Access to agricultural extension services of marginalized farmers
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    Access to agricultural extension services of marginalized farmers Access to agricultural extension services of marginalized farmers Document Transcript

    • Access to Agriculture Extension Services of Marginalized FarmersThis is original a research paper that has been presented in the second national convention “Roleof State and People’s in ensuring the Civic Rights in the Government Services” held 3rdMay 2013 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, organized by OXFAM and six national partners BITA,BSDO, Pollisree, SDS, ZIBIKA and funded by European UnionProject: “Strengthening NSAs to claim rights and services for extreme marginalized andsocially excluded communities of Bangladesh”Submitted toOxfam GB, BangladeshSubmitted byMd. A. Halim Miah, M.Phil. in Anthropology, PgD in Youth in Development Work,Commonwealth Youth ProgramFreelance ConsultantDate: 5 March 2013ContactHouse# 31, Road# Taherbag LanePost-Nababpur, Dhaka-1100Email: halimsbsp@yahoo.com1 | P a g e
    • 1. IntroductionBangladesh had made tremendous progress in economic and social sectors. Positive imagesare being portrayed in some world renowned magazines and even world renowned economyresearch Goldman Sachs sees Bangladesh the “Next-11”, countries who have the potential tobecome major economies. It is very close to attaining in some national target of MDGs likepoverty reduction, primary school enrolment, reducing gender parity in both primary andsecondary grade, safe drinking water and hygienic latrine as environmental sustainability and inincreasing life expectancy. However its investment in the poverty reduction, health andagriculture sector are lower than other neighbouring and lower income countries in terms of itsGDP but progress are very positive (2% for Social Safety Net, on education 2.2% and health3.5%).In poverty reduction it has very close to halving the population stands at upper poverty line from1990. Since the early 1990s, the Bangladesh economy has grown at over 5 per cent annually.GDP/capita increased from $ 211/capita in 1973 to $ 554 /capita in 2007/2008 and povertydeclined from 75 percent in the mid-1970s to 40 percent in 2005 and 31.5 percent in 2010.Agriculture claims bigger share of country’s over all economy like share in GDP, employmentand social and other non economic issues. However its contribution in GDP and employmentopportunity had reduced from 48% to 21% and employment from 85% to 48% respectively butstill it is the major employment sector for our rural economy where more than sixty percent of itspeople live on it. Since 1990s Bangladesh agriculture has made tremendous progress mainly inrice production, production has tripled from 10 million MT in 1970 to more than 30 million, from afood deficit country to a food surplus country!Bangladesh agriculture has legacy of over population, a very limited size of cultivable alluvialland estimated at 14.7 million hector. After independence cultivable land has remained almostsame with minimal inclusion of forest and hills through environmental degradation. In anationally representative agricultural survey conducted in 2008 shows that those hhs who didnot have any kinds of land is 4%, 29% did not have any cultivable land and 59% had less than0.2 hector land.Agriculture, food security and availing agro related services depend on dimension of cultivableland distribution. The proportion of the marginal farmers (owning up to 0.40 ha) has risen fromabout 36 percent in 1988 to 52 percent in 2007. It implies that, farmers have been leadinglivelihoods by renting –in land from others. Alike the group as called functionally landless withtiny farm holdings-comprising 33-35 percent of all farmers. Since 1970s most of the productionincreases has come from higher yields and from cultivating land more intensively (croppingintensity increased from 145 percent in the 1970s to 175 in the year 200s). Over 70% of netcultivated area are irrigated which were only7% in the year 1970s. Average rice yield increased1.0 ton/ha to 2.6 t/ha from the year 1970s to mid -2000s. This achievement came from ourmarginal and functionally landless farmers as almost 90% of our farmers cultivate less than onehectare of land. Therefore these micro farms and their entrepreneurs called as landless, sharecroppers or marginal are the main drivers of our food security and maintaining a large of ourGDP’s. Country should repay for their labour, money, mental and material investment.2 | P a g e
