Tag Archives: Government of Bangladesh

Role of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) in Agricultural Extension of Bangladesh: Syeda Tasnim Jannat

 

The economy of Bangladesh depends chiefly on agriculture. The challenge of feeding the increasing population from the shrinking land and water resources is a great task. Many agencies are working to support the farmers to produce food materials and related products. A number of approaches are taken to provide farmers required information to support their farming operation. The agricultural system of Bangladesh has a long history of coping with the challenges. The system has experienced remarkable development over time. Inclusion of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) enhanced the capacity of the system to face the challenges. Agricultural technologies generated by Agricultural Research Institutes are now being disseminated to the farmers by the Agricultural Extension agencies. The use of ICT technologies for disseminating agricultural technologies has been proved to be useful for enhancement of production. The major ICT technologies for transferring scientific innovations are mobile phone and computer. It has been revealed through a survey of Katalyst in 2013 that the farmers seek the following information through the helpline of mobile phone.

  • 67% regarding pest management of crops
  • 2% regarding seed
  • 7% regarding fertilizer
  • 10% regarding cultivation technologies
  • 14% regarding other issues

The same survey revealed that 84% rural farmers use mobile phones, 67% farm families use more than one mobile phones and 73% farm families use more than one sims. By using ICT 7 lakh 45 thousand farm families were benefited and the average income increased BDT 10, 500 per family.

This article has been prepared on the basis of Round Table Conference/Workshop arranged by popular newspaper Prothom Alo held on 06 June 2015. The Round Table was the outcome of collaboration of the government of Bangladesh, Katalyst, Swisscontact, UKAID, SDC and DANIDA. Twelve distinguished persons participated in the important round table. Summary of the conference was published on 03 July, 2015 in Prothom Alo as a supplementary. I tried to capture the salient points of the discussion from the supplementary to share with the readers around the world. The participants of the conference were:

  1. Sheikh Hemayet Hossain, Director, Field Services Wing, Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE)
  2. Mokbul Hossain, Project Director & Principal Scientific Officer, Soil Resources Development Institute (SRDI)
  3. Md. Zahangir Alam, Deputy Director, Mass Communication, Agriculture Information Service (AIS)
  4. Jalal Hossain, Head of Business Strategy and Strategic Project, Banglalink
  5. Mohammad Muntasir Hossain, General Manager, VAAS & Digital Services, Grameen Phone
  6. Nujhat Jannatun Naim, Senior Executive, Infrastructure Business, Banglalink
  7. Kashfia Ahmed, CEO, Win Incorporate
  8. Sumaia Sadia Raihan, Lead Specialist, VAAS & Digital Services, Grameen Phone
  9. Remizius Remi, Head of Technical, Win Miyaki Ltd.
  10. Nafia Hussain, Manager, Katalyst
  11. Mohammad Sakib Khaled, Business Consultant, Katalyst
  12. Abdul Quiyum, Associate Editor, Prothom Alo

Following recommendations emerged from the discussion of the Round Table conference:

  • All concerned including mass media should work together to alert the farmers
  • The efficiency of farmers should be enhanced. All concerned including government, Telecom companies shpuld take responsibilities for the purpose.
  • Farmers should be provided standard information after careful selection and vetting
  • Farmers should be given such agricultural information which they can trust
  • All concerned should deeply contemplate on the best means/ways of communicating with the farmer.
  • There should be seals of the government on the supplied agricultural information.

The round table conference organized by Prothom Alo was a pioneering initiative. This initiative may inspire other media to come forward to explore various problems and prospects of agriculture sector. Our country and concerned people will invariably be benefited from such initiatives.

Workshop on Research to Inform Food and Nutrition Security Policies in Dhaka,Bangladesh:Dr.Syed Md.Zainul Abedin

 

A two-day Workshop on Research to Inform Food and Nutrition Security Policies was held on  3-4  July 2013 in the Ball  Room of Hotel Ruposhi Bangla ,Dhaka,Bangladesh.

