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Project launched to promote sustainable agriculture

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 28 December, 2021 12:00 AM
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Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) and Solidaridad Network Asia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaboratively implement a farming project.

The project titled “Smart Farming, Healthy Food” aims to develop sustainable and climate-resilient smallholder vegetable production and supply systems.

This will also work for an enhanced agricultural market system in the Barisal and Chattogram divisions of Bangladesh under the SDG Partnership Initiative of Netherlands Enterprise Agency, said a press release of DAE.

Under the MoU signed on Monday, efficient and effective need-based extension services will be promoted in the divisions to promote eco-friendly, safe and climate resilient production system.

The project will also work to promote adoption of global sustainability standards to improve productivity and quality.

Director General of DAE Md. Asadullah said the collaborative initiative aims to foster agricultural productivity and develop market.

He urged the DAE officials to work together and make the private public partnership effective for an agricultural transformation. Solidaridad Network Asia country manager in Bangladesh Selim Reza Hasan said the project is designed to demonstrate a scalable model to transform the vegetables production and market system.

He said this will supply safe vegetables to local, national and possibly to the export market.

Hasan mentioned that under the “Smart Farming, Healthy Food” project, the consortium will create climate smart GAP curriculum that would be eventually scaled up by DAE. This will be broadly done through 1) sustainable and climate resilient smallholder vegetable production, 2) improvement in input and output market system, and 3) creating enabling environment for climate-resilient and sustainable vegetable production and supply system.

This will be done through the development of a climate-smart Bangladesh GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) and capacity building of local extension officers.

Among others, DAE director of planning wing Abul Kashem and additional director Dr Sarwarul Haque were present at the signing ceremony.

In collaboration with East West Seed Knowledge Transfer and AgroTec Limited, the project envisions to develop climate-resilient smallholder vegetable-based cropping systems in the Barisal and Chattogram divisions.

A key outcome of the project is that at least 15,375 hectares of farmland will be under climate-resilient and sustainable vegetable production.

 The project will also assist 100 young women and men of under 35 to develop economic income-generating activities through the establishment of 100 marketing and collection centres for the provision of input and output marketing services.

 The project will result in the development and operationalisation of a climate-smart Bangladesh GAP curriculum.

The overall impact will be to make 25,000 smallholder vegetable farmers (of which 65% female) become more resilient to climate- and market-related risks and derive a sustained income from vegetable production and marketing.