md. Nasiruzzaman, Chairman of Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organizations.
The Barinda Multipurpose Development Authority has developed a model called ‘Patkua’ that enables irrigation without using scarce underground water. Moreover, the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation is working continually to expand irrigation programs across the country. These organizations will work in collaboration with the a2i Programme to facilitate successful, field level implementation of the innovation solutions that emerge from the Challenge Fund.