The first research activity on sugarcane started in this subcontinent with the establishment of the Sugarcane Breeding Station (SBS) at Coimbatore (India) in 1912 and in Bangladesh in 1933. The history of sugarcane research in Bangladesh is briefly mentioned here:
Sugarcane Seedling Testing Laboratory (SSTL): 1933-1947
This laboratory was established at Monipuri farm, Dhaka in 1933 to conduct trials with sugarcane fuzz from Coimbatore for the purpose of selecting improved varieties suitable for this region. It was financed by the then Royal Imperial Council of Agriculture and it functioned upto 1947. A few good varieties like Co 419, Co 527 etc. selected by the laboratory are still in cultivation in different parts of Bangladesh.
Sugarcane Research Station (SRS): 1951-1971
The Ministry of Agriculture of the erstwhile Government of East Pakistan established the Sugarcane Research Station (SRS) at the present site of Ishurdi, Pabna in 1951. The station started functioning with only 17 manpower and very poor logistic support. Research was then limited to breeding and selection. The station successfully developed and released nine varieties of which Isd-1/53 and Isd-2/54 are still in cultivation in different parts of the country. Food and Agricultural Council of the then Pakistan placed it under control of the Central Government. But they returned it back to the Ministry of Agriculture of the provincial government in 1965 without any significant development. Thus research activities continued with limited manpower and logistic support. The station was almost destroyed during the War of Liberation in 1971.
Sugarcane Research Institute (SRI): 1971-1979
After independence, SRS was handed over to Bangladesh Sugar Mills Corporation (BSMC) (presently BSFIC) under the Ministry of Industry in 1973. Realizing the importance of the sugar industry in the country, the ECNEC approved the Sugarcane Research Institute scheme during the First Five Year Plan. Under this scheme, SRS was upgraded and renamed as Sugarcane Research Institute (SRI) with the provision of regional station in Thakugaon.
Sugarcane Research and Training Institute (SRTI): 1980-1988
During Second Five Year Plan (1980-1985), Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation submitted a scheme for Staff Training Center (STC) and Ishurdi and Thakurgaon. ECNEC approved a revised scheme merging STC and SRI, renaming it as Sugarcane Research and Training Institute (SRTI) during 1980-1981.
Bangladesh Sugarcane Research Institute (BSRI):
As a follow-up of a cabinet decision taken in April 1987, Government transferred SRTI from BSFIC (Ministry of Industry) to the Ministry of Agriculture to upgrade it as a national institute. In 1996, the Honorable President of the Peoplesí Republic of Bangladesh promulgated the BSRI ordinance (Ordinance No. 23, of 18th June 1996). Through this ordinance, the government terminated Sugarcane Research and Training Institute and established an autonomous national institute named Bangladesh Sugarcane Research Institute, with a broader mandate to conduct research on sugarcane and other ancillary sugar crops all over the country. Following the Ordinance, the BSRI Act (the Act No. 11 of 1996, 17th August 1996) was passed by the Parliament on 17th August, 1996. This act was partly amended [BSRI (amendment) Act, 21 September 2002] to give the other Institutes under the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS).