The first window of NATP-2 research investment is Competitive Research Grant (CRG) program that promotes demand driven basic, strategic, applied and adaptive research with better research-extension-farmer linkages. Better linkages make new technology more relevant and speed up dissemination. CRG critically targets to mobilize research capacity, stimulate creativity and promote efficiencies in the research system. CRGs are open to all research providers-National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs) and non-NARI research providers (Public Universities, NGOs and Private Organizations). In the CRG system, research providers are selected on competitive basis using calls for research proposals and subjected them to rigorous review by the peer reviewers before being selected for funding. CRG programs are fully funded through the USAID Trust Fund (TF) which will closes in September 30, 2018. Only those eligible CRGs are considered that effectively complete by that time.
According to operational guideline of AIF-1, PIU-BARC had advertised invitation of Concept Note (CN) for CRG sub-projects on 03 October 2016. After deadline, PIU-BARC received 537 CRG research proposals .Nine Technical committees of different Technical Divisions of BARC had reviewed the 537 CN of CRG sub-projects and selected 206 CN for submission of full research proposals. Principal Investigator (PI) of successful CN had submitted their full research proposal within scheduled time. Technical Divisions of BARC had prepared independent reviewers panel. According to Project Implementation Manual (PIM), each Full Research Proposal (FRP) was reviewed by two independent reviewers. After rigorous review, Executive Council (EC) of BARC had approved 190 CRG sub-projects with BDT 47.57 crore including GoB BDT 2.41 crore against the targeted 100 CRG sub-projects.
Approximately BDT 12.41 crore of USAID remain unallocated due to short of time. It may be mentioned here that given the delays in start-up to the project, and taking in to consideration that the USAID Grant Fund will closes on September 2018, 1st Implementation Support Mission(ISM) of NATP-2, that took place from December 10-14, 2017 at BARC recommends that the Government request the extension of the USAID Fund utilization for one year to complete the implementation of CRG Sub-projects. Accordingly Economic Relations Division (ERD) has requested The World Bank on April 10, 2018 for an extension of USAID Grant Fund utilization time up to December 2019 to complete the CRG Sub-projects successfully. Allocation of the remaining fund depends on the extension of USAID Fund utilization time.
Awarded and LoA signed 190 CRG sub-projects are being implemented by the twenty seven (27) different NARIs and non-NARIs institutions against the targeted one hundred(100) CRG sub-projects. Institute wise list of awarded and LoA signed CRG sub-projects are mentioned in table-2.
ড. মোঃ হারূনূর রশীদ