    • A number of studies revealed that public expenditure may contribute to poverty reduction (Fanet al. 2000 a; Fan et. al. 2000b). Public expenditure in Bangladesh is generally recognised to belower than its demand for economic development (CPD 2010). It is as a share of GDPremained roughly around 14 percent for most of the previous decade play an important role inis measured as the government priority on the sector. Sectors which are beneficial for ultra poorare identified through Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) analysis (CIRDAP 1997) and amongthose top five sectors include: education, health, social services, food and agriculture. Theshare of these five sectors in total public expenditure increased from 39.4% in FY2001-02 to49.7% in FY2009-10. The share of these sectors in total development expenditure is evenhigher and rising, from 57.1% in FY2001-02 to 66.3% in FY2009-10 (CPD and BRAC 2012).However since the beginning of last decade country’s subsidies in agriculture risen from 100crore in 2001-2002 to 5789 crore in the year 2008-09 and again gradually falling down from theyear 2009-10 from 4950 crore to 4000 crore in 2010-11 and onwards.Country’s public expenditure is 12% of agricultural GDP’s and including other implicit andexplicit subsidies (Like Gas for fertilizer, and subsidized diesel sale) in total 16% of agriculturalGDP, which is commensurate with spending levels countries of similar income but these mostlyskewed to some input level (PIER-1, 2010). Different studies revealed that a large amount ofpublic expenditure does not reach to the hands of poor and poorest (Narayan and Zaman 2009;Sobhan 2010; Rahman and Kabir 2010; Parvin, Jhinuk 2011).In the pre-industrial stage of country’s development agriculture plays vital role. A large part ofnon-farm activity in rural areas, at the early stage of industrialization particularly in rural areasand for sending urban labour in low wages which is main driver for development of processingindustries in developing countries depend on the resources of small and medium farmers asmost of their non food expenditure are produced in rural non farm sectors (Mellor 1976; Kingand Byerlee 1978; Hazell and Roell 1983). This larger group of farmers’ population, inBangladesh who cultivate major portion of land, produce food and contributing not only lion partof agriculture sectors but enhancing rural non farm activities including small and mediumenterprises are very lacked in services essential for the production and food security of thenation.2. Rational & Background:Oxfam GB is implementing “Strengthening NSAs to claim rights and services for extrememarginalized and socially excluded communities of Bangladesh” since September 2010. Theproject is being implemented in 110 Unions 18 Municipality Wards, and 25 City Corporationwards villages of seven districts (Dinajpur, Naogaon, Kurigram, Shariatpur, Chittagong,Noakhali and Laxmipur) with support of five partner NGOs forming 153 Union DevelopmentCommittees (UDC) and 1225 Non State Actors (NSA) who are closely working with UDCs toinfluence local GoB agencies.The project is aimed to achieve “The rights, entitlements and services of the local agriculturalservices of the farmers and access to khash land and natural & common resources”. It has beenrevealed that in the project areas peasants, local producers and farmers (sharecroppers) do nothave the access in to local agricultural services, natural resources, local market and decisionmaking process. Local power holders, big farmers and market syndicates control all theavailable local resources, services and markets. Consultation and dialogues with the policyimplementers at sub national level urged persisting problems need to be addressed where there3 | P a g e
    • is required to influence policy makers and reviewed existing policy and to adopt new policy infavour of small farmers and producer groups.This paper has developed on the issue of “Implementation gaps and opportunities ofagricultural Services for marginal peasants and farmers in rural Bangladesh”.The main objective of this paper is get the interest of policy planners, local and national civilsociety leaders, influential actors and other related stakeholders to take the initiative for policyinfluence (if needed) and to bridge the gap at local level and to make agricultural extensiondepartment more sensitive to the marginalise farmers and producers. These initiatives willimprove the quality of service delivery mechanism and produce best practice models, and berecognised as model of accountability and transparency by stakeholders at different levels.The specific objectives of this paper:• To identify the existing services and the gaps of the services.• The existing policy and its limitations of the ongoing services• The attitude and the culture of the local agricultural extension offices and access ofmarginalized peasants.• The local power-structure and the politics involved with local agricultural services whichcreate hindrance for the poor and marginalise farmers and women producer groups.• How UDC and NSA, Upazila/Municipality Development Forum and District Civil SocietyForum can play a vital role to access the local agricultural services for the poor,marginalise and women producers groups.• The gender role and work diversity and discrimination of accessing the services ofagricultural services will be discovered• Come out with an Advocacy strategy to the private and public sector to replicate themodel.Study Methodology:Data Sources• Mainly from the working area of the project (Shariatpur) where UDCs are working asgrass roots advocate for creating access to agricultural services through negotiating,lobbing and raising the voices of marginalized, landless and women farmers includingothers socially excluded issue.• Community Based Survey report as public opinion about existing agricultural extensionservices• Public hearing at Unions, Uapzilas and district• Interviews of service provider and policy implementers at different service delivery level3.0 Glimpse of the National Agricultural Policy-1999 and 2009 and New AgriculturalExtension Policy 1999National Agriculture Policy ( NAP) 1999 and draft 2009)4 | P a g e
    • Bangladesh has very limited land resources and considering this reality our policy focus has firstand foremost key development issue is the efficient, productive and sustainable use of all firmland. The broad objective of the agriculture policy is to facilitate and accelerate technologicaltransformation with a view to becoming self-sufficient in food production and improve thenutritional status of the population. The specific short ad medium term objectives are as follows:1. To attain self sufficiency in food grains and increase production of other nutritionalcrops2. To ensure sustainable agricultural growth through more efficient and balanced use ofland water and other resources;3. To increase foreign exchange earnings through agricultural exports;4. To increase per hectare rice output in order to release more land for other crops,especially legumes and fodder crops5. To introduce high value cash crops6. To improve the quality and availability of seeds;7. To reduce environmental degradation;8. To increase fish, livestock and forestry production ;9. To conserve an develop forest resourcesBroader long term policy objective as follows:• To ensure sustainable agricultural development,• To introduce high quality , appropriate agricultural technology;• To main the ecological balance in the natural environment;• To reduce rural poverty• To establish export-oriented agro-processing industries;• To sustain and balance production, consumption and incomeStrategies for attain these objectives are:• Establish macro-economic policies that enable formers to be responsive to domestic andinternational market opportunities• Provide high quality infrastructure and government services that will enable farmersproduce and market products at low cost• Private sector involvement in the supply of input• Establish policies, regulations and project assistance• Ensure research concentrate on the key technical and socio-economic constrainedproduction• Provide appropriate technical and farm management and information to all farmersthrough continued improvement to extension and other support servicesGoal and Components of the New Agricultural Extension Policy (NAEP)The goal of the NAEP is to: encourage the various partners and agencies within the nationalagricultural extension system to provide efficient and effective services which complement andreinforce each other, in an effort to increase the efficiency and productivity of agriculture inBangladesh. To achieve this goal the policy includes the following key components:1. Extension support to all category of farmers2. Efficient extension services3. Decentralisation4. Demand-led extension5 | P a g e
    • 5. Working with groups of all kinds6. Strengthened extension –research linkage7. Training of extension personnel8. Appropriate extension methodology9. Integrated extension support to farmers10. Co-ordinated extension activities11. Integrated environmental supportTable: 01 Stakeholder in the Extension SystemGovernment agencies Private sector1 Ministry of Agriculture Other Ministries Non Profit Profit makingOrganizations2 Department ofAgriculture ExtensionBangladesh RuralDevelopmentBoardNational NGOs Commercial traders3 BangladeshAgricultureDevelopmentCorporationBangladesh WaterDevelopmentBoardInternational NGOs Wholesalers4 Department ofForestDevelopment Partners Manufacturers5 Department ofLivestock ServicesUN Agencies Retailers6 Department ofFisheries4.0 Critical Review of NAP and NAEPThe following two articles in our constitution directly stated what should be in our policy guidingprincipals for people’s particularly peasants, still comprised majority of rural population and thusthe guided way is still prevailed:Article 14 (Emancipation of peasants and workers):“It shall be a fundamental responsibility of the State to emancipate the toiling masses thepeasants and workers and backward sections of the people from all forms and exploitation”.Article 16 (Rural development and agricultural revolution):“The State shall adopt effective measures to bring about a radical transformation in the ruralareas through the promotion of a agricultural revolution, the provision of rural electrification,the development of cottage and other industries, and the improvement of education,communications and public health, in those areas, so as progressively to remove the disparity in thestandards of living between the urban and the rules areas”.6 | P a g e
    • Bangladesh has turned from the “bottom less basket” to a Nations next -11 where one of theachievement is country’s sufficiency in the paddy, a staple cereal production. To achieve thisgovernment commitment as policy priority sector have significantly contributed.Country has two extensive policies particularly focusing agricultural which provide a wider scopeto accumulate and create new options, as thus expected merit reflected in these two policies( Nap and NAEP). Besides subsequently there are other sub-sectoral policies like Livestock andfisheries, National Seed Policy, National Food Policy, National IPM Policy, FertilizerManagement Act, 2009, The Pesticide Act, 2009, Rural Credit Policy, National Water Policy,Water Resources Development Policy and more over Land Policy and National Land UsePolicy all are interlinked. By this time government all ready approved Country Investment Policy(CIP). Therefore these two agriculture policies are not stand alone rather which arecomprehensive and mutually exclusive. However agriculture it has progress there are still majorgaps mainly in the policy implementation level.Is the peasant are the core driver of the Bangladesh agriculture?Initially of this section rationally pointed out articles of our holy constitution where it hasdeclared again state will take initiatives for emancipation of people’s particularly peasants fromall forms exploitation. But is there any reflection in the NAP and even NAEP about the historicalcontext of how these poor and marginalized peasants still are being exploited and deprived fromtheir rights which are spent as the name of public expenditures. Current policies mainlyemphasis on production increasing and the normative issues are being highly neglected.Therefore if any policy issues would fail to understand a national socio-political context then itwould not be able to count the non economic factors which are main drivers for the developmentof any state. Production is necessary for growth but who will produce this questioned need to besolved first. In Bangladesh agriculture this is poor peasants and their development need to beconsidered first rather merely emphasizing only production. If we can think peasants are thecentre of agriculture development of Bangladesh then the policy focus will be more realistic andimplementation strategy can be designed efficiently.Is it realistic to gain result from top down management?Alike other national policies and strategies it is narrowed as thematically and conceptually it hasevolved as authoritarian mode of service delivery points where people’s are considered as reliefrecipients. There are around 18 million farm households in Bangladesh and country thoughsmall in land size but ecologically heterogeneity in nature which makes a complex nature andculture as called as typical Bangladeshi agriculture. The people of this soil have had thousandyears history of crops and other agriculture. Therefore these “agriculture master” could come asthe centred of decentralization of agriculture governance in Bangladesh. But it is very narrowlykept in the hands of some bureaucrats and central government. So there is needed to revisitearlier rural development policies and basis on historical context decentralization of agriculturegovernance should be extended.A national study conducted by Agricultural Services Innovation and Reform Project (ASIRP,2003) revealed that majority of farmers both among male and female are not contact with GOand NGO ESPs. For both male and female farmers, the main source of extension advice is fromother farmers, followed by Mass Media and then private organizations (National ExtensionCoverage Survey, 2003).Around 28% male received at least a ESPs from GO in the last 12months and it is only 6% from NGOs. Overall 6.3% only among female farmers in Bangladesh7 | P a g e
    • came into contact of GO services and which is slightly more from NGO, 6.8% in the last 12months.Where are women?However both of the policies (NAP and NAEP) a separate article particularly for women hasbeen entailed, reflected women as policy priority community in Bangladesh agriculture sector.In describing their traditional role their scope, capacity and empowerment issue are portrayedas they are living in the thousands years back society. Therefore in both of the policies who lookwomen in their traditional role of mainly engagement in the post harvest and harvest periodonly. But in the changing agri- economy where even our small farming many machines havebeen gulped the women roles like husking machine. Now both poorest men and women operatesuch local technology harvest time for same works. So the concept of ‘woman works’ and ‘manwork’ as typically gender role have been