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AGRICULTURE OF BANGLADESH

Agriculture is an important sector of the economy of Bangladesh and one of the main drivers of economic growth. In order to ensure food security, the present government is committed to achieve self sufficiency in food by 2013 through increased production. The contribution of this sector to GDP stood at 20.49 percent in FY 2008-09. According to the revised estimate of BBS, the overall contribution of the broad agriculture sector at constant price is 20.24 percent of GDP in FY 2009-10. Though the direct contribution of the agriculture sector has decreased slightly, its indirect contribution to the overall growth of GDP is significant. The growth of broad service sector, particularly the growth of wholesale and retail trade, hotel and restaurants, transport and communication sector is strongly supported by the agriculture sector. Besides, about 43.6 percent of the total labour forces of the country are engaged in agriculture sector (MES, 2009, BBS). In the current fiscal year (FY 2009-10), Bangladesh earned US$ 687.53 million by exporting agricultural products which is 4.24 percent of total export earnings (US$16,204.65 million). In addition to the exports of main agricultural commodities such as, raw jute, jute goods, tea, frozen foods, the Government has taken steps to increase exports of non-traditional agricultural commodities. Within the broad agriculture sector in FY 2009-10, the contribution of agriculture and forestry and fisheries are estimated at 15.75 percent and 4.49 percent respectively (revised estimate of BBS). In FY 2008-09, the contribution of these two sectors stood at 15.91 percent and 4.58 percent respectively. According to the revised estimate of GDP by BBS for FY 2009-10, the contribution of the three subsectors namely crops and vegetables, livestock and forestry are 11.34 percent, 2.66 percent and 1.74 percent respectively.

Bangladesh Agriculture at a Glance

Total family Total farm holding Total area Forest Cultivable land Cultivable waste Current fellow Cropping intensity Single cropped area Double cropped area Triple cropped area Net cropped area Total cropped area Contribution of agriculture sector to GDP Contribution of crop sector to GDP Manpower in agriculture Total food crop demand Total food crop production Net production

: 17,600,804 : 15,089,000 : 14.845million hectare : 2.599 million hectare : 8.44 million hectare : 0.268 million hectare : 0.469 million hectare : 175.97% : 2.851 million hectare : 3.984 million hectare : 0.974 million hectare : 7.809 million hectare : 13.742 million hectare : 23.50% : 13.44% : 62% : 23.029 million metric ton : 27.787 million metric ton : 24.569 million metric ton

Agricultural Production and Land Use

National Agricultural Policy (NAP) of Bangladesh (October 2010)
Agriculture is the dominant economic activity in Bangladesh and regarded as the lifeline of the Bangladesh economy. Its role is vital in enhancing productivity, profitability and employment in the rural areas for improving the wellbeing of the poor. As the largest private enterprise, agriculture (crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry) contributes about 21% of the GDP, sustains the livelihood of about 52% of the labor force, and remains a major supplier of raw materials for agro-based industries. Agriculture plays an important role in the overall economic development of Bangladesh. Agriculture is also a social sector concerned with issues like food and nutritional security, income generation and poverty reduction. Besides, it is the biggest source of market for a variety of consumer goods, including consumer durables particularly in the rural area. Hence, improvement in agricultural sector performance and acceleration in its growth are critical to reducing rural poverty. Agriculture sector encompasses crops, fisheries, livestock and forestry subsectors. Separate policies on livestock, fisheries and forestry have been formulated by the respective ministries. In this perspective, Ministry of Agriculture has drafted this policy document in order to undertake and guide development activities in the crops sub-sector. As expected, policies aimed at crop production in the areas of research, extension, seeds, fertilizers, minor irrigation, marketing, gender and HRD have prominence in this document. Since crop sector plays a major role in Bangladesh agriculture and gets the utmost importance in various agriculture related programs of the government, this policy document for the development of crop sector is, therefore, entitled as the National Agriculture Policy. It is estimated that the agricultural land is declining by 1% per year and the land quality is deteriorating owing to degradation of soil fertility (e.g. nutrient imbalance), soil erosion and soil salinity. In addition, water resources are also shrinking. In order to produce more food for an increasing population, and raw materials for agroindustries, there is a need for increasing agricultural growth through higher productivity, including increased yield, agricultural intensification and diversification, and value addition. The overarching goal of the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) matches with Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of achieving 50% reduction in the proportion of population living below the poverty by 2015. In addition to maintaining a sound macro-economic framework, the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), entitled Unlocking the Potential National Strategy for Accelerated Poverty Reduction´ (GoB, 2005), highlights the need for higher growth in rural areas, development of

agriculture and rural non-farm economic activities as one of the four priority areas to accelerating pro-poor economic growth. In order to achieve the GDP growth rate of 7% per year, agriculture must grow by at least 4-4.5% per year (PRSP, 2005). This is presumably possible through an increase in agricultural productivity (for crops, horticulture, livestock, fisheries and forestry) based on modern agricultural technology and a supply chain linking farmers with consumers in the domestic as well as overseas markets. Small farms dominate the agrarian structure of Bangladesh. Therefore, performance of the sector greatly affects economic progress and people’s livelihood. To reduce rural poverty and improve rural livelihoods, it is necessary to recognize and to develop existing agricultural production system into a more dynamic and viable commercial sector. Agriculture has the potential to reduce food deficit as well as shortage of industrial raw materials, and also to generate employment opportunities with reasonable income, which will in turn help improve the standard of living of the rural people. The growth potential of most of the crops and other agricultural commodities are substantially higher than present level of production. Sustainable intensification and diversification of agriculture through technological change requires an efficient and productive agricultural technology system comprising agricultural research and extension. This needs to be supported by appropriate value addition and market linkages. Enhancing productivity, resource use efficiency, using cutting age science, experimental facilities and above all productivity and maintaining a reservoir of first-rate human resources to sustain knowledge-intensive agriculture has become criticall y important. The Bangladesh a g r i c u l t u r e dema nds c o n s i d e r a b l e s c i e n t i f i c a n d t e c h n o l o g i c a l i n p u t . Today’s complex national and economic environment requires increase in the effectiveness of the public expenditure in research and extension system. Major challenges for the Bangladesh agriculture are to raising productivity and profitability, reducing instability, increasing resource-use efficiency, ensuring equity, improving quality; and meeting demands for diversification & commercialization of agriculture. The existing National Agricultural Policy was adopted in April, 1999. For instance, dwindling a g r i c u l t u r a l resources, declining biodiversity, climate change, increasing frequency & intensity of natural disasters, increasing input prices, soaring food prices etc. require transformation of agriculture in such a way that would address challenges to meet demands.

Major goals and policy thrusts
Food security, profitable and sustainable production, land productivity and income gains, IPM, smooth input supplies, fair output prices, improving credit, marketing and agro-based industries, and protecting small farmer’s interest.

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) of Agriculture Sector
For developing of a pragmatic and effective and efficient national agricultural policy, it is a pre-requisite to gauge the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats that are associated with the issues of policy interventions.

Strengths
• • • • • • • • • • • • Favorable agro-climate generally prevails throughout the year for crop production Research extension systems exist for technology generation and technology transfer/extension at farm level Experts, scientists and trained personnel are available for agricultural research and development Appropriate technologies are available for production of major crops Agricultural input providers’ network exists throughout the country Farmers’ are responsive, innovative and adaptive to new technologies Sufficient workforce for agricultural activities is available Wide range of biodiversity exists for different crops Water is available for irrigation A facilitative institutional and regulatory framework exists

Weaknesses
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Agricultural marketing system is comparatively weak Post-harvest loss is high Farmers’ own capital for agricultural activities is inadequate Access to agricultural credit is limited Farmers’ organizations are inadequate and ineffective Input use (water, fertiliser, pesticides) efficiency is low Technology to meet export market requirement is inadequate Technologies to cope with unfavorable environment are insufficient Private sector investment in Research and Development is insignificant Trained scientists and infrastructural facilities for advanced agricultural science are inadequate Diversification in agriculture is low Quality control of agricultural input mechanism is weak Coordination among the public, the private and university research is minimal Use of ICT in extension system is almost insufficient Opportunities for farmers’ and entrepreneurs’ training are inadequate Inadequate production and supply of quality inputs persists (e.g. fertiliser, seed).

Opportunities

• Agriculture sector is the single largest contributor to GDP. • Crop production system is highly labor intensive and there is an abundance of labor supply in the country. • Agriculture is the largest source of employment for skilled and unskilled labor. • Favorable natural environment generally exists throughout the year for crop production. • Wide range of bio-diversity exists for different crops. • Different crops and agricultural commodities are the main sources of nutrition, including protein, minerals and vitamins. • Agricultural commodities have comparatively higher value added than nonagricultural commodities.

Constraints
• Agriculture is dependent on the vagaries of nature and is risky. • Availability of cultivable land is decreasing. • Lack of proper land use planning. • Widespread poverty among the population engaged in agriculture. • Lack of required capital for agricultural activities. • Agricultural commodities are rapidly perishable and post harvest losses are too high. • Inadequacy of appropriate technology considering farmers' socio- economic conditions. • Decreasing yields of different crops due to slow expansion of modern technology as well as unplanned use of soil and water. • Uncertainty of fair price of agricultural commodities due to underdeveloped marketing system. • Very weak backward-forward linkage in agriculture. • Limited knowledge of common people about the nutritional value of agricultural commodities including vegetables and fruits. • Absence of efficient as well as effective farmers' organization at the grass root level. • Inadequate use of improved seeds, fertilizers, irrigation and other inputs.

Objectives of the National Agriculture Policy
The National Agriculture Policy broadly aims at creating an enabling environment for sustainable growth of agriculture for reducing poverty and ensuring food security through increased crop production and employment opportunity as envisaged in National Strategy for Accelerated Poverty Reduction (NSAPR), Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and SAARC Development Goals (SDGs).

Specific Objectives: The specific objectives are to: i) Developing and harnessing improved technologies through research and training;

ii) Increasing productivity and generating income and employment by transferring appropriate technologies and managing inputs; iii) Promoting competitiveness through commercialization of agriculture; and iv) Establishing a self-reliant and sustainable agriculture adaptive to climate change and responsive to farmers¶ needs.

Research and Development (R&D)
A well-coordinated research plan is essential for the rapid development of crop sector. It needs paradigm shift in agriculture from a supply-driven to a demanddriven approach in agriculture. This will need a change in focus from production level to production efficiency, productivity a n d p r o f i t a b i l i t y . Besides, e q u i t y , employment, e n v i r o n m e n t a l s u s t a i n a b i l i t y , nutrition, food quality, trade etc. have new areas of concern even as efforts to maintain food security to continue. This demands effective introspection, reprioritization and consolidation of R & D activities besides overall accountability. The key strategies to address complex challenges are:

Governance of Research Institutions
The Government will continuously seek measures to strengthen coordination, planning, priority-setting, and monitoring & evaluation mechanisms in the National Agriculture Research System (NARS).
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Incentives and built-in reward will be provided to individual researchers or research institutions for innovation, excellence in agricultural research. Adequate research contingency support will be provided to scientists and institutionalize project-based activities. The Government will foster research environment for better return from investment. Appropriate infrastructure will be built and existing infrastructure will be maintained for research, training and outreach programmes. Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council (BARC), in cooperation with agricultural research institutes will develop a research system that provide sufficient social benefits per unit of research inputs and add value for investment; it will seek to achieve small farm mechanization and precision farming. Efforts will be taken to promote technological empowerment of women in agriculture.

Research Planning and Funding

The Government will emphasize practice of research planning and prioritization as a bottom-up initiative. • The Government will encourage promotion of participatory approach for

conducting research activities. • The Government will ensure adequate and timely funding for research activities.

Research Focus and Areas

The research activities will focus on intensification, diversification and whole farm activities in agriculture. • Special attention will be given to post-production technologies, high value crops, value addition, agri-business management and trade. • The Government will support research on emerging issues e.g., biotechnology, hybrid, climate change, disaster and stress including flood, drought, cyclone, salinity, upland/hill, deep water crop management, organic farming. • The Government will support and strengthen interventions in rain-fed agriculture emphasizing productivity and sustainability of production. • Quality collaborative research will be encouraged to provide solution to specific problems confronting farmers within their farming systems. • Research undertakings will cover trans-boundary and cross-cutting issues having application across one or more production systems and the sustainability of the production systems, poverty alleviation and livelihood improvement, household food security, off-farm income generation, and rural development. • The Government will support agricultural policy research and technology dissemination systems of unique nature.

Transfer of Technology

All the research agencies will lay emphasis on technology assessment, refinement and transfer by improving interface with farmers and other stakeholders. • BARC and all agricultural research institutes will make efforts to enhance involvement of scientists in outreach extension programmes.

Equity in the Delivery of Services

The NARS will decentralize agricultural research management to bring the system in proximity with the target people or beneficiary. • 4.5.2 The Government will endeavour to remove regional imbalance for institutional infrastructure and human resources.

Natural Resource Management

The Government will encourage generation and promotion of eco-friendly technology and sustainable land and water management for different agro-ecological zones and regions. • Research thrust will be placed on weather and crop forecasting, climate change and disaster management. • Conservation and effective use of life support system of soil, water, flora,

fauna and atmosphere will be addressed. • Government will strengthen the efforts to collect, conserve and utilize genetic resources.

Informatics

BARC and other research institutions will develop a comprehensive relevant database for agricultural research and development planning. • BARC will facilitate functional electronic networking for all the stakeholders under the NARS and with other national, regional and international centers of excellence through Agricultural Research Information System.

Human Resource Development

BARC will strengthen the existing human resources to be nationally and globally efficient and competitive. • It will provide opportunities for advanced training on frontier sciences, technologies and agricultural research management. • It will also concentrate on human resource planning in research and development activities. • Continual training will be designed and delivered to enhance and to sharpen scientific, technical and managerial abilities of individuals and capacities of organizations involved in agricultural research and technology transfer.

Forging Partnership

NARS institutes will create opportunities for promotion of research through increased public sector and private sector collaboration. • BARC will complement research efforts among institutions and agencies at national and international level. • Ministry of Agriculture will take steps for strengthening research and extension linkage.

Technology marketing

The Government will promote Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for new innovation in agriculture.

Agricultural Extension
Agricultural extension is the key driving force for the growth and development of agriculture in Bangladesh. To increase farm productivity and farmers¶ income access to new technology is required. The role of extension is to deliver services and to speed up farmers¶ access to and adoption of new technology. The Government is mandated to providing efficient and effective need based extension services to farmers to enable them to optimize their use of resource to augment self-sufficiency in food production and to improve their nutritional status. For

this, there is an increasing need for strengthening agricultural extension services to ensure production system on a sustainable basis. Appropriate institutional arrangement needs to be established so that research and extension can interact effectively with each other and with farmers to address the critical needs of the production practices at the farm level. The following provisions are adopted to make extension services more efficient and effective:

Role of Extension
The Government recognizes agricultural extension as a service delivery system which will assist farmers through appropriate technical and farm management advice and information, new technology, improved farming methods and techniques aimed at increasing production efficiency and income.

Extension Coverage

The Government will promote public, private and voluntary extension initiatives to achieve diverse agricultural goals and to address needs of target populations. • Extension services will be provided to all categories of farmers: landless, marginal, small, medium, large with special emphasis on women and youths. • The Government will decentralize extension activities at the grass-roots level to deliver efficient and coordinated services.

Extension Approach

Farmers either individuals, or as groups, will be encouraged to voice their needs and problems to extension staff. They will act as basic source of information and feedback to strengthen service network to their needs. • The Government will make a shift from the top-down, hierarchical approach to bottom- up participatory approach in which farmers, researchers and extension workers will serve as peers. • The Government will recognize and adopt approaches that emerge locally through growing understanding of the nature of technological change, learning and adaptation to prevailing situations.

Collaboration will be initiated among research and extension organizations and universities in the field of adaptive research. • The Government will encourage promotion of crops suitable to agro-climatic conditions of a particular region based on crop zoning.

Agricultural Education and Training

Agricultural education system, especially at the diploma level will be strengthened and updated. • Training will be administered on a regular basis to ensure effective extensiontechnology transfer and technology design and planning. Training for farmers and officials at all levels as basic mechanism will be implemented for enhancing occupational competence, professionalism and service morale.

Communication Media
Traditional and advanced media and ICT will be utilized to disseminate extension services. • Agricultural Information Service (AIS) will be strengthened both in terms of workforce and modern facilities to enable effective information dissemination and technology transfer. • Dissemination of agricultural information and technology through print and electronic media will be strengthened focusing on enhanced collaboration among AIS, BTV and Bangladesh Betar along with other private TV and radio channels.

Partnership

The Government will facilitate extension events that foster GO-NGOprivate sector partnership. • The Government will encourage public private partnership for production of agricultural commodities. • Strategies will be taken to deliver extension services in collaboration with local government at Union and Upazila levels. • The Government through Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) and allied agencies will maintain liaison with the NGOs and other development partners at local level for cooperation and coordination.

Agricultural Productivity

The Government will continue and strengthen its support for major crops related to food security and livelihood options. In addition measures will be taken to promote high value crops to enhance farmers¶ income and boost agricultural export. • Measures will be taken to increase cropping intensity, especially by bringing fallow land under cultivation. • Diversification of agriculture will be pursued to promote food based nutrition

security. • The Government will monitor the supply, availability and distribution of inputs (seed, fertilizer, pesticides, irrigation, etc.) to farmers through DAE, BADC and other service providers. • Efforts will be taken to provide micro-credit support at preferential rate for selective crop. • Adequate financial support in the form of credit will be extended to the farmers to encourage production. Small, marginal and tenant farmers will be given preference to agricultural credit. • In order to make agricultural credit more accessible Agricultural Credit Foundation following the model of PKSF may be formed.

Agri-business Opportunities for Private Sector

The Government will provide technological support to private entrepreneurs and farmers to undertake agri-business activities. • Enabling conditions will be created to expand local and overseas markets for agri-business opportunities.

Quality Assurance

The Government will promote Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in production and in supply chain management. • Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures will be ensured during production, processing and marketing. • Quarantine services will be strengthened to meet the needs of both domestic and export market.

Program for Agro-ecologically Disadvantaged Regions
The Government will pursue programme for hilly area, drought-prone area, Barind tract char land, monga-prone area, haor-baor and coastal belt with appropriate technological support.

Addressing Vulnerabilities

To facilitate multiple approaches during and after crises the Government will combine immediate assistance, and short, mid and long term development programme for the affected farmers to enhance productivity and to create employment involving the private bodies, NGOs, philanthropic organizations and private individuals. • The Government will undertake agricultural rehabilitation programme immediately after the occurrence of natural calamities to overcome crop damage. • Measures will be taken to protect crops in the coastal, haor, beel and char areas keeping harmony with other sub-sectors¶ production. • The Government may consider introducing crop insurance

programme. • The MoA may consider establishment of an agricultural disaster response fund in the MoA to start post disaster rehabilitation programme immediately after a disaster.

Environmental and Resource Conservation

The Government will promote modern eco-friendly technology and infrastructure for a safe and sustainable future. • Integrated pest management (IPM) and integrated crop management (ICM) will be promoted for conservation of biodiversity and sustainable land & water management. • Measures will be taken to restrict the conversion of agricultural land for non agricultural purposes.

Non-farm Activities

The Government will promote poverty reduction through creation of employment opportunities in rural non-farm sectors. • Necessary support will be provided for non-farm income generation activities for the poor and disadvantaged farmers.

Database

DAE and relevant agencies will develop and maintain a comprehensive database covering resource base, inputs, technology, production and marketing aspects for agricultural development and planning. • Efforts will be made to disseminate and to facilitate access of the stakeholder to relevant database. • The Government will prepare a comprehensive user friendly database on farmers, technologies and agriculture.

Labour and Child Labour in Agriculture

Welfare of agricultural laborers’ will be streamlined in development programmes and projects. • The Government will fully discourage engagement of child labor in hazardous agricultural activities. • The Government and relevant agencies will organize awareness-building programs to prevent child labour in agriculture. • Care must be taken so that children’s opportunities for food, education and life skills are not blocked.

Seeds and Planting Materials

At present, only a small portion of the required quality seeds for different crops is made available mostly by the public sector. Few seed companies and NGOs have started supplying quality seed primarily hybrids of rice, maize and vegetables. A portion of the required quality seed is produced, preserved and used under private management especially at the farmers¶ level.

Breeding, Development and Maintenance of Crop Varieties

Private persons, companies and other agencies will be encouraged to undertake plant breeding programmes and to import breeder/ foundation seeds of notified crops for variety development and promotional purposes. • Individuals, companies or agencies engaged in the seed production and business will be provided access to institutional credit at preferential rates of interest. • Balanced development of the seed sector will be promoted by providing opportunities to the public sector and the private sector at all stages of the seed industry from breeding to marketing. • Any individual, company or agency willing to embark upon breeding, developing and registering new seed varieties, or package seed in labeled containers must be registered with the Seed Wing, MoA or the competent authority to be declared by the Government.

Multiplication and Distribution of Seed

Access to Breeder Seed and Foundation Seed will be facilitated by public, private agencies and farmers. • The government will maintain seed security stock to cope with the emergent or contingent situations. • The private sector will be encouraged to build necessary facilities for seed production, processing, preservation and marketing.

Support to Public and Private Sector Seed Industries

The competency of the contract farmers will be developed by the public sector and the private sector to grow quality seeds. • The public sector and the private sector will initiate programmes to create awareness among farmers for adoption of new varieties and new technologies in the farmers¶ field.

Strengthening Quality Control of Seed

Seed certification and enforcement of seed regulations will be strengthened for increasing availability of quality seeds.

Quality assurance of seed will be enforced at all stages of seed system from production to marketing including seed import and export.

Fertiliser
Fertilizer is one of the critical inputs required for increasing crop production. The expansion of modern agricultural practices together with intensified cultivation has led to an increasing demand for fertilizers. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure timely supply of fertilizers to meet the increasing demand. Imbalanced use of chemical fertilizers is causing land degradation excessive mining of plant nutrients resulting in the decline of soil fertility on the one hand and reduction in the potential yield on the other. It is, therefore, important to adopt pragmatic measure so as to encourage farmers in using balanced fertilizers to maintain soil fertility. To strengthen fertilizer management, the government will pursue following principles:

Procurement and Distribution

Procurement and distribution of fertilizers both in the private and the public sector will continue. • Steps will be taken to maintain a fertilizer buffer stock at the regional, district and upazila level.

Quality Control
The Government will facilitate availability of quality fertilizers at farmers¶ level. Production, importation, marketing, distribution and use of any kinds of fertilizer that are harmful or detrimental to plant, soil, flora and fauna will be banned. • The Government will strengthen analytical facilities to assess the quality of fertilizers.
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Promotion of Organic Fertilizer and Balanced Fertilizer Use

The Government will encourage use of organic manure, compost and biofertilizer at farmers¶ level. • Awareness will be built to follow suitable cropping patterns to maintain natural balance of soil nutrients. • Necessary support will be given to farmers to encourage use of balanced and organic fertilizer.

Training
• Appropriate training will be imparted to farmers in using balanced fertilizers. • Training will be extended to officials, scientists, traders, distributors and

entrepreneurs for capacity strengthening on fertilizer management.

Fertilizer Monitoring
The Government will monitor supply, storage, price and quality of fertilizer at various levels.

Irrigation
Irrigation is considered as one of the most essential inputs for increasing crop production. Presently about 90-95 percent of the total irrigated area is covered by minor irrigation. Country’s food production largely depends upon minor irrigation and shallow tube well (STW) now being used in the country. Owing to shrinkage of water resources a significant portion of area is not getting water during lean period. Moreover, river linking project of the upper riparian country is likely to aggravate the situation. A well-planned irrigation management system is, therefore, essential for gradual increase of cropping intensity as well as yield. As such, national agriculture policy places special emphasis on the judicious use of water resources. Although minor irrigation is largely the domain of the private sector, the public sector holds the responsibility of efficient water management system by which expansion of low cost sustainable irrigation facilities can be provided. The guidelines are as follows:

Water Productivity and Efficiency

The Government will facilitate dissemination of water management technology to enhance irrigation efficiency and water productivity through optimal use of available water resources. • Modern irrigation, drainage and water application systems will be introduced for expanding irrigation coverage including difficult or disadvantaged areas i.e. in char, hilly, Barind tract, drought-prone and saline areas. • The distance between two tube-wells will be chosen in such a way so that it meets needs of both safe extraction of groundwater and increase of irrigation efficiency.

Training for Irrigation Technology

The Government will encourage and train private entrepreneurs and unemployed youths on operation, repair and maintenance of irrigation equipment. • Training of farmers and technical personnel on On-farm Water Management (OFWM) technology will be strengthened to bridge knowledge gap as well as yield gap.

Planning and Monitoring

The existing surveying and monitoring activities of both quantity and quality of irrigation water will be strengthened to formulate pragmatic irrigation and water management plan. • BADC, BMDA and allied agencies will prepare and update ground water zoning map for judicious use of ground water resources.

Conservation and Utilization

The Government will promote re-excavation of canals, ponds and other water bodies for conservation and utilization of surface water through inter-agency collaboration. • Replacement of suction mode pump by force mode pump critical areas will be encouraged by the Government for maximizing water use. • Multipurpose use of irrigation water will be encouraged. • The Government will promote and encourage groundwater recharge through water-shed management. • The Government will take initiatives to reclaim water logged areas.

Power for Irrigation

Preferential access will be given to power-source for irrigation through intimate inter- agency collaboration. • Efforts will be made to strike a balance between irrigation cost by electricity and diesel.

Mechanization in Agriculture
Mechanization is an important tool for profitable and competitive agriculture. The need for mechanization is increasing fast with the decrease of draft power. Without mechanization it will not be possible to maintain multiple cropping patterns, which need quick land preparation, planting, weeding, harvesting processing etc. Significant increase in use of agri-machinery primarily in tilling, seeding, weeding and threshing has been achieved. This trend needs to be extended further so that efficiency of production can be achieved with increased production and reduced cost. Mechanization should include post harvest activities including processing and preservation.

Research and Development
Research and development on mechanization of agriculture and appropriate agricultural machinery and equipment will be pioneered by the Government.

Manufacturing of Agricultural Machinery and Equipment

The Government will encourage production and manufacturing of agricultural machinery adaptive to our socio-economic context. Manufacturing workshops and industries engaged in agricultural mechanization activities will be provided with appropriate support.

Support and Incentives

The existing facility of waving testing and standardization of agricultural machineries will be continued with exemption of import duties to keep the price within the reach of the farmers. • Efforts will be made to rationalize import duties on raw materials of agricultural machinery to encourage local manufacturers and to keep the price of local machineries competitive with the imported ones. • To speed up the process of agricultural mechanization both producers and users of agri-machineries will be provided with necessary support including credit. • The Government will promote mechanization by giving cash incentives for selective machinery at producer, manufacturer and farmers levels.

Training
Training will be imparted to stakeholders in agricultural mechanization like operators, farmers, rural youths, manufacturers on repair and maintenance of agri-machinery at rural level.

Agricultural Marketing
The agricultural marketing system provides the bridging link between farm produces and the consumers of food and agricultural products. As agricultural products need to be marketed, there is a need for building a strong market infrastructure to bring efficiency in marketing services. Development of efficient agricultural marketing system will, therefore, help farmers enhance their bargaining power and enable them to fetch better prices for their produces.

Market Infrastructure Development

The Government will facilitate smooth flow of agricultural produces from the production point to the consumption point by setting up village market and improving distribution to main markets. • Efforts will be made to develop effective value chain between producers and consumers. • Both the private and the public sectors will be encouraged in the initiatives in market improvement of agricultural products. • The agri-marketing institutions will be strengthened and reformed.

The Government will encourage private sector investment in establishing ware houses and cold storage facilities for agricultural produces¶.

Market Intelligence and Extension Services

The Government will encourage collection and dissemination of market information of agricultural produces and inputs to farmers, traders, entrepreneurs, and consumers.

The Government will promote the services required by farmers and entrepreneurs for value addition to agricultural produces. • Both the public and the private initiatives on agro-market research for fair price and quality product will be encouraged. • The Government will promote food safety issues during production and postproduction activities.

Export and Market Promotion

Export of agro-products to both the ethnic and the upstream markets will be encouraged by the government. • The Government will take steps to diversify products and to explore new and potential markets abroad.

Market Regulation and Facilitation

In order to increase efficiency of market operation, market regulation will be strengthened and updated. • The Government will encourage the public-private partnership and coordination for efficient market operation. • The Government will create Agriculture Price Commission to provide guidelines to strengthen agricultural marketing, to ensure fair price for farmers and affordable price for consumers.

Agri-business
Agri-business initiatives by farmers, traders and entrepreneurs will be facilitated and necessary support and incentive will be provided as and when deemed necessary.

Women in Agriculture
Women represent nearly half of the country's human resources. For this, the government believes that more women comprising officials and farmers should enter the agricultural workforce. As women have potentials to contribute to agricultural growth, it is obligatory on the part of the Government to meaningfully involve them in agriculture-related income-generating activities and to develop their human resources.

Empowerment of Women

Necessary support will be provided for capacity building of women in promoting household food and nutrition security. • The Government will facilitate increased women participation in management decision making and their advancement in agriculture. • Efforts will be made to ensure women¶s equal access to agricultural inputs (e.g. seed, fertilizer, credit, education & training, information etc.).

Participation in Production and Marketing

The Government will encourage participation of the rural poor women in production of crops particularly in agro-processing and agri-business activities so that they can improve their economic well-being. • Women’s’ participation in agricultural production system will be facilitated through access to agricultural technologies. • The Government will take steps to encourage women’s participation in various extension programmes like training, farmers' rally and workshop.

Income Generation

The Government will provide credit support to women for agricultural activities such as homestead gardening, post harvest activities, seed production & preservation, nursery, bee-keeping, food processing etc. • The government will provide micro-credit support to women for smallscale agro-processing, storage and preservation. • Efforts will be made to ensure non-discrimination in wages.

Budgetary Allocation
A block allocation in the agricultural budget will be made exclusively for undertaking women related activities and programmes.

Human Resource Development
As a predominantly agricultural country, Bangladesh needs to have a vast reservoir of educated, trained and skilled agri-workforce to bridge the gap between the production capacity of farmers and the consumption requirement of citizens and to ensure their food security. Effective human resource development (HRD) should be based on appropriate human resource, planning and career development. This can be achieved through developing appropriate training and education packages including in-service training and through performance based reward system. Major challenge is to develop an efficient workforce capable enough to cope with the emerging issues of technology and to acquire skills of development entrepreneurship. The government plans to introduce innovative approaches to

upgrade the skill of farmers and technological empowerment of women engaged in agriculture. The government therefore places high priority on training as a tool for developing human resources in the field of agriculture.

Training Coverage

Personnel associated with research and development in agriculture will be brought under the umbrella of training. • National Agricultural Training Academy (NATA) will offer training including foundation and departmental to officials engaged in agriculture.

Facilities and Program Development

Agricultural human resource development programmes will be launched for improving standards of short term, medium term and long term training. • The government will create and strengthen facilities for training of various functionaries of research and extension system to address demand-led areas in agriculture. • Training facilities will be strengthened at a level that will be nationally and globally competitive.

Incentives

Awards will be instituted to recognize and promote excellence in teaching & training, research, extension and crop production and agricultural development activities. • Provision for visiting scientists, sabbaticals, national fellows will be introduced to promote excellence in agricultural science, extension and research management. • Performance of trainee officials in the departmental training will be counted as one of the major criteria for nomination of higher study and overseas training.

Partnership

The Government will encourage forging strategic partnership with agriculture-centred HRD institutions of both developed and developing countries to enrich knowledge base and to harness technology in the field of agriculture. • Harnessing complementarities and synergies through strong linkages among institutions at national level and international level will be constantly pursued.

Budgetary Provision
A block allocation will be made exclusively for carrying out HRD and training related activities.

Dominance of Bengali:
If any confusion arises between English and Bengali version of this Policy, the Bengali version will prevail.

NEW AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION POLICY (NAEP)
The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) prepared the new agricultural extension policy (NAEP) in 1996 in accordance with the agricultural policies and priorities set out in the fifteen-year perspective plan, 1995-2010. These policies and priorities include: (i) Attainment of self-sufficiency in food grain and increase production of other nutritional crops, (ii) Ensuing sustainable agricultural growth through more efficient and balanced uses of land, water and other resources, (iii) Increasing foreign exchange earnings through agricultural exports, (iv) Introducing high value cash crops, (v) Improving the quality and availability of seeds, (vi) Reducing environmental degradation, (vii) Increasing fish, livestock and forestry production and (viii) Conserving and developing forest resources.

Major goals and policy thrusts:

To encourage the various partners and agencies within the national agricultural extension system to provide efficient and effective services which complement and reinforce each other, in an effort to increase the efficiency and productivity of agriculture in Bangladesh. To achieve this goal the policy includes the following key components: • extension support to all categories of farmer; • efficient extension services; • decentralisation; • demand-led extension; • working with groups of all kinds; • strengthened extension-research linkage; • training of extension personnel;

• appropriate extension methodology; • integrated extension support to farmers; • co-ordinated extension activities; • integrated environmental support. Each of these components is discussed in the following sections.

NAEP Principles:
1. Extension Support to all Categories of Farmer All members, male and female, of all types of rural households are entitled to extension services. 2. Efficient Extension Services Cost- effective services, provided by well-trained, highly skilled extension agents, must be provided to solve farmers, problems. Cost effectiveness will be enhanced by cooperation between extension providers. 3. Decentralization As agricultural conditions and farmers information needs vary from place to place, extension programmes must be decided locally. 4. Demand-led Extension Farmers problems, needs and demands will set the extension agenda. Issues requiring attention will be identified jointly by farmers and extension staff using participatory techniques. 5. Working with Groups of all Kinds Working with groups offers the opportunity for more cost-effective use of limited extension resources, improved sharing of information, and the opportunity for grassroots decision making and participation. 6. Strengthened Extension-Research Linkage Extension and research agencies con not function separately. There must be free flow of information between extension and research to deliver on effective service to farmers. 7. Training of Extension Personnel All extension agents need to be confident of their ability to solve farmers problems, work together with all types of clients and collaborate with other agencies or individuals. Training is essential for this purpose. 8. Appropriate Extension Methodology No single extension method is suitable for all extension activities. Extension agents can use farm visits, mass media, training, demonstrations, group meetings, farmer field schools and many other methods. 9. Integrated Extension Support to Farmers Advice and information provided to farmers must take integrated farming systems perspective. Extension agencies with differing expertise must collaborate if they are to provide whole farm advice. 10. Co-ordinated Extension Activities Co-ordination underlines all components of the NAEP. Extension services provided by different agencies must be coordinated at all levels in order to optimise the use of

resources. This can be achieved by sharing information and expertise between the agencies involved. 11. Integrated Environmental Support The NAEP supports extension programmes seeking to encourage farmers to apply sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural practices. Efforts should be made to support and learn from farmers as well as from the formal research system.

The Role of Agricultural Extension
Agricultural extension is a difficult term to define precisely. It has different meanings at different times, in different places, to different people. The role of agricultural extension is to help farmers make efficient, productive and sustainable use of their land and other agricultural resources, through the provision of information, advice education and training. In the context of Bangladesh the following definitions have been adopted: • agricultural extension is a service or system which assists farm people, through educational procedures, to improve farming methods and techniques, increase production efficiency and income, better levels of living, and lift the social and educational standards of rural life (Maunder, 1973, Agricultural Extension Manual, Rome, FAO); • agricultural extension is assistance to farmers to enable them identify and analyse their production problems, and to increase their awareness of the opportunities for improvements. Clearly, agricultural extension is an extremely important process which can accelerate technological, social and economic development. In particular, effective extension:
• • • • • •

helps farmers identify and overcome production, farm management and marketing problems at farm level through the exchange of information among farmers, extension staff, input suppliers, credit agencies and marketing agents; helps farmers make better use of existing technology, for example, through more efficient use of feed, fertiliser or irrigation, etc.; introduces new technology to farmers, such as new breeds, new varieties, new crops and new equipment; provides information to agricultural research institutions on farmer’s production constraints so that appropriate basic, applied or adaptive research can be carried out to address them; helps in the successful creation of opportunities or situations in which farmers gain the abilities and skills necessary to meet their needs and interests in such a way as to attain continuous improvement and self-satisfaction; helps farmers learn to put information into use in ways that result in improvements in their living standards;

helps farmers gain a clear vision of what can and should be done and encourages farmers to improve their pattern of living and helps them develop the necessary skills to so.

The National Agricultural Extension System
There are many agencies which provide extension support to the farmers of Bangladesh. These include government agencies, for example, the Department of Agricultural Extension, Bangladesh Rural Development Board, Bangladesh Water Development Board, Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation, Forest Department, Department of Livestock Services and Department of Fisheries. There are also many non-government organisations, commercial traders and input suppliers (manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers) operating in rural areas of the country. Together, all these partners can be seen as comprising the National Agricultural Extension System.

Extension Support to all Categories of Farmer
Extension recognizes the rural household and its farm as the basic unit of production. All members of rural households contribute to agricultural activities and household welfare. It therefore seeks to ensure that all members of all types of rural households have access to the extension services they need. This is done by targeting particular activities to meet the needs of particular categories. Extension programmes will therefore include specific activities for: women farmers and other women household members, in support of homestead production and post-harvest activities as well as their roles in field crop production; young people, who are the farmers of the future; small and marginal farmers; large and medium farmers; landless households, who have no farmland but may have homestead areas.


• • • •

Efficient Extension Services
The efficiency of agricultural extension services will be improved through training, skill development, institutional strengthening and logistical support. Trained extension agents will be provided to work effectively with all categories of farmers, and with all members of households, and to solve basic production, management and marketing problems in a wide range of crop, fishery, livestock, forest and household enterprises. The focus of outreach activities is to provide the most cost-effective services to farmers.

The extension agencies in the three sectors (government, non-government organisation and private) will continue to work within their own organisational structures and procedures, but the policy seeks to ensure that effective co-ordination is established to increase the efficiency of agricultural extension. Farming systems, household economic activities, agro-ecological conditions, input availability, credit and marketing opportunities and many other factors in the farmers. decision making environment vary from place to place. Those involved in extension at the field level need to be able to plan their programmes to fit the circumstances of the area and its farm households. The New Agricultural Extension Policy seeks the devolution of much of the responsibility, especially in the government sector, for key aspects of the planning and implementation of extension programmes. These key aspects will include: • identifying and responding to information needs: selecting appropriate information for farmers according to their needs; • collecting information about local resources: basing extension programmes on a clear understanding of the availability of local resources, and the prevailing social and physical environment; • programme planning: details of work schedules and extension activities planned at local level, by field staff in consultation with their immediate supervisors; • training: farmer and extension personnel training plans drawn up at local level, to reflect local needs; • media: radio and television programmes, bulletins, leaflets, posters and folders produced locally (and nationally) to provide farmers with appropriate information.

Decentralization

Demand-led Extension
Extension programmes concentrate on meeting the information needs of farm households, in particular helping them solve the key problems they face in their farming activities. All extension activities and research priorities are to be based on the needs, problems and potential identified at farm level. This may lead to the involvement of extension agencies in local on-farm participatory research in order to identify appropriate solutions to farmers’ problems. Extension staff will work closely with farmers to identify agricultural problems, using participatory methods and techniques such as Rapid Rural Appraisal, Participatory Rural Appraisal and Problem Censuses. Farmers’ problems will set the extension agenda, and in this way, extension services will be demand led, and based local situations and resources.

Working with Groups of all Kinds
For the extension services to provide individual attention to the more than 10 million farm families is beyond the resources available to Bangladesh. A group approach to extension offers the opportunity for more effective use of limited extension resources

for problem identification and solution, sharing of information and cost-effective choice of extension methodology. A group approach to extension also has the advantage of providing a forum for participation, an area in which many non-government organizations have considerable expertise. The New Agricultural Extension Policy endorses the principal that extension staff should work with groups of all kinds, in order to bring maximum benefit to farmers. It recognizes that very wide range of mutual interest groups already exists in the field. These groups range from extremely temporary, such as a seasonal pest control group, to virtually permanent, such as the Krishok Shomobay Shomittee, and may be affiliated to a wide variety of agencies, including those responsible for input supply, credit extension and marketing. These existing groups would be the focus of extension activity. New groups will be encourage where there are none at present or where key target farmer categories are not included in the membership of existing groups. Extension staff from different agencies will work with groups to: • bring extension staff into contact with more farmers; • help all categories of farmers (men, women, large, small and marginal) to benefit from extension; • improve the learning and spread of knowledge among the farming population; • enable farmers to fully participate in the planning of extension programmes; • provide a forum where decisions can be taken for farmers to take co-ordinated action leading to self-reliance (for example, on pest management, forest management, livestock grazing and soil conservation); • promote a closer, participatory working relationship between staff and farmers.