Hon’ble Food Minister Dr.Muhammad Abdur Razzaque MP graced  the Inaugural Session of the workshop as the Chief Guest.He stated in his inaugural speech that Bangladesh is now referred across the world as a country of success for its food security and its ability to address the climate change impacts.He also said,“Once Bangladesh was known as country of famine, drought and flood, but now it is referred across the world as a country of success for its food security and its ability to address the climate change impacts,”

Dr Razzaque said the government considers agriculture, food security and nutrition as major priority areas.“Although we’ve made impressive achievement in grain production, we’re still facing considerable challenges in the areas of nutritional improvement, climate change adaptation, scarce natural resources, and access to safe and nutritious food,” he said.The Food Minister said achieving food and nutrition security is considered by the government as a key development agenda to make the country a middle income one as envisaged in the ‘Vision 2021’.About the country’s success in fighting poverty, he said although Bangladesh still has significant level of poverty, it has made a lot of progress in reducing poverty over the last decade.“Recently, FAO has awarded Bangladesh in recognition of our notable and outstanding progress in fighting hunger… we’ve achieved the UN Millennium Development Goal-1 as the prevalence of undernourishment reduced from 34.6 percent in 1990-92 to 16.8 percent in 2010-12.”Referring to the government steps for ensuring food security, Dr Razzaque said the ‘Country Investment Plan’ has been prepared to implement the food security programs following the ‘Bangladesh Food Security Investment Forum’ held in Dhaka in 2010.
Dr Razzaque said the government considers agriculture, food security and nutrition as major priority areas.“Although we’ve made impressive achievement in grain production, we’re still facing considerable challenges in the areas of nutritional improvement, climate change adaptation, scarce natural resources, and access to safe and nutritious food,” he said.The Food Minister said achieving food and nutrition security is considered by the government as a key development agenda to make the country a middle income one as envisaged in the ‘Vision 2021’.About the country’s success in fighting poverty, he said although Bangladesh still has significant level of poverty, it has made a lot of progress in reducing poverty over the last decade.“Recently, FAO has awarded Bangladesh in recognition of our notable and outstanding progress in fighting hunger… we’ve achieved the UN Millennium Development Goal-1 as the prevalence of undernourishment reduced from 34.6 percent in 1990-92 to 16.8 percent in 2010-12.”Referring to the government steps for ensuring food security, Dr Razzaque said the ‘Country Investment Plan’ has been prepared to implement the food security programmes following the ‘Bangladesh Food Security Investment Forum’ held in Dhaka in 2010. –
FAO Representative in Bangladesh Mike Robson,  EU Bangladesh Delegation-Head of Section-Rural Development  Gonzalo Serrano, NFPCSP-FAO Chief Technical Adviser Ciro Fiorillo and FPMU Director General Naser Farid, spoke at the session. Acting Secretary  of Food Ministry Abdul Awal Hawlader presided.
Guest of Honor,Mr.Kostas G.Stamoulis,Director ESA Division,FAO,Italy sent a message for the success of the workshop since he could not attend the same due to some other appointment.

 

The workshop  held on 3-4 July 2013 has been organized to present final results from 14 research studies and preliminary results from other 2 studies.The Workshop marks the final stage of a process initiated in 2009 with the approval of sixteen research topics by the Ministry of Food,based on the Governments priorities on Food and Nutrition Security.The 16 research were thereafter commissioned to National Research Institutions through an  open competition,with 14 of them initiated in October 2011 and currently completed and other 2 initiated in April 2012 and expected to be completed in fall  2013.The research outcomes are intended to inform Government’s policy making on food and nutrition security.They have  already been used as references for producing the National Food Policy Plan of Action and Country Invest Plan Monitoring Report 2013 that is the annual Government’s  report reviewing progress towards the PoA and CIP’s objective and the evolution of financing and delivery under the CIP.

