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 climate-smart agricultural technologies, agronomic practices, crop varieties, and production technology packages better suited for evolving climatic and environmental conditions in target areas. The project has provided training and technical assistance to smallholder farmers, has empowered local rural communities to increase productivity of crops, livestock, and fisheries, and has created on-farm and off-farm jobs and agricultural entrepreneurship opportunities that have 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 fish, to improve the adoption of modern production technologies and farming practices, to promote environmentally friendly water use systems, and to link farmers to markets.
- Jobs and Income
- Climate Change
- Inclusive Business
- World Bank
Upon completion of the project, IAPP was rated Satisfactory by both the World Bank and FAO. IAPP benefitted more than 1.47 million poor people, of whom about 38 percent were women, with interven-tions that increased their productivity. About 60 percent of these farmers were crop farmers growing crops such as rice, wheat, lentil, mung, and mustard, while about 20 percent were fisherfolk raising tilapia, koi, and pangus in ponds and livestock farmers with dairy cows, chicken, and ducks. The project contribut-ed to an increase in income levels by 15 percent for crop farmers and 37 percent for fisherfolk between 2014 and 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 produc-tion packages, including 3,546 tons of certified seeds of rice, wheat, maize, pulses, and oilseeds. The packages focused on resource use efficiency and yield gap minimization of rice-based cropping systems and the diversification of the cropping system into high-value crops. As a result, the project contributed to changing production patterns of 93 percent 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 by forming 605 water users’ groups involving 51,690 farmers. These project activities were supplemented through technical assistance from FAO and others to strengthen the capacity of the project management unit within the government as well as through field-based training for 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 to ensure their inclusion and participa-tion 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 will being carried forward in the Increasing Access to Finance for Farmers’ Organizations Project, funded by the GAFSP Missing Middle Initiative in partnership with FAO.
Lessons learned include the following: (i) farmer group structure, technical guidance from extension agencies, and in-kind project support were all designed to help not just demonstration farmers, but also the second and even third cohorts of adoption farmers to take advantage of the disseminated technologies, and (ii) systematic testing of the seeds produced in seed villages was critical to maximizing long-term impacts and effectiveness of investments. It is important to ensure that adequate resources to conduct these quality tests continue to be made available so that the seed production system in the seed villages remain effective after the project ends.
Official Project Documents:
- World Bank Project Appraisal Document (2011)
- World Bank Implementation Completion and Results Report (2017)
- IEG Implementation Completion Report Review (2017)
- FAO Technical Assistance and Capacity Development Document (2013)
- FAO Completion Report (2017)
- 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