In Bangladesh, one-sixth of the population still lives in extreme poverty and the country has one of the highest rates of malnutrition in the world. Parts of the country are highly vulnerable to weather conditions, like salt-affected tidal surge in the south and flash-flood and drought in the north, creating challenging environments for farming. Agricultural production is highly vulnerable to weather conditions and productivity is low, in part because available mainstream technology and agronomic practice are not adapted to field conditions. Nearly three-quarters of the country’s population and 85% of the poor people live and earn their livelihood in these rural areas, where farmers cultivate only one rice crop per year in tidal surge and flash-flood prone areas. All these factors affect the income and productivity of crop, fish, and livestock farmers.
The Integrated Agricultural Productivity Project (IAPP) focused on introducing various climate-smart agricultural technologies, agronomic practices, and
the adoption of crop varieties and production technology packages better suited for evolving climatic and environmental conditions in target areas. The project provided training and technical assistance to smallholder farmers, empowered local rural communities to increase productivity of crops, livestock, and fisheries, and created on-farm and off-farm jobs and agricultural entrepreneurship opportunities that, in turn, generated rural jobs. The project worked directly with farming communities and partners from civil society organizations, academic institutions, and multilateral agencies to build knowledge and skills on new varieties of crops and fishes and modern production technologies and farming practices, promote environmentally friendly water use systems, and link farmers to markets.
- Climate Change
- Inclusive Business
Supervising entityWorld Bank & FAO
IAPP benefitted more than 250,000 farmers, of whom about 38% were women, with interventions that increased their productivity. About 60% of these farmers were crop farmers (growing crops such as rice, wheat, lentil, mung, and mustard), while about 20% each were fisherfolk (raising tilapia, koi, and pangus in ponds), and livestock farmers (dairy cows, chicken, and ducks). The project contributed to an increase in income levels by 15% for crop farmers and 37% for fisherfolk between 2014–2016. Farmers were able to increase their productivity thanks to project activities such as the generation and dissemination of new improved varieties (10 crop varieties and 9 improved generations of fish seeds) and dissemination of improved production packages, including 3,546 tons of certified seeds of rice, wheat, maize, pulses, and oilseeds. The packages focused on resource use effciency and yield gap minimization of rice-based cropping systems and diversification of the cropping system into high-value crops. As a result, the project contributed to changing production patterns of 93% of farmers by encouraging the production of new crops that require less irrigation to be introduced into the rice-based production system.
The project also improved water management by rehabilitating 27,750 hectares of irrigation and forming 605 water users’ groups involving 51,690 farmers. These project activities were supplemented by technical assistance from FAO and others to strengthen the capacity of the project management unit within the government, as well as field-based training of 473 community facilitators and 13 field assistants in community mobilization, monitoring of results, nutrition, and cooperation with farmers’ organizations.
The broad-based approach adopted by IAPP involved strong engagement with local communities and key stakeholders—bringing the project implementation unit together under one roof—to ensure their inclusion and participation in the planning, implementation, and subsequent management of investments. This approach helped build and strengthen existing local institutions that empower and work with small-scale farmers, and is being carried forward in the Increasing Access to Finance for Farmers’ Organizations Project, funded by the GAFSP Missing Middle Initiative in partnership with FAO.
Mr. Manievel (Emmanuel) Sene
Task Team Leader & Senior Agricultural Specialist
Based in Dhaka
Mr. Benoist Veillerette
Task Team Leader & Senior Economist
Benoist.Veillerette@fao.org, +39 06 5705 5408
Based at FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy
Mr. Mike Robson
Bangladesh Country Representative for FAO
Photo: Kimberly Parent
Official Project Documents:
- FAO Completion Report (2017)
- World Bank Implementation Completion and Results Report (2017)
- IEG Implementation Completion Report Review (2017)
- World Bank Project Appraisal Document - June 2011
- FAO Technical Assistance and Capacity Development Document
- GAFSP Proposal and Cover Letter with Endorsements
- Agriculture and Food Strategy
- Sector Investment Plan: Country Investment Plan and background documents (Bangladesh CIP: A Road Map Towards Investment in Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition, Annex 1, Annex 2, and Annex 3)
- Technical Peer Review Document