Tag Archives: Katalyst

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.

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.)