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Board Member Joan Boer Visits Operations in Bangladesh

Posted On: June 28, 2024


EWS-KT board member Joan Boer with others at a replication plot.
EWS-KT Board Member Joan Boer (in red shirt) tours a farmer’s field.

Last month, EWS-KT Board Member Joan Boer, accompanied by Stuart Morris, EWS-KT Director, and Sathiyabama Baskaran, Regional Head for South Asia, traveled to Bangladesh to visit our work in the field.

Engaging Across the Vegetable Sector

Welcomed by Atikur Rahman, Knowledge Transfer Manager for Bangladesh, and other members of the Bangladesh team, the visitors met with farmers who are applying what they have learned from EWS-KT. They also spoke with collectors, processors, buyers, and sellers at a vegetable collection center, which provides vegetable sorting, grading, and transportation services and connects farmers to markets.

During the trip, the visitors toured the fields of several farmers who had previously participated in EWS-KT training and are now successfully implementing climate-smart vegetable production techniques on their farms. The quality of their fields was especially impressive given the very high temperatures at the time of the visit.

Due to the skills and knowledge they developed with EWS-KT, some of these farmers have been invited by the Bangladesh Department of Agricultural Extension to pilot Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) as part of the government’s effort to expand the production of safe-to-eat vegetables. 

Joan and the other guests also had the opportunity to talk with Community Farmer Facilitators (CFFs)—farmers trained by EWS-KT who are now sharing their knowledge and skills with others in their community. The CFF model helps to spread climate-smart techniques more broadly and amplifies local access to vegetable farming expertise and advisory services.

They met one CFF who also sells seedlings, seeds, and vermicompost, and he is sustainably growing his business by supporting farmers with high-quality advice. 

EWS-KT Learning Farm: Demonstrating Climate-Resilient Techniques

Board Member Joan Boer (second from left), Director Stuart Morris (center), Bangladesh Knowledge Transfer Manager Atikur Rahman (far left), and others in front of the learning farm.

One of the highlights of the visit was the EWS-KT learning farm in Faridpur, established in late 2023 with support from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) under the Smart Farming, Healthy Food project, which is led by Solidaridad.

This 0.7-acre farm enables farmers and other stakeholders to see climate-smart agricultural techniques in action and learn how to implement them. The learning farm functions as a training center for best practices in vegetable farming and offers in-person and virtual training sessions, including training-of-trainers programs for service providers like government extension workers. 

Like EWS-KT learning farms in other countries, the learning farm in Faridpur will also undertake formal action research to develop innovative solutions and further tailor vegetable production techniques and recommendations to local conditions. Informal trials currently underway focus on different types of trellising and mulch, as well as home garden protocols.

Joan’s trip to Bangladesh gave him the opportunity to see firsthand the incredible progress we have made in this country since we started our program there in 2020.

For more on our work in Bangladesh, visit our Bangladesh page.