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FEATURE STORY

Bangladesh Helps Farmers Overcome Natural Calamities

October 6, 2016

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Photo Credit: World Bank

Highlights
  • Through the Integrated Agricultural Productivity Project (IAPP), Bangladesh is promoting programs that alleviate poverty and increase food security, especially by boosting production of high-value fruit and vegetable crops
  • IAPP offers agricultural training to Bangladeshi farmers, supports conservation and irrigation and provides cash for new investments.
  • IAPP has benefited 180,000 crop farmers, 60,000 livestock farmers and 60,000 fish farmers in 8 low-income Bangladeshi districts.

Agriculture has always been a notoriously difficult enterprise in the northwest districts of Bangladesh, which are prone to flash flooding and drought, and in southern regions damaged by saline from tidal surges. Not coincidentally, these are regions of extreme poverty and food insecurity.

Historically, that would have made it difficult for a fish farmer like Abdul Awal, who lives in in Purbo Nijpara village of Baunia Upazilla in Rangpur District, to make a steady living and keep his community nourished.

But with technical training from the Bangladesh’s Integrated Agricultural Productivity Project (or IAPP), Mr. Awal has seen his income increase as production in his tilapia and panga pond improved. And he is sharing his newly acquired knowledge to help others get started in fish farming, and, with the capital he is accumulating, he is venturing into livestock farming. 


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Tools to Modernize Farming

With support of $46.31 million from the World Bank since 2011, Bangladesh’s Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock has used IAPP to help farmers like Mr. Awal overcome tough conditions and acquire modern techniques to succeed. IAPP has so far benefitted 180,000 crop farmers, 60,000 livestock farmers and 60,000 fish farmers in eight districts.

IAPP focuses on intensifying major crops such as cereals, fruits and vegetables, and expanding fish, poultry and livestock production. The program offers agricultural trainings where farmers learn about new technologies and share knowledge with one another. It also supports conservation and irrigation and provides farmers cash for new investments.

Since 2011, IAPP has provided technical training to about 300,000 Bangladeshi farmers, acquired more than 3,500 tons of certified seeds and improved irrigation of about 27,750 hectares of land.

With IAPP-supported training, feed, de-worming vaccinations, grass and vitamins, Renu Bala, in the Panjorbhanga village of Kaonia Upazilla in Rangpur District, has seen her cattle-farming operation grow and her standard of living along with it. That’s allowing her to pay for her children’s education expenses. 


Learning about New Innovations 

IAPP has likewise been transformative for Sorendra Kumer’s rice and wheat farm in Kaligong Upazilla under Lalmonirhat District. With the help of IAPP trainings, Mr. Kumer’s crop yields have increased. Like Mr. Awal, he is passing his knowledge of successful crop farmer to others. 

Tazi Begum, who raises cattle in Keshba (Telipara) village of Kishoreganj Upazilla in Nilphamari District, is one farmer who has benefited from these interventions. The IAPP training she received about animal health and nutrition, as well as cash payments, have increased her revenues, giving her and her family a better standard of living than ever. She’s now better positioned to seek low-interest loans that can finance expansion on the farm.

She and so many farmers like her are the foundations for a rebirth of agriculture in Bangladesh’s poorest regions.

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