The participants of the workshop include representatives of the Government of  Bangladesh,Civil Society Organizations(CSOs),Development Partners(DPs),national experts,media and relevant personnel.

The objectives of the workshop are to:

1.Present and discuss results and recommendations of 14 research programs.

2.Review preliminary results of 2 on-going research programs.

It may be mentioned  that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO) and the Food Planning and Monitoring Unit (FPMU) of the Ministry of Food,Government of Bangladesh are jointly implementing the National Food Policy Capacity Strengthening Program(NFPCSP) with the financial support of the European Union(EU) and USAID.The  NFPCSP (www.nfpcsp.org) helps to strengthen institutional and human capacities in Bangladesh to design,implement and monitor  food security policies.Through its Research Grant Scheme,the NFPCSP has funded 16 policy relevant food security and nutrition research programs that will provide concrete policy options for improving food and nutrition security in Bangladesh.

The workshop facilitated dialogue among food security and nutrition researchers,and between researchers and policy makers  to maximize impact of the research completed and promote policy relevance of the two on-going research projects.

Thematic areas of The Workshop on Research to Inform Food and Nutrition Security Policies

1.Food Composition,Food Utilization and Nutrition Thematic Area:

In promoting infant and young child feeding,mothers need to be aware of how to plan and prepare complementary foods and  feed their young   children with the right amount and the right types of foods.

Some options of improved complementary feeding recipes based on food diversity and nutrient adequacy,as well as cultural acceptability had been prepared  and  made available.Similarly,on the basis of normative energy and nutrient requirements for the  Bangladeshi population,plans for sustainable diets at affordable cost with dietary  guidelines for a healthier nation was prepared and shared.Central to these issues are reliable food and nutrient composition data and Food Composition Tables(FCT) the updates for which were provided.Information on safety of foods based on a total diet study was shared to provide insights for agricultural planning,diet and nutritional assessment,food safety regulations  and consumer protection.

2.Food Access Thematic Area:

This theme was consisted of four studies,three of which related to social safety-nets.With the ambition to improve the effectiveness of safety-net programs,one of the studies presented results and policy recommendations on targeting and prioritization issues.Another study presented results on how social safety -nets could assist poor household to respond to climate change and a third study presented how safety-nets could promote productive outcomes for lasting poverty elimination and food security.The fourth study under this thematic area presented fresh evidence on urbanization and its implications for food security.

3.Food Availability Thematic Area:

There were eight studies in this thematic area.Three of them comprised food production inputs of land,ground water and credit which examined their trends,sustainability and accessibility. The study on land presented interesting results on land decline and or increase based on satellite imagery. This study created much interaction among the participants since it was one of the first such studies in Bangladesh.

Two studies investigated the structure and performance of key food markets of rice,and fruit ad vegetables.The rice market study results included an assessment of new milling technology.

Further three studies examined in depth profitability of farming across a range of crops,the trends and drivers in diversification of food production,and how the public rice procurement system influenced farming incentives.

All the studies presented new evidences based on data collected through purposefully designed household and farm surveys.

 

Detailed Program of The Workshop on Research to Inform Food and Nutrition Security Policies

Date        : 3-4 July 2013 (Wednesday and Thursday)

Venue     :Ruposhi Bangla Hotel,Ball Room,1 Minto Road,Dhaka 1000

Day 1      Wednesday   3 July 2013

0820-0920 Arrival and Registration

0920-0930 Guests take their seats

Session I     Inaugural Session

Chief Guest  :Dr.Muhammad Abdur Razzaque MP

Hon’ble  Minister,Ministry of Food

Chair             :Mr.Abdul Awal Hawlader ,Acting Secretary,Ministry of Food

Rapporteurs:Ms. Lalita Bhattacharjee,NFPCSP-FAO and

Mr.Mahbubur Rahman,FPMU

0930-0940 Welcome Address by Mr. Naser Farid

Director General,FPMU,Ministry of Food

0940-1000 Workshop Objectives by Mr. Ciro Fiorillo

Chief Technical Adviser,NFPCSP-FAO

1000-1010   Address by Guest of Honor,Mr.Kostas G.Stamoulis

Director ESA Division,FAO,Italy

1010-1020  Address by Guest of Honor,Mr.Philippe Jacques

Head of Cooperation,Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh

1020-1030 Address by Guest of Honor,Mr.Richard Greene

Mission Director,USAID,Dhaka,Bangladesh

1030-1040 Address by Special Guest,Mr.Mike Robson

FAO Representative in Bangladesh

1040-1050 Address by the  Chair,Mr.Abdul Awal Hawlader ,Acting Secretary,Ministry of Food

1050-1115 Address by the Chief Guest,Dr.Muhammad Abdur Razzaque MP

Hon’ble  Minister,Ministry of Food

1115-1200 Tea/Coffee

Session II Food Availability:Land,Water,Credit,Profitabilty

  Chair:Prof Dr.M.A.Sattar Mandal,Member (Agriculture,Water Resources and Rural Institutions),Planning Commission,Bangladesh

Rapporteurs:Ms.Merzouk Quraishia,NFPCSP-FAO and

Mr.M.Ismail Miah,FPMU

1200-1215 Trends in the availability of agricultural land in Bangladesh

Mr.Md.Nazmul Hassan,Soil Resources Development Institute

1215-1220 Discussant-Mr.Shahin Yaqub,NFPCSP-FAO

1220-1230 General Discussion

1230-1245 The role of credit in food production and food security in Bangladesh

Prof.Dr.Bazlul Haque Khondker,Bureau of Economic Research,University of Dhaka

1245-1250 Discussant-Mr.M.Shahe Alam,NFPCSP-FAO

1250-1300 General Discussion

1300-1400 Prayer and Lunch

1400-1415 Sustainability of groundwater use for irrigation in North West Bangladesh

Dr.Nepal C.Dey,BRAC

1415-1420 Discussant-Mr.Rezaul Karim Talukder,NFPCSP-FAO

1420-1430 General Discussion

1430-1445  Financial and economic profitability of selected agricultural crops in Bangladesh

Prof.Dr.Mizanul H.Kajal ,Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University

1445-1450  Discussant-Mr.Rezaul Karim Talukder,NFPCSP-FAO

1450-1500 General Discussion

1500-1510 Remarks from the Chair

 

Session III  Access to Food:Safety-net and Migration

Chair:Prof.Donato Romano,

Department of Economics and Management,

Universita Degli Studi Firenze,Italy

 

Rapporteurs:Ms.Merzouk Quraishia,NFPCSP-FAO and

Mr.M.Abul Hashem,FPMU

1510-1525 Improving the targeting effectiveness of social safety-nets in Bangladesh

Prof.Dr.Abul Barkat,Manob Sakti Unnayan Kendra

1525-1530 Discussant-Mr.Shahin Yaqub,NFPCSP-FAO

1530 -1545 General Discussion

 

1545 -1600 Adapting social safety-net programs to climate change shocks: issues and options for Bangladesh

Prof.Dr.M.A.Awal,Department of Crop Botany,Bangladesh Agricultural University

1600-1605 Discussant-Mr.Shahin Yaqub,NFPCSP-FAO

1605- -1615 General Discussion

 

1615-1630 Rural-urban migration and its implications for food security in  Bangladesh

Prof.Dr.Md.Zakir Hossain,Department of Statistics,

Shahjalal  University of Science and Technology

1630-1635   Discussant-Mr.M.Shahe Alam,NFPCSP-FAO

1635-1650  General Discussion

 

1650-1705 Social safety-nets and productive outcomes :evidence and implications for Bangladesh

Dr.Ismat Ara Begum,Department of Agricultural Economics,

Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology

Bangladesh Agricultural University

1705–1710 Discussant-Mr.Rezaul Karim Talukder,NFPCSP-FAO

1710-1725  General Discussion

1725-1735 Remarks from the Chair

1735-1750 Tea/Coffee

 

Day 2      Thursday   4 July 2013

Session IV Nutrition :Food Composition and Dietary Intake

Chair:Prof.Dr.M.Q.K.Talukdar

Chairman,Centre for Women and Child Health

Rapporteurs:Mr.M.A.Mannan,NFPCSP-FAO and

Mr.M.Faruq Al Banna,FPMU

0900-0915 Food composition tables for Bangladesh

Prof.Dr.Nazma Shaheen,Centre for Advanced Research and Studies,

University of Dhaka

0915-0920 Discussant -Ms. Lalita Bhattacharjee,NFPCSP-FAO

0920-0930  General Discussion

 

0930-0945 Development of a complementary feeding manual for Bangladesh

Dr.A.K.M.Iqbal Kabir,Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation(BBF)

0945-0950 Discussant -Mr.M.A.Mannan,NFPCSP-FAO

0950-1000  General Discussion

 

1000-1015 Desirable dietary pattern for Bangladesh

Dr.Quamrun Nahar,BIRDEM

 

1015-1020 Discussant -Ms. Lalita Bhattacharjee,NFPCSP-FAO

1020-1030  General Discussion

 

1030-1045 Consumption of unsafe foods:heavy metal,mineral and trace element contamination

Prof.Dr.Md.Rafiqul Islam,Department of Soil Science,

Bangladesh Agricultural University

1045-1050 Discussant -Mr.M.A.Mannan,NFPCSP-FAO

1050-1100  General Discussion

1100-1115 Remarks from the Chair

1115-1130 Tea/Coffee

 

Session V  Food Availability : Diversification,Efficiency and Support to Farmers

Chair:Mr. Ciro Fiorillo

Chief Technical Adviser,NFPCSP-FAO   and

Prof.Dr.Shamsul Alam,Member(General Economics Division)

Planning Commission,Bangladesh

1130-1145 Improving the marketing systems of fruits and vegetables in Bangladesh

Prof.Dr.Md.Kamrul Hassan,Department of Horticulture,

Bangladesh Agricultural University

1145-1150 Discussant -Mr.Shaikh Abdus Sabur,NFPCSP-FAO

1150-1200  General Discussion

 

1200-1215 Policy options for supporting agricultural diversification in Bangladesh

Dr.Md.Monayem Miah,Agricultural Economics Division,

Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute

1215-1220   Discussant-Mr.M.Shahe Alam,NFPCSP-FAO

1220-1230  General Discussion

 

1230-1245 Structure,conduct and performance of the rice market and the impact of technological changes in milling.

Prof.Dr.Shankar K.Raha,Institute of Agribusiness and Development Studies,Bangladesh Agricultural University

1245-1250 Discussant -Mr.Shaikh Abdus Sabur,NFPCSP-FAO

1250-1300  General Discussion

 

1300-1315 Effectiveness of Bangladesh’s rice procurement system and possible alternatives:supporting farmers’ income and sustaining production incentives

Dr.Mohammad Jahangir Alam,Department of Agribusiness and Marketing ,

Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology,

Bangladesh Agricultural University

1315–1320 Discussant -Mr.Shaikh Abdus Sabur,NFPCSP-FAO

1320-1330  General Discussion

1330-1345  Remarks from the Chair

1345-1400 Closing Remarks by Mr. Naser Farid

Director General,FPMU,Ministry of Food

1400-1430 Prayer and Lunch

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agriculture Sector Programme Support of DANIDA in Bangladesh(Based on the Website of Denmark in Bangladesh)

DANIDA is the term used for Denmark’s development cooperation, which is an area of activity under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

Denmark’s development policy aims to contribute to reducing global poverty and helping people to take charge of their own destinies. This is the overriding objective for which DANIDA works.

