The BIMSTEC Region Could Benefit from Collaborative Efforts to Address Agricultural Challenges and Leverage Opportunities – Dr Manoj Thibbotuwawa

25 June 2024

IPS Research Fellow and Head of Agricultural Economic Policy Research Unit, Dr Manoj Thibbotuwawa highlighted that countries within the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) can benefit significantly from regional cooperation in various areas of agriculture including Research and Development (R&D); capacity building and knowledge sharing; finance and investments and trade and market access.

He further noted the need for more innovation to boost the global competitiveness of the region’s agricultural sector and harness its knowledge base to address agricultural challenges, which currently suffers from very low R&D and reliance on outdated technologies. He identified joint research on high-yielding, climate-resilient, pest and disease-resistant crop varieties and sharing of agricultural technologies and best practices in precision farming as some of the key areas for cooperation.

Dr Thibbotuwawa shared these insights during the Workshop on “BIMSTEC Synergies in Agricultural Trade: Promoting Regional Growth” held in New Delhi, India. The regional workshop was jointly organised by the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) India and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and brought together relevant stakeholders from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand and Sri Lanka.