A germplasm is a collection of genetic resources for an organism and for plants, the germplasm may be stored as a seed collection or, for trees, in a nursery.
BAU Germplasm Centre (GPC) is the largest depository/germplasm centre of fruits, medicinal plants and agroforestry in Bangladesh as well as second largest in the world next to Miami, USA. Initially the project was established on 1 acre of land in 1991 funded by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) with the mission of establishing a seed bank and extension of technologies among the farmers with Prof Dr. M. A. Rahim as the Project Director. At present BAU-Germplasm Centre occupies 32 acres of land.
About 8500 thousand mother plants of 161 species have been planted and being maintained in this Germplasm Centre including 235 varieties of mango, 27 varieties of litchi, 57 varieties of guava, 48 varieties of lemon, 94 accession of jackfruit, 67 species of minor fruits, 52 species of exotic fruits collected from 47 countries, and 97 species of medicinal plants.
FTIP/GPC has released total 70 varieties of fruits. 27 varieties medicinal plants have been collected and properly maintained in the repository.Special emphasis was given to the development and maintain 32 species of indigenous/minor fruits. About 104 MS and 12 Ph.D. students have achieved their degrees by conducting research in this centre. At present 60 MS and 15 Ph.D. students are doing their research in the GPC. Many technologies have been generated in the areas of propagation, integrated crop management and post harvest handling.
A huge number of quality planting materials of different species/varieties are being produced and being distributed to growers though DAE, BADC, CARE, CARITAS, GKF,Proshika, BRAC, World Vision. Paragon, GTZ,RDRS, DNMS, Winrock International for the establishment of mother tree orchard, mini mixed orchards and plantation of QPM. Lots of saplings are being distributed free of cost to the helpless people affected by flood, drought mango and disasters. A total of 10000 officers, field workers and farmers of different government and non-government organizations have been trained in this germplasm centre.
The centre has the following objectives: (i) to maintain the germplasm centre (GPC) as a facility for education, research and training, (ii) to conserve the germplasm resources (fruit tree, medicinal plants and associated agroforestry sp.), (iii) to supply quality planting materials to various organizations (DAE, BRAC, Proshika, World Vision Bangladesh, BADC, Winrock International etc.).
The Germplasm Centre has got the Prime Minister's 'Gold Medal' and many other awards from different sectors in the field of tree plantation. The Project Director, Prof. Dr. M. A. Rahim received prestigious Dr. Normen E. Borlaug International Science and Technology Award 2008.
GPC is also an attractive place for the visitors from home and abroad.
On-going research activities focus on underutilized fruit crops, particularly their evaluation.
Characterization and dissemination through different GO and NGO's for establishing mother tree orchards (MTO), Mini Mixed Orchards (MMO), Homestead Plantation and in Multistoried tree gardens.