SFSA Bangladesh has been implementing several agricultural production and market systems development, rural livelihoods, and economic development projects since 2011. SFSA Bangladesh is the country office of Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) in Bangladesh, operates as an “International NGO” under the registration from NGO Affairs Bureau of Bangladesh.
Agriculture in Bangladesh
The agricultural and rural sector in Bangladesh plays a vital role in the sustained food and livelihood security of its large and ever-growing population. Bangladesh's population of 164.6 millionlive on a landmass measuring 147,570 km². Bangladesh is predominantly an agrarian country. Due to its very fertile land and favorable weather, varieties of crops grow abundantly in this land. Sixty percent of the land is cultivable. In the past 20 years, the country has made great strides towards a reduction in poverty and child malnutrition. However, in rural areas the poverty rate still stands at approximately 26 percent, roughly 2 percent higher than the rate in urban areas before the pandemic. Many poor people who had graduated from extreme poverty in the past and used to live around the poverty line before the COVID-19 pandemic may fall back into poverty or extreme poverty again. The country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) share for agriculture (14%) has been declining for the last few years but gross volume has increased. Though the agricultural sector employs 43% of the total labor force, the country’s “demographic dividend”- youth adults are reluctant to get involved in this sector due to poor return on investment and lack of assets, skills, and respect from the community. It needs to increase the sectoral growth rate of GDP in agriculture and the average growth elasticity of agriculture is to be improved if the growth elasticity of poverty is to be reduced. In this case, continuous innovation of technology is required to increase agricultural productivity and get the right involvement of educated youth. Each and every year it loses about 100,000 hectares of productive agricultural land through conversion to non-agricultural uses on one hand and confronts climate changes, soil health deterioration, and water management on other hand. Bangladesh is transitioning from its designation as an LDC (Least Developed Country) to a MIC (Middle Income Country). Therefore, meeting its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is a key priority for Bangladesh, and ensuring food security through agricultural development is its prime concern.
Challenges for agriculture in Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, smallholder farmers make up the largest sector of agriculture workers. Lack of access to training in up-to-date agricultural practices and appropriate technologies means that these farmers often work at a subsistence level. Agricultural extension services are inadequate and modern machinery is often unavailable or difficult to access. An inefficient value chain and an unstructured market system hamper the efforts of farmers to get the best from their efforts. The impact of climate change, already becoming evident in the agro-ecosystem of the country, creates an additional challenge. Lower yields and poor-quality crops are the inevitable results. This, in turn, lessens the potential income for small and marginal farmers, bringing negative consequences for them and their families.
Work of Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture Bangladesh
The role of SFSA Bangladesh is to create value for resource-poor small farmers through innovation in sustainable agriculture and the activation of value chains. It does this currently in four main ways:
Livelihood option creation and equip smallholders with tools, technologies, and climate-smart agriculture practices for better yield and income
Market development through the inclusive business model and value chain integration
Capacity development of smallholders, enterprises, and private and public institutes for safe and quality food production, market linkages, and policy implication
Promote ag digitalization for enhancing efficiency, transparency, and connectivity
Leveraging different donors and private funds in solving underserved problems in agriculture in a systematic sustainable approach
Along with our own funded project, SFSA Bangladesh has been developing/ co-creating, and implementing different donors and partners projects. The recent funding support from donors include:
Besides, Agriservices program, we are working on Weather Index-based crop insurance system development and promotion, and the seed potato multiplication program. Further information on these is available below- Agi Insurance Services Access to Seeds.
Further information on these is available below
Source: Report on Agriculture and Rural Statistics 2018, Published 2019, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS)