Small Farming- A Viable Business
Smallholder farmers are one of the unprivileged but the important stakeholder in the agricultural supply chain. They deal with a plethora of obstacles in the production to the marketing phase. Considering this, “Small Farming- A Viable Business” project funded by The Norwegian Agency for Exchange Cooperation (Norec), aims at the mutual exchange of employees between WAVE Foundation, Bangladesh and DHAN Foundation, India to promote improved livelihoods, unique products, innovation and entrepreneurship through enhancing knowledge & skills and sharing best practices in agriculture and livestock development. In each round of exchange, participants aim at acquiring the required knowledge, skill, and experience to facilitate scientific rearing, household farm establishment and operational management and gene conservation of a local variety of goat from WAVE Foundation and Farmers’ Producers Organizations-FPOs from DHAN Foundation. In addition, Young professionals and partnership are playing a significant contribution in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular, Goal 1,2,7, and 18. By and large, this exchange program would change on the ground and in the mind through capacity enhancement of the resources, best practice replication, and spill-over effect on the people.
EMBRACING NEW NORMAL OF COVID-19
COVID-19 pandemic has brought us in a very unpredictable situation and globally people have started to cope with this circumstance. Likewise, it has impacted our project with Norec and given a thought to the partnership to continue their activities virtually. This brings the young Norec participants connected digitally while distancing physically. In this new normal, online training and virtual meetings among Norec participants, mentors, and management of both partners have opened a new avenue for learning and sharing knowledge with each other.
WAVE and DHAN Foundation’s Approach Towards Promotion of ‘Small Farming- A Viable Business’
In three round of exchange of this project, as of now a total of 16 Farmers’ Producer Organizations (FPOs) have been formed and more than 400 persons from WAVE Foundations’ management, staffs and smallholder farmers along with 06 young professionals have been capacitated. An event on “Movement against adulteration on seed and fertilizer” with relevant stakeholders was organized in the banner of FPO, at Utholi union, Chuadanga. The main motto of this move was to avoid exploitation of the middlemen and ensure smooth input supply during the cropping season. Another event on “Inauguration of weekly safe vegetable market produced by the smallholder farmers” was embodied at Chuadanga. By producing safe vegetables, FPO members are contributing to national food and nutrition security, with a move to chemical-free safe vegetable production and marketing.
Online Sharing Meeting: Future Prospects of Farmers’ Producer Organizations in Bangladesh
DHAN Foundation perceives this new normal of COVID-19 as the new opportunity for bringing change for vulnerable and small & marginal farmers. Keeping this in mind, DHAN foundation rewrapped their action plan to implement effective goat rearing as the immediate relief and a part to reviving livelihood. For instance, an online Training for “Enabling Community for scientific goat rearing through FPO”s capacitated 35 CEOs of FPOs. Hands-on training with mostly women participants, the knowledge of field execution on scientific goat rearing has been addressed.