Background and Project Outline:
Agriculture in Bangladesh comprises crops, livestock and fisheries. It provides food, feed, fiber and fuel to its citizens and animals, and plays a key role in economic development of Bangladesh. For achieving the set goal of SDG and turning Bangladesh into a middle income country by the 2021, the GDP has to grow by 7.4% per year. To attain the rate and to keep pace with the population growth, agriculture must grow at a constant rate of minimum 3-3.5% per year. Reaching technologies to the farmers requires technology generation and dissemination through the research and extension systems. National Agricultural Research System (NARS) is responsible for generating agricultural related technologies and Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), Department of Fisheries (DOF) and Department of Livestock Services (DLS) are responsible for extension of generated technology to the farmers. Both research and extension have made an impressive contribution to food security in the country.
Bangladesh agriculture faces many challenges today. Major challenges are to raise productivity and profitability, reduce high production costs, increase price of products and resource-use efficiency, declining of animal and fisheries resources, adaptation to climate change vulnerability, providing consumers safe food, yield gap minimization, expansion of farm mechanization, production & distribution of quality varieties/breeds, weak linkage of farm-produces with market, low investment in agriculture and inadequate credit support to farmers. These challenges have stagnated the agricultural productivity and production. Thus, in order to produce more food for an ever increasing population, raw materials for agro-industries and higher income for farming communities from the decreasing resources (land, water, animal and fisheries), it is necessary to develop existing agricultural production system into a more dynamic, market oriented and sustainable commercial sector by higher productivity and profitability through efficient natural resources management, irrigation expansion, agricultural diversification and intensification mechanization, value addition and effective market linkages.
On the request of the Government of Bangladesh, the World Bank agreed to support a long term agricultural development program over a period of 15 years to be implemented in three phases of five years each with the first phase beginning in July 2007 in order to improve agricultural productivity and farm income. IFAD also agreed to co-finance the program with the World Bank. Accordingly, the National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP): Phase-I (NATP-1) was designed with the development objective of improving the effectiveness of national agricultural technology system (including agricultural research, extension and development of supply chains) and increasing agricultural productivity and farm income in Bangladesh. NATP-1 was initiated in July 2007 and closed in December 2014. NATP-1 has significant achievements in generating technologies, increasing the effectiveness of extension and research systems, development of supply chains and broadening linkages between research-extension-farmers across the project areas. Based on the experience of NATP-1, the World Bank, jointly with IFAD and USAID, decided to provide financial support to GoB for National Agricultural Technology Program- Phase II Project (NATP-2). The duration of the project is 01 October 2015 to 30 September 2021. Project Development Objective (PDO) of National Agricultural Technology Program-Phase II Project (NATP-2) is to increase agricultural productivity of smallholder farms and improve smallholder farmers’ access to markets in selected districts. PDO will be achieved through: a) strengthening the capacity of research, extension services and farmers to generate, diffuse and adopt agricultural technologies aimed at increasing farm productivity and reducing post-harvest losses; and b) promoting the sustainability of existing and newly created farmer groups and producer organizations by facilitating their stronger participation in commodity value chain, market-linkages, and improving their knowledge and skill base.
National Agricultural Technology Program –Phase II Project (NATP-2)
a) Sponsoring Ministry/Division :
i) Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), Lead Ministry
ii) Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock (MOFL)
b) Executing Agency:
ii. Component-2: Supporting Crop Development-To be implemented by the Project Implementing Unit of Department of Agricultural Extension (PIU-DAE), MOA
iii. Component-3: Supporting Fisheries Development-To be implemented by the Project Implementing Unit of Department of Fisheries (PIU-DOF), MOFL;
iv. Component-4: Supporting Livestock Development-To be implemented by the Project Implementing Unit of Department of Livestock Services (PIU-DLS), MOFL;
v. Component-5: Project Management-To be implemented by the Project Management Unit (PMU), MOA
Dr. Monjur Mohammad Shahjada