From the Ground up: BRAC’S Innovations in the Development of Agriculture in Bangladesh and Beyond
Edited by Mushtaque Chowdhury, Muazzam Husain, Md. A. Saleque, Huge Brammer
Climate-friendly Farming for Adaptive and Resilient Bangladesh
Bangladesh is an agricultural country. One particular agonize is the potential disastrous consequence for agriculture and food security in developing countries. Crop production is extremely vulnerable to climate change in the 21st century through higher temperatures, more variable rainfall and extreme climate events such as floods, cyclones, droughts and rising sea levels. In December, 2019 - University press limited and BRAC has been published a manuscript on development of agriculture in Bangladesh. This book is entitled "From the Ground up: BRAC'S Innovations in the Development of Agriculture in Bangladesh and Beyond".
This manuscript deals with environmental backgrounds of agriculture in Bangladesh, BRAC in Bangladesh development, growth and development of crop, BRAC poultry development model, role of BRAC in the growth and development of livestock sector, role of BRAC in the growth and development of fisheries sector; as well as agriculture, food security and livelihood program(AFSL).
Over the past few decades, Bangladesh has achieved success in socio-economic development including - poverty reduction, food security, public health, social safety net, women empowerment, industrialization and tourism. BRAC has been deeply involved in Bangladesh development since its inception 1972. Agriculture is seen as a major conduit for poverty reduction, food security and employment of women. Through the effective policies of government towards NGO's involvement in development, BRAC promoted sustainable agriculture - crops, poultry, livestock and fisheries.
Authors explains the system of rice intensification, efficient and economic methods of irrigation, water distribution, using solar-powered irrigation pumps - reduce Bangladesh greenhouse gas emissions, reducing arsenic contamination of food.
Researcher's mention, to address the impacts of climate change, BRAC has taken - climate smart agriculture. It includes strengthen the capacity of farmers and relevant stakeholders; introduce climate-smart agricultural technologies; promote improved climate-resilient crop/livestock varieties, promote alternative adaptation options, raise awareness and build partnerships to address climate change in agriculture dependent communities.
BRAC has promoted different projects not only Bangladesh but also - Uganda, Tanzania, Sierra-Leone, South Sudan, Liberia, Afghanistan to connect small holder farmers to markets, establish a strong community based supply chain providing technical services and inputs; support stallholder investment in their farms by offering agriculture loans; stimulate the growth of small and medium-sized private agricultural enterprises ( SMES).
Writers mention in this book, agriculture contributes about 18% GDP but responsible for 43% employment, livestock and fisheries offer tremendous potential for reducing malnutrition and increasing incomes; rice, wheat maize, oilseeds, pulses, potato, zinc enriched rice variety promotion, agro-forestry, biotechnological research to promote disease free plants; tenant farmers development and microfinance for agricultural value chain.
BRAC has made an extensive contribution to rural poultry development in Bangladesh by bringing landless women into mainstream employment. It has been done by - productivity enhancement, birds for rural farmers, better feed ingredients; reduction of mortality of scavenging birds, improvement of poultry rearing and management system, service delivery system, credit system, control of birds flu and development of marketing system.
This book also analyses the livestock, fisheries and aquaculture production in haor, baor and beel areas. Also it mentions natural fish productions, sharputi-culture, prawn hatchery and post-harvest production and pearl culture.
This reader friendly book is a treasure of knowledge and represents inclusive thoughts' to ameliorate the fortune of our farmers and marginal people. This manuscript is a valuable one for agricultural scientist's, economist, environmentalist, entrepreneurs and students of environmental science.
The reviewer is an Environmental Analyst & Associate Member, Bangladesh Economic Association.