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Bangladesh-03

by Jean Brennan last modified Jan 10, 2013 11:01 AM


The World Bank/WBI’s CBNRM Initiative

Case Received: February 17, 1998

Author: Sunil Kumar Mridha and Sylvester Halder

Tel: +880-2 817983

Fax: +880-2 813342

Email: sylvester_halder@wvi.org

WORLD VISION OF BANGLADESH

COMMUNITY BASED NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

IDENTIFICATION OF THE CASE

Which country or which region of which country ?

Bethkuri Ecological Agriculture Farm, Bethkuri Area Development Program, World Vision of Bangladesh. (Sherpur District, Nalitabari Thana, Kakorkandi Union, Bethkuri Village)

What type of renewal natural resource ?

Dead leaf, kitchen garbage, poultry manure, ash, wood charcoal, liquid fertilizers, botanical pesticide, green leaf, green manure etc.

What are the important contextual factors (political, economic or social) that are relevant to this case ?

a.     Ecological

     1.     Degradation of soil.

     2.     Increase Pest Problems.

     3.     Degradation of food quality.

     4.     Pollution of soil, water, air and products.

     5.     Health hazard.

     6.     Disappreance of local varieties of crops.

     7.     Disappreance predtor (frogs, birds, beneficiary insects etc.).

     8.     Irrigation.

b.     Economic

     1.     Increase production cost.

     2.     Decrease in yield.

c.     Social

     1.     Poor becomming poorer.

     2.     Rich becomming richer.

     3.     Genetic base errosion.

     4.     Losing traditional farming system and knowledge.

How were the authors involved in the case ?

I have been involved in Ecological Agriculture Practice after returning from ARI, Japan in 1993. There are four people who inspired me to work in the field of Ecological Agriculture. One of them is Mr. Shimpei Murakami, who has been practicing Ecological Agriculture at Fulcushima city in Japan, since 1971. I was there for practicing Ecological Agriculture and non village agriculture in 1992. I was motivated towards Ecological Agriculture by his strong belief in nature. I observed his farm where any crop can grow well without using any agro-chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Mr. Tonoy Rema, Area Manager, who is an Agro Economist, who attended IFOAM Workshops instigated me to start what I learnt at Asian Rural Institute (ARI-Japan).

Mr. Shubro Areng, Program Officer, Bethkuri DAC, is the other person who gave mental and administrative support and inspired me to do good job in Ecological Agriculture practice in Bethkuri DAC compound over 4 acre of land since 1995.

Mr. Sylvester Halder, Associate Director, Operations, who gave the required Management and Financial resources to begin the Program and encouragement to extend this in the area, in the community.

THE INITIAL SITUATION

What was the situation before the institutional change occurred, that is the focus of the case ?

Bethkuri Agriculture farm has been running since 1990 as a demonstration farm, to demonstrate different types of crop cultivation technique, by using HYV seed, chemical fertilizer and pesticides. Poultry, fish culture and dairy program also had been running side by side, to demonstrate integrated farming. This farm is being used as a Training Centre for the local farmers too.

What was unsatisfactory about the initial situation in terms of say efficiency, equity, sustainability or accountability ?

By using the chemical fertilizers and pesticides, some problems appeared in the farm as well as in farmers’ field. Every year there was increase in fertilizers and pesticide dose in crop fields for getting better yield. Increasing pest attack was be coming severe. The farm soil loosing its fertility day by day. Some animal and chicken of neighbours were attacked by the poison that was sprayed in the rice and vegetable fields. Some occurrence usually happened in farmers field. On the other hand the soil porasity increasing and decreasing water holding capacity day by day. Ordinary farmers used to say that their production cost increased and decreased yield, even using high rate of fertilizer in their field. They realized the disappearance of local variety of crops, fishes and some birds.

How long had the problem been apparent and to whom ?

The problems of chemical fertilizer, pesticide and HYV imported seed has been unseen since 1995 in this area among the local people. We also realized the chemicals created problems in the farm since 1994.

Who or what would continue to suffer if the problem went unaddressed ?

The local consumers would suffer by using the farm products. The local farmers also would suffer by using their own products and maximum consumers are unaware of the problems of chemical used agri products. They are suffering due to uncounsiouness of chemicals.

CHANGE PROCESS

What was the process by which the institutional change came about ?

Bethkuri Agriculture farm started non-chemical agriculture practice since 1994. Over 32’X28’ sized plot with following bio-intensive gardening methods. This plot has been demonstrated to the farmers, that any crop can easily grow well without using any agro-chemicals.

In 1996 Bethkuri CDP installed a Ecological Agriculture practicing farm over 85’X62’ sized land, to demonstrated non-chemical agriculture to the local people. Side by side a Banana cultivation (plot size 116’X59’), a papaya cultivation (plot size 80’X62’), a vine crop cultivation (plot size 80’X26’) demonstration plot were installed to show the result demonstration of parmaculture design in agriculture.

One acre land were brought under crop diversification.

For using the organic matter a dairy farm (with 9 milking cow) and a poultry farm (with 300 birds) were installed in the farm.

A demonstration on fish culture was installed to show the growth of fish by using poultry manure and vegetable waste.

An agro forestry demonstration was set up for supplying organic matter and firewood as well as to crop cultivation for multipurpose use of trees over one acre of land. In this farm the basic method is to :-

  • Increase the soil fertility and organic matter content.
  • Improve land cultivation technique.
  • Intensive cultural management of vegetable cultivation.
  • Multiple cropping and crop rotation.
  • Biological, physical and organic pest control.
  • Agro-forestry & social forestry.
  • Integrated ecological farming.

In 1997, a Training Centre was set up to train up the local people for doing Ecological Agriculture and to develop awareness of environmental pollution. This Training Centre has been providing package technology on keeping sound environment.

For increasing bio-mass and increasing per capita food consumption, a fruit tree plantation program was introduced for 200 group farmers in this area. At the same time Bee Keeping program also installed with 10 school going students. To protect health hazard and reduce fire wood consumption, the Training Center is providing training on improved stove making.

How did the issue emerge onto the public or private agenda ?

Since 1997, 200 farmers got training on Ecological Agriculture of community based organizations Development Groups. Through this training they were able to learn about environment, agriculture, echo-system, the problems with chemical agriculture, the vicious cycle of chemical agriculture, conservation soil fertility, how to utilize local resources (compost making, botanical pesticide making, liquid fertilizer making, used of kitchen garbage, self seed production, green manuring etc.), cropping system, crop rotation, agro forestry, and improved stove making technique.

After a six days training they went to their own Group members and shared their learning experience. After 3 months, they are recalled to have a three days follow up training. After the follow up training those people are able to set up a small bio-intensive garden in their own homestead. Then they are given some incentive for doing better garden.

Bethkuri Ecological Agriculture farm is playing a vital role to demonstrate the technique of non chemical agriculture practice. The participants are able to learn by doing and seeing, the whole process of Ecological Agriculture technique.

Who were the key actors in the change process and were the interests in bringing about change ?

Bethkuri ADP staffs, including Group Facilitators are giving their attention and interest to the community people, for making the whole community aware of environment and grow interest for practicing ecological agriculture, by using their local resources. Some Community Leaders are coming to the forefront, for giving motivation to their community, to not to use chemicals in their agriculture field. Over all World Vision of Bangladesh looking towards success in the area.

Who took the initiative and the responsibility for bringing about the change ?

ADP Coordinator and the Agri. Program Coordinator of Bethkuri ADP took the initiative and the responsibility for bringing the change in Bethkuri Agri. Farm as well as the Agri. Program in the community. Some Group Facilitators are taking major responsibility for introducing new idea in the community.

THE OUTCOME

What were the key institutional changes that were adopted and implemented ?

Setting up a Training Centre for ensuring training on Ecological Agriculture and Sustainable Agriculture.

Setting up a demonstration farm on Ecological Agriculture Practice in office compound for ensuring result demonstration.

By this time 40 demonstration plots were set an bio-intensive gardening in farmers fields.

Thirteen women were trained on Improved Stove making and they were able to motivate the local women about the advantage of improved stove. By this time 1000 households are using improved stove successfully. We came to have a tremendous response on improved stove in the area.

Three unemployed youth were trained up on Ecological Agriculture. They are involved in extension the new approach in the area.

Ten group members are trained on Ecological Agriculture, who are advocating the idea and giving a close contact on utilizing local resources such as using compost, kitchen garbage, ash, green manuring etc., in their groups.

One crop diversification program was set up over 15 acre of land with a Development Group, where green manuring, nitrogen fixing crop cultivation (Soybean), compost making, multiple cropping, crop rotation and repellent cropping are being practiced by the direct follow-up of the Group Members.

Who is responsible for administering the new institutional arrangement ?

Agriculture Program Coordinator responsible for administering the new institutional arrangement in ADP and 10 Group facilitators are responsible for extension the program.

If available, what has been the impact of these changes on the management of natural resources and on the welfare of the poor ?

In Bethkuri Ecological Agriculture farm, poultry manure, cow dung, wood charcoal, ash, green leaf, dead leaf, wastage of crops and vegetables is being used for ordinary organic matter.

For protection pest attacked botanical pesticide repellent cropping, multiple cropping, crop rotation, physical and biological control has been following. From this farm Bethkuri CDP earn Tk. 2,500 per month on average by selling its products. It will be increase day by day. (By decreasing input cost). It will also create direct consumer in this area who will be avoiding chemicals.

In farmers’ field, by this time 40 farmers are using compost in their crop field and started ecological agriculture through bio-intensive model. They are using local low cost resources (compost, ash, green manuring, cow dung, poultry litter and nitrogenous crop cultivation) for reducing cost and avoiding external input. They are also starting self seed production and using local variety crop seed in their farms.

If this information is not available, because of changes are of so recent, what is the expected impact of the changes ?

The community people in this area will try to avoid chemical fertilizer and pesticide in their crop fields side by side they are using homemade pesticides and fertilizers.

They will be back to do Traditional Farming & producing chemical free products. They will be sill in utilizing local resources and able to reduce the production cost in agriculture, by keeping sound environment. They will also be able to train for conservation of genetic base by using local variety of crop. Overall they will be more conscious about environment.

LESSON LEARNED

What are the principal lessons that the authors of the case derive from the case ?

It is proved by this practice that any crop can grow well without using agro chemicals, by utilizing low cost local resources the farmers can easily cultivate their crops (and conserve soil) in their own field. Through intensive training, advocacy and orientation it is learnt that people can play a vital role in keeping the sound environment.

Are the lessons replaceable in other situations ?

Yes. Have been directed by the Associate Director, Operations to start this in other areas. One started from last October.

In the opinion of the authors this case, what was universal or what was unique about this case, that would have an impact on its reaplicability in other situations ?

Through growing awareness on environment pollution and the problems with chemical agriculture by intensive training, advocacy proper motivation and orientation the ecological agriculture practice will be able to replicate and be accepted by the community people, no doubt all over the country.

                    

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