[Press Release] 25,000 Smallholder Farmers to Be Trained on Sustainable and Climate-Resilient Vegetable Farming Approaches in Bangladesh
East-West Seed, Solidaridad and Agro Tech have come together to implement a project that will intensely train 25,000 farmers on climate-resilient vegetable farming approaches in the Barisal and Chittagong divisions of Bangladesh through field-level demonstrations, with the aim of ensuring a sustained income throughout the year. A further 40,000 farmers will benefit through exposure to the field demonstrations. The Smart Farming, Healthy Food project will provide timely intervention to farmers in these regions, which are prone to adverse climatic conditions.
Solidaridad is the lead consortium partner responsible for program implementation and will work closely with East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation to promote mapping, mobilizing, and clustering of 25,000 farmers, promote the participation of women in the value chain, promote farmer entrepreneurship skills through enhancing digital and financial literacy, train rural entrepreneurs in general business skills, and support farmers with identifying output markets (i.e., either the marketing and collection centers or alternative local/urban markets).
“Disruption of vegetable farming could lead to shortages of nutritious vegetables in the near future. Vegetable farmers need continued access to knowledge to grow nutritious food.”– Stuart Morris, Director of East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation
East-West Seed has over four decades of experience in developing high-yielding breeding, production, and marketing of vegetable seeds. This project will deliver a 360-degree solution for vegetable farmers from training on farming approaches to the last-mile market connectivity. Solidaridad and East-West Seed already have a healthy relationship, working together on projects in other countries, including India and Nigeria. This is a very relevant project, especially in these times of the COVID pandemic. There is an increasing demand for nutritious vegetables. Farming of vegetables offers a better economic choice for smallholder farmers – crops can be grown on smaller farms and higher-value crops that yield better returns.
“East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation will work to develop a training curriculum on climate-smart and food safe cultivation practices, training field officers, food-safe vegetable production, and intensive training of 25,000 farmers on kitchen gardens and commercial vegetable production.”– Stuart Morris, Director of East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation
The ultimate goal of this partnership is to develop a business model for smart farming and healthy food. This would be done through developing sustainable and climate-resilient smallholder vegetable production and supply systems.
“The partnership will bring 15,375 hectares of farmland under resilient farming and will strengthen the business ecosystem to contribute to the production and supply of healthy food to the rural and urban communities in the coastal region of Bangladesh.”– Selim Reza Hasan, Country Manager of Solidaridad
Farmers are amongst the most affected groups by adverse climate conditions, risking the loss of security and income in the worst-case scenarios. They are also at the heart of the solution, given the right resources.
“Solidaridad is proud to be a partner in this program which aims to support these farmers through knowledge-sharing and training, to become part of a more sustainable food supply, for the farmers themselves and the world as a whole.”– Jeroen Douglas, Director of Solidaridad