Bangladesh: farmer training video

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Landcare was adopted in Bangladesh in 2012 to address the pressing issues of rural poverty: livelihoods, environmental degradation and declining agricultural productivity.  The adoption of Landcare in Bangladesh was inspired by a visit to Landcare Lanka (Sri Lanka) in 2011 and then training provided by Kamy Melvani in Bangladesh in February 2012.  The ongoing support of Australian Landcare organisations has also been gratefully received. Landcare Bangladesh was officially launched in Dhaka in July 2013.

Since we adopted a Landcare approach so many successful case studies are showing the great potential that Landcare can provide for the development of rural Bangladesh.  These advances include increased food security, creating small-scale entrepreneurship and fostering community partnerships which are showing they can help to lift many people out of poverty. 

Since Landcare commenced people are doing amazing things to help themselves!!  We want to make a short documentary film about these wonderful changes that ordinary people can make to their lives, so we can tell everyone in Bangladesh about the power of Landcare.  With your help we can start a quiet (loud!) revolution in rural Bangladesh.
 Farmer to farmer learning
Above: Farmer to farmer learning is part of the Landcare approach.

Women are engaged in the Landcare program
Above: Women are benefitting enormously from the home garden transition being promoted by Landcare.
Over 185 households in the Sylhet region are now participating in the Landcare program as model farms.
Landcare is in the Sylhet region of BangladeshAbove: Location map of Sylhet region Bangladesh

Sack gardening technology for very small areas of land Above: Innovative use of tiny areas of land with sack gardening technology for food production

The project aims to show-case these case studies by developing a promotional short-film that is expected to increase the awareness and the capacity of very poor rural people to take action against poverty and gain confidence for their future.  The training documentary will show how farmers (particularly women) can optimize land use efficiency, diversify enterprises, cope with climate change, value add to production and most importantly increase crop diversity and productivity with limited resources.
Above: The home garden transformation starts with a simple plan and a management plan.  
The results speak for them selves!!

The main target is to produce a documentary film to attract more people at home and abroad to understand the opportunity that Landcare offers, particularly for developing countries.   With the goal of short, medium and long term strategies we believe that it is possible to make significant change at the individual farm level to a whole community level in the developing country like Bangladesh. 
Farmer to farmer learning
Above: Farmer to farmer learning is an effective way to make technology real.
We believe that the video would be an example for poverty elimination and will prove that poverty is more than due to a lack of resources - it is also a lack of opportunities.

If the project achieves this amount we will be able prepare the video. The filming would be conducted in the North-eastern part of Bangladesh.  

Case studies

Background to the Sylhet (North-east) region

Friends in Village Development Bangladesh (FIDVB) - at a glance

If the project achieves this amount we will be able prepare the video. The video recording will be filmed in the North-eastern region of Bangladesh.  The aim is to improve livelihoods and opportunity for people who live in rural Bangladesh. Landcare is proving to be a very efficient way to help people to help themselves.  It works. 

While many rural people in Bangladesh migrate to Dhaka, or overseas, in search of work, the farmers and rural communities that stay behind are some of the poorest farming communities in the world.

Bangladesh is a flood-prone delta with thousands of haors (basins that frequently flood and are prone to water logging) in the North-eastern corner.  Rainfall in the Indian Megahalaya hills has been increasing in recent years compared to the previous 30 years.   The haor is a single crop area and a huge area of crop can be damaged each year due to early flash flooding.
These areas produce one-fifth of total boro (winter) rice of the country. The Haor is a poverty stricken region with 37 % of households falling into the extreme poverty group (monthly income £17), with 47 % of the population reporting they are moderately to totally dependent on the haor for their livelihoods. The whole area, apart from the homesteads, remains under flood water for about 7 months of the year.

The farmers of this locality have little land for production. The ecosystem of this area is unique compared to other parts of the country.  So, our intention is to highlight the best practices and innovations that Landcare has adopted in these areas that will be useful to the other parts of the country and abroad as well.

Landcare technologies that are working

Integrated Rice –Duck Farming:
The integrated rice-duck system has been practiced in some East Asian countries for many years.  In 2000 it was introduced into Bangladesh for the first time by FIVDB, Bangladesh Rice Research Institite (BRRI) and Bangladesh Development Society (BDS).   In Japan, this method is popularly known as ’Aigamo- rice cultivation’. The simultaneous raising of ducks with rice cultivation aids in the control of weeds and insects, thus helping eliminate the application of pesticides. The integration of rice cultivation with crossbred duck farming-also known as mixed farming-enables the poor farmers to obtain not only rice, as the main crop, but also subsidiary products (duck meat and eggs), from the same piece of land at the same time. Besides, the faeces/droppings of the ducks provides almost all the essential nutrients to the rice crops.

The yield of rice is, on average, 20% higher in the rice-duck system than the traditional rice system (sole rice), thereby ensuring about 50% higher net return and rice-provisioning ability.

Integrated Duck Rice farmingHappy ducks and happy farmers
Above and below: Rice and ducks are a great innovation for improved productivity and income.

Vegetable production in a sack: see also New Agriculturist: Organic sack gardening in Bangladesh
In 2010, the 'garden-in-a-sack' technology was introduced in Sylhet division by FIVDB. Sack gardening does not require much space and vegetables can be grown according to demand and taste. The bags are also easy to move, which is important for families living on 'char' lands (flood prone areas) and riverbanks, who are often forced to move as villages are inundated. Sack gardening has also empowered women, who most often organise and take care of the gardens. Women are able to contribute to the economic stability of their families through increased income and make sure that their children consume nutritious food. FIVDB is working towards expanding the technology into other areas of Bangladesh, including slum areas in cities, rooftops and vacant spaces and in schools, to encourage children to become learn more about agriculture.
Above: Sack technology making the most of every inch of available space.
  Farmer to farmer training is a key Landcare approach
                                                    Above: Farmer to farmer training is a key to Landcare's success.

Facilitator training                                                  Above: Facilitator training - helping to build the Landcare team

Alecha Begum - a woman's story

In 2010 Alecha Begum became connected with the Community Learning Center (CLC) of Friends In Village Development Bangladesh (FIVDB) and received 2 days training on homestead vegetable gardening. From there she could learn about the organic manure & organic pesticides and importance organic farming. After this she started to grow vegetables in the homestead systematically and could grow crop organically successfully without buying fertilizer & pesticide from the market. Over the next four years Alecha has become a leader and inspiration to other rural men, women and young people.

Today she encourages the unemployed youth to work in this land. She likes to see the smiling face of all the people of her locality. Alecha wants to live as an ideal lady among all people.

Read the story of Alecha Begum's story on the  Secretariat for International Landcare's Bangladesh page.

Some of our other work

Friends in Village Development Bangladesh (FIDVB) - at a glance:

Friends in Village Development Bangladesh (FIVDB), a national non-governmental organization founded in 1979 under the registration of Ministry of Social Affairs, Bangladesh and NGO Affairs Bauru, Bangladesh.

FIVDB is implementing programs for the socio-economic development of the disadvantaged sections of the population.
It started its work in the North-Eastern Sylhet Division and over time has expanded its coverage in other parts namely Dhaka, Chittagong and Rangpur Divisions. At present, FIVDB is focuses in livelihood enhancement, agriculture, health, adult and lifelong learning, primary education and financial services programs. The recent strategic assessment has identified FIVDB’s comparative edge in agriculture, health, education, livelihood and community mobilization.

FIVDB has extensive experience in implementing livelihood, food security, child and maternal health care and disaster risk reduction and management. FIVDB has successfully implemented ACCESS and presently implementing Ma-Moni combining safe motherhood, newborn care and promotion of family planning activities with the support Save the Children USA and USAID. FIVDB has implemented disaster risk reduction and response programme with the support of Oxfam GB, Christian Aid UK, Save the Children UK, CARE Bangladesh, UNICEF and UNDP.

FIVDB has developed a close working relationship with Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), Bangladesh Agriculture University, Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute (BLRI), Soil Resources and Development Institute (SRDI) and other research bodies, which enables it to access the latest research knowledge, collaborative research and promote products derived from such research, suitable for the different areas of the country.

FIVDB workshop on "Vegetable production in sack: Perspectives on Food security". FIVDB hosted the 7th International Rice-Duck Farming Conference that was held in Sylhet in 2011; dlegates came from Japan, Philippines, Korea and USA

How The Funds Will Be Used

The funds will be used to employ Agri Vision Consultants Ltd to produce a 15-20 minute documentary.  The filming would be over 6 days in the Sylhet Region of Bangladesh.  The price includes research and script development through to editing the finished product.  The audio would be in Bengali with English subtitles. 

You may think the price is cheap to make a video, but in Bangladesh a dollar goes about 10 times further than in the west. 
This budget will allow for the production of a fine film using all local actors!

It is always difficult to show-case the benefits of Landcare in a paper-based format, and more challenging if people cannot read well. BUT it is possible to show the best practices as a film that can reflect how small-scale farmers can improve their livelihood and productivity within their limited resources.  Farmers will be the key 'actors' in this film, and they will be the key educators too.

The Challenges

The challenges for the project are few.  We have the case studies, the actors and the film maker.  The risk is that we go over budget.  This means that FIVDB and the Project Manager (Tanveer) must carefully research and script the film prior to filming to ensure we capture all the key field sites and interview all the key people within the project film period of 6 days.  Picking the best time for filming will be weather dependent so we must choose a time when we are sure that it will not be a monsoon!!

Portal Closed
Unsuccessful in meeting the target on 15th Nov 2014 at 11:40pm.
A$10 +Thank you + photoYour pledge will be rewarded with a BIG thank you from the Landcare team and a high resolution signed photograph will be emailed to your email address.
3 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is November 2014
A$20 +Film CreditIn addition tot the AUD10 reward your name will be included on the film credits as a supporter.
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A$40 +Film credit major sponsorIn addition to the AUD10 reward, your support will be recognised in the film credits as a major sponsor.
3 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is November 2014
A$65 +Tee shirtIn addition to the above rewards a high quality T shirt will be mailed to your postal address with the words: 'Landcare Bangladesh - sponsor'.
1 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is December 2014
A$100 +Gift packThe gift pack will contain products made exclusively in Bangladesh and will include: all items as above plus cap and coat pin.
1 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is December 2014
A$150 +Gift boxThe gift box will contain products made exclusively in Bangladesh and will include: all items as above plus cap, coat pin and a wonderful locally crafted cotton product.
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A$300 +Gift BoxThe gift box will contain products made exclusively in Bangladesh and will include: all items as above plus cap, coat pin and a wonderful local cotton crafted product.
0 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is December 2014
A$2000 +Tour Landcare BangladeshIncluded above rewards, if you can make your way to Dhaka Bangladesh you will be welcomed and given a guided tour of the Landcare program in Sylhet to learn about the livelihood practices and the innovative technologies that are being used. The tour would include visiting the basin areas, watershed management and biodiversity in this region famous for its natural beauty. Internal flight from Dhaka to Sylhet included and accommodation for 4 days. (International flight to Dhaka not included).
0 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is December 2014