Strengthened Extension-Research Linkage

The development of close co-operation between extension agencies and formal research institutes is essential if farmers are to be provided with the services they require. Research institutes require information from extension about the problems farmers are facing, for which there are no available solutions, in order to conduct research programmes both on research stations and on-farm with farmers. Extension requires the findings from research programmes, in order to provide farmers with the most appropriate advice. Effective mechanisms to ensure that there is a free flow of information between extension and research will be institutionalized. The main institutional mechanisms will be:

A National Technical Co-ordination Committee, comprising extension representatives from the government, non-government organization and private sectors, and representatives from research; • Agricultural Technical Committees, each covering a number of districts in similar • agro-ecological zones and comprising local representatives of extension agencies and research institutes; • Research-extension review workshops between staff of the Department of Agricultural Extension and local research institutes.

A contract research system will be set up to enable extension agencies to help develop and fund specific research programmes with specific research institutes. The New Agricultural Extension Policy also recognizes that farmers themselves are actively engaged in their own experimentation, as part of their daily agricultural lives. Efforts to learn from and strengthen such informal research will be made.

Training of Extension Personnel
Training is a fundamental feature of the extension approach supported by the New Agricultural Extension Policy. All providers of extension services need to be confident in their ability to solve farmers problems and supply many of their information needs. Training will also be necessary to provide extension agents with the skills necessary to deal with the needs of particular clients, such as women and landless households. Special attention will be required to encourage referral to other agencies or individuals better suited to deal with particular problems or opportunities, for example in livestock production, fisheries, forestry, farm management, credit and marketing. Government policy is for training opportunities and funds to be made accessible to all extension service providers. Training resources and facilities will be optimally utilised and strengthened, and higher education encouraged. The training needs of extension staff, based on the service requirements of farmers, will set the training agenda.

Appropriate Extension Methodology
There is a wide range of extension methods which agencies can use in their work with farmers and rural households. No single method is suitable for all purposes and occasions. Extension agencies and personnel will select appropriate methods in order to meet specific extension objectives with their various categories of farmers. These methods are likely to include: - Farm visits: meeting individual farmers at their farm gives extension personnel a unique view of the potentials and problems of their farm. Where other farmers are present, the impact of the visit can be felt widely within the farming community; - Media: the impact of extension programmes can be increased considerably by a coordinated use of media, including mass media, folk media and visual/audio-visual aids. Media are an efficient means of disseminating information rapidly, at low cost, to a large number of people. They can support the work of extension staff by publicising extension activities, reinforcing technical messages, spreading awareness of new ideas and telling people of the success of other farmers and groups; - Training: in many situations, farmers need to learn new skills or develop new knowledge before they can effectively adopt new ideas and practices. Training can take place in a village, at a farmers field or demonstration plot, or in a training centre;

- Demonstrations: these are useful tools for the transfer of technology and encouraging farmers to try out new ideas, provided they concentrate on technology which is widely relevant within the local area and based on farmer information needs; - Fairs: these help to create awareness about improved technology among a large number of people within a short period of time. They provide an opportunity for farmers to see a range of technologies and inputs, displayed by other farmers, dealers, non-government organisations and government agencies, and to discuss them in a lively and informal atmosphere; - Visits and motivational tours: visits to research establishments and to other areas give farmers and extension staff an opportunity to interact directly with other farmers who have been successful in solving their own problems, and with research scientists conducting research programmes of interest of farmers; - Participatory methods: the use of highly participatory extension methods, including Rapid and Participatory Rural Appraisal, provide an opportunity for extension staff and farmers to work together to analyse current situations and problems, and determine appropriate courses of action for self-reliance.

Integrated Extension Support to Farmers
The policy of the Government is to provide farmers with advice on all aspects of agriculture. Among the government organisations, the Department of Agricultural Extension is the largest, and providers services to farmers for increasing production of crops, including vegetables, fruits and homestead crops and to develop other homestead agricultural activities. At present, the Department has extension agents at grassroot level. One extension agent is primarily responsible for approximately 1000 farm families. The Department of Livestock Services and Department of Fisheries have extension staff at thana level. The Department of Forestry has staff mainly at District level, although their extension services are mostly based on the nurseries established at thana level. At present, these departments have no grassroots extension agents. Until such departments can develop their own facilities, the Department of Agricultural Extension may offer appropriate information to farmers in the areas of livestock, fisheries and forestry, with the support of the other departments, as decided in the Agricultural Technical Committee. Appropriate advice, as requested, will be made available to non-government organisations, from all these departments, to enable them to offer high quality integrated extension support, including farm management, production, credit and marketing for their target groups and area. Many nongovernment organizations are engaged in integrated farming advice, and it is the policy of the Government to ensure

that these agencies are provided with appropriate advice and technical assistance from the various ministries and departments of the Government of Bangladesh.

Co-ordinated Extension Activities
The extension services of the various providers within the national agricultural extension system will be co-ordinated in order to optimise the use of the recourses within the system. This implies the sharing of information and expertise among the agencies involved, and participation where appropriate in each others extension activities. The New Agricultural Extension Policy recognises that different agencies working in the same areas often have complementary expertise and that where this is brought together the effectiveness of all agencies in their services to the nation.s farmers can be enhanced. The extension services of various providers within National Agricultural Extension System will be co-ordinated at five levels: • at local level, with the various extension services co-operating in working with and meeting the needs of the wide variety of farmers groups that exist in rural areas, and through the exchange of information and experience among farmers, farmers groups and extension agents working with different organisations at field level. Local level co-operation will also be enhanced though the participation of different extension agencies in the meetings of Union Councils, under the chairmanship of the Union Council Chairman; • at thana level, through direct contact between extension personnel at thana level through the Thana Agricultural Development Committee, which comprises representatives from government, non-government and private sectors, including women farmers and women representatives of these organizations; • at district level, through the Department of Agricultural Extension, District Extension Programming Committee and the District Development Co-ordination Committee; • at regional level, through the Agricultural Technical Committee, where government and non-government organisation staff and research institute staff come together seasonally to discuss technical issues relating to extension programmes; • at national level through the National Technical Co-ordination Committee, where representatives of all agencies come together to discuss research co-operation and technical research issues relating to extension work. There are also other national apex bodies, such as the Department of Agricultural Extension - NonGovernment Organisation Liaison Committee and other such committees, which have an important co-ordination role.

Integrated Environmental Support
The lives of more than 70 percent of the population are almost totally dependent upon the natural resource base which supports agricultural production. However, it is recognised that this critical resource base is under threat. Among the concerns are deforestation, water scarcity caused by overabstraction, and an increased incidence of pest damage due to introduction of monoculture and inappropriate use of pesticides. To

maintain the ecological balance in the natural environment, the Government.s environmental objectives are to: - control and prevent pollution and degradation related to soil, water, and air; - promote environment-friendly activities; - strengthen the capabilities of public and private sectors to manage environmental concerns as a basic requisite for sustainable development; - create opportunities for people.s participation in environmental management activities. The strategies adopted to attain these objectives are as follows: - integration of the environment into the overall agricultural policy to ensure a policy of sustainable agricultural development; - environmental impact assessment as an integral part of the development and testing of innovations by agricultural research institutes, universities, non-government organisations an the private sector; - promotion of environmentally sound agricultural practices, such as Integrated Pest Management, and active discouragement of damaging and hazardous agricultural practices; - monitoring the impact of agricultural practices by environmental agencies, and the use of findings to stimulate a continuos improvement of agricultural technologies and agricultural policies. The New Agricultural Extension Policy therefore supports extension programmes which seek to support and encourage farmers and farmers groups to apply sustainable agricultural practices. Through the sharing of information among all the agencies in the national agricultural extension system, it is expected that the capacity of agencies to promote sustainable agricultural development will be enhanced. It is recognised that farmers own Indigenous Technical Knowledge is often environmentally sustainable, and efforts should be made to support and learn from farmers, as well as the formal research system. The policy recognises that, inevitably, with increasing demand for higher agricultural output due to a rapidly increasing population, there may be a negative effect upon the natural environment. However, the policy will support extension efforts aimed at balancing the demands for increasing production and environmental preservation. of this effort will be integrated extension support for the whole farm system.

Implementation Strategy for New Agricultural Extension Policy
The National Task Force which has been charged with the preparation of this New Agricultural Extension Policy is also responsible for the development of an Implementation Strategy. This Implementation Strategy will establish:


• • • •

clear definitions of the roles for the various extension agencies; effective mechanisms for collaboration and information exchange among extension and among farmers; effective mechanisms for the supply, management, and monitoring of resources to support the activities of extension agencies; mechanisms to provide extension agents at all levels with the skills and training appropriate to their job requirements; effective linkage for three way information flow between farmers, extension agents and research institute staff.

While this New Agricultural Extension Policy has set the principles for the effective functioning of the National Agricultural Extension System, the Implementation Strategy will set the mechanisms by which these principles are put into place.

IMPLEMENTATION OF SOME IMPORTANT AGRICULTURAL POLICY
The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) has initiated implementation of some of the policy recommendations and established a team of consultants with the support of UNDP and FAO for preparing the Action Plan for implementing rest of the recommendations that will require additional studies and external financial support. The Action Plan presents a brief project profile on each of these policy recommendations to provide the outlines for preparing development projects for implementing the policies.

Policies
1. Restructuring the Seed Wing of BADC and rationalizing its staffing for upgrading the capacity and improving its efficiency. 2. Establishing Seed Production Unit to build Breeder Seed production capacity of ARIs. 3. Reorganizing the Seed Certification Agency as an independent regulatory body to ensure seed quality. 4. Training of farmers, small scale seed producers, seed dealers and seed importers on production, processing and storage of quality seed. 5. Promoting replacement of the current centrifugal pumps with force mode pumps by encouraging production of the pumps locally. 6. Restructuring the Irrigation Wing of BADC and rationalizing its staffing for upgrading the capacity and improving its efficiency.

Implementation
BADC is reported to have submitted a restructuring proposal which needs close scrutiny and funding arrangement. Administrative action and funding needed to implement this policy. MOA has initiated the exercise internally. Funding arrangement has to be made. Funding arrangement has to be made. The WB proposed Agricultural Technology Project may provide some funds for this activity. Fund mobilization needed to implement this policy in collaboration with the private sector. Administrative action and funding arrangement has to be made for implementing this policy.

7. Increasing the use of surface water. 8. Ensuring uninterrupted power supply to electric pumps, and provide electric connection to more number of pumps. 9. Exploring the option of gradual replacement of diesel engine with LPG/CNG (bottled) operated engines. 10. Training and demonstration programs for farmers and mechanics/artisans to enhance their skills in operating, maintaining and repairing of common agricultural machines. 11. Providing support to local manufacture of agricultural machines. 12. Establishing a ‘National Centre for Agricultural Machinery’ using the existing facilities available in the research system. 13. Restructuring DAM to establish a ‘Centre for Agricultural Research, Intelligence and Information’. 14. Amending the 2002 ‘Market Management and Leasing Policy’ and the ‘Agricultural Produce Marketing Regulation’ of 1964. 15. Institutional reform and enactment of a unified legislation for the semi-autonomous Research Institutes. 16. Preparing a comprehensive human resource development program for the NARS. 17. Improving and institutionalizing research and resource management systems. 18. Strengthening the regional and subregional research stations and laboratories. 19. Reorganizing the extension service as a bottom-up institution centered on the concept of ‘Specialized Agricultural Service Centre’ at the Upazila level. 20. Developing a comprehensive training program for the farmers, input dealers, seed producers and the field technicians. 21. Reactivating ATIs and CERDI for professional training, including SAAO and training of trainers. 22. Strengthening Information Service. the Agricultural

Actions and funds needed to implement the policy. Action to be taken by REB. Administrative action and funding arrangement has to be made for implementing this policy. Administrative action and funding support needed.

Appropriate Government action needed. Require administrative action and funding support.

Require administrative action and funding support. Will require very little fund. MOA can do it with its own resources. MOA and the World Bank are working together to implement this policy through the proposed Agricultural Technology Project. Agricultural Technology Project will partly cover the cost of implementing this policy. Agricultural Technology Project includes the provision for implementing this policy. Agricultural Technology Project will partly cover the cost of implementing this policy. Agricultural Technology Project includes the provision for implementing this policy. MOA action and funds needed to implement this important program. Seed producers training could be covered under policy 4 separately. MOA is working on CERDI to transform it into a National Agricultural Training Academy, and negotiating with JICA for support. ATIs will need additional support for increasing the number of teaching staff, expanding classPlanning Commission A project proposal is with the rooms and for approval. AIS will need more support. Some support has been provided. Additional support will be needed to develop full capacity.

23. Building soil testing capacity at the Upazila level.

Conclusion

The provisions as detailed above have been drawn on the basis of empirical findings of a host of researchers, practitioners and experts. The proper implementation of the National Agriculture Policy will transform the crop production system, and for that matter the overall agriculture into a dynamic sector over time, which is expected to bring about significant positive changes in the economy of the country. It is hoped that farmers, researchers, scientists, agri-business communities, civil servants and politicians will make their respective contribution to the implementation of the present National Agriculture Policy and through this process the goals of PRSP, MDGs, and SDGs will be fulfilled. References: http://www.moa.gov.bd/policy/nap.htm http://www.moa.gov.bd/policy/NAP.pdf http://www.moa.gov.bd/statistics/bag.htm http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/APCITY/UNPAN015427.pdf 1. http://www.un-bd.org/pub/unpubs/Agriculture%20Sector%20Review %20Actionable%20policy%20briefs/Volume%20III%20Policy%20Review.pdf 2. http://www.moa.gov.bd/policy/naep.pdf 3. http://www.sdnbd.org/sdi/issues/agriculture/database/revenue_budget.htm 4. http://www.un-bd.org/pub/unpubs/Agriculture%20Sector%20Review %20Actionable%20policy%20briefs/Voume%20II%20Action%20plan.pdf