DANIDA has responsibility for the planning, implementation and quality assurance of development cooperation. There are local and posted staff at Danish embassies and missions abroad, who are responsible for the administration and management of development cooperation with the individual country

 

 

 

DANIDA facts

  • Denmark grants an annual approximately DKK 15 billion in development assistance.
  • Denmark is one of five countries in the world to live up to the UN’s recommendation to grant a minimum of 0.7 per cent GNI in development assistance.
  • Denmark has been granting development assistance since the end of the Second World War.

Agriculture Sector Programme Support

(This content is taken from the following link for further dissemination of the support and  activities of DANIDA in Agriculture Sector of Bangladesh:http://bangladesh.um.dk/en/danida-en/agriculture-sector-programme-support/)

 

The agricultural sector plays a very significant role in the Bangladesh economy, socially as well as culturally. The Sixth Fiver Plan emphasizes the role of agriculture in generating employment, alleviating poverty and fostering growth


Agriculture’s main role in poverty reduction lies in maintaining the supply of food at least at a rate at which the demand has been growing, thereby keeping the food prices stable and within affordable limits of low-income households. The impact of agricultural growth on rural wages is an important element in the process since a major share of income of the poor originates from wage labour in agricultural and related activities. A high agricultural growth creates opportunities for diversification of the rural economy and development of the rural non-farm sector with greater poverty-reduction impact.

Denmark and Bangladesh have a long history of bilateral cooperation in agriculture, fishery and livestock. Denmark’s strategy to support the agricultural sector in Bangladesh includes a strong poverty reduction focus, together with special emphasis on poorer women, nutrition, marketing and environment. Support is provided to technology generation and delivery of essential services nearer to the farmers’ door steps.

Denmark’s support to agricultural development in Bangladesh has consistently been channelled through the Government of Bangladesh. This approach has been advantageous since these interventions have been well anchored at national level and have significant impact on present policies and strategies. Denmark also aims at harmonising its development assistance with other donor funded programmes in the same sector and geographical areas.

The Danish support to the agriculture sector started in late 80s and in 90s with Mymensingh Aquacultural Extension Project (1989), Smallholder Livestock Development Project (1992), Integrated Soil Fertility and Fertilizer Management Project (1993), Integrated Pest Management Project (1997), Patuakhali Barguna Aquacultural Extension Project (1997), Participatory Livestock Development Project (1998), Greater Noakhali Aquacultural extension Project (1998). The support has been continuing through Agriculture Sector Programme Support Phase I (2000-2006 ) and Agriculture Sector Programme Support Phase II (2006-2012).

Denmark has pledged to support a new “Agricultural Growth and Employment Programme” (AGEP) from 2013 to 2017. The Agricultural Growth and Employment Programme will be in line with the priorities of the Government of Bangladesh as set out in the Country Investment Plan (CIP) and the Sixth Five Year Plan. In line with CIP and the Sixth Five Year Plan, Agricultural Growth and Employment Programme will focus, among others, on:

  • Integration of crops, fishery and livestock extension
  • Diversification of agricultural production with special focus on high value crops
  • Formation of producer/marketing groups at village level
  • Agro Business Development

AGEP will have two components, namely Integrated Farm Management Component (IFMC) and Agro Business Development Component (ABDC). The Integrated Farm Management Component (IFMC) will be implemented by the Department of Agricultural Extension under the Ministry of Agriculture.

IFMC will promote the concept of Integrated Farm Management through Farmers’ Field School.

The Agro Business Development Component will support the third phase of the multi donor (SDC, DFID and the Netherlands) basket fund Katalyst.

 

(The article has been prepared and published on the basis of the website of Denmark in Bangladesh :http://bangladesh.um.dk/en/ for further dissemination of the information of support and activities of Denmark and DANIDA.)