changed. Even sometimes reversed like producing andsales country cakes are being done by male even in the rural streets.Therefore in the policies should not confined women as their typical role rather revision has tobe made how this half of the nation could be mainstreamed into growth without discriminatoryapproach which mainly derived from the lack of gender sensitivity.Lack of Policy ImplementationA total number of 32,067,700 hh and its 20% 6.4 millions hh are estimated in residing urbanareas. So remaining around 26 million hh are live in rural areas. The current establishment atBlock Supervisor who promoted as Sub Assistance Engineer is 12640 with 2360 vacancies.Government has recently approved a DAE proposal to recruit Block Supervisors to fullestablishment. Government has given high priority in the agricultural policy and therefore aseparate policy has been endorsed by the Ministry of Agriculture of GoB. Therefore recruitmentof required human resources, equipped them with adequate skills and technology time to timeare also very important.It has revealed that among the twenty participants (14 men and 6 women) none of them everseen any DAE service providers in the project areas. Alike of this focus group responsesdifferent national level studies show a small number of farmers know about agriculturalextension services. (Impact Assessment of Credit program for the tenant farmers, BRAC, 2012;National Extension Coverage Survey, December 2003, ASIRP). A study shows that among farmhhs 57.3% males know about DAE services and it is 62.9%, 30.9% and 27.6% respectively forDLS, DoF and FD. When we look this from gender perspective (Male and female ratio is 100.3for 100 male) where almost women are half of the total population it is very frustrating. Only18.6% women informed about DAE. It is comparatively better for DLS. Among women 25.3%,8.8% and 6.9% were informed the services of DLS, DoF and FD respectively.Table: 02 Farmers Contact (last 12 months) with Main Extension Service ProviderESP Male farmers in contact( %) includingmelaFemale farmers in contact (%)NGO8 | P a g e
    • BRAC 5.2 2.3Proshika 0.1 0.5Caritas 0.1 0.2GODAE 19.6 (including mela 4.7%) 1.1DLS 10.4 5.0DoF 2.5 0.2FD 0.5 0.3Source: National Extension Coverage Survey, 2003This study shows strong positive correlation between farm size, male biasness and wealthdisparity of extension services. In the wealth category male farmers received at least a servicefrom GO 58% for large farmer which is followed by 39% for medium farmer and among landlessonly 14% received.Table: Service Received by Category of FarmerFarm HH Category Received a GO Service (%) Received NGOs Service(%)Male Female Male FemaleIncome CategoriesHHs on daily income of below Tk1520.6 4.9 6.3 9.2HHs on daily income of aboveTk 5937.0 6.8 8.5 12.4Farm Size CategoriesLandless hhs ( upto 0.49 acres) 14.0 6.3 2.7 5.8Large farm hhs ( over 7.5 acres) 57.0 8.6 10.2 6.3Source: National Extension Coverage Survey, 2003NAEP five principles are- extension to all categories of farmers, efficient extension services,demand led extension, working with groups of all kinds and integrated extension support.However NAEP has been place since 1996 and its one of the important principals is extensionshould be all categories of farmers but in practice it is strongly class and gender bias. It needsto be long drive for move downward.In this regard Civil Society Engagement is essential for bridging between DAE and Poor,marginalized farmers. Yet our civil society remains far behind for negotiating with relevant policyimplementers in favour of poor and marginalized farmers. Once this had have major bargainingissue of political parties and merely agriculture and land less farmers are talked couple ofpolitical parties but they do not have strong number of representatives in the policy making orfor even influencing policies.5.0 Towards Pro Poor Agriculture Services: Shariatpur a case studyIn this critical context SDS implemented Non State Actors (NSA) and their engagement infavour poor, women and other marginalized and excluded groups for their rights in livelihoodoptions are noteworthy. Survey conducted among 300 poor hhs of four Upazila and its 25unions shows a distinctive feature of over all agricultural services and people’s perception.9 | P a g e
    • People, land and economy: The area is situated under the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghnariver basin region, which is a critical agro-ecological zone. The area is 1182 square km and totalpopulation is 1146 thousand where males are 554 and females are 593 thousands respectively.Male female ratio is 93.4 males for 100 females where national ratio is 100.3 for 100 females. Itmight be due to both internal and external migration of males. The population density is 970 inper squ km. and average hhs size is 4.6 slightly higher than the national and divisional both.People are predominantly involved in agricultural activities. Most of the areas are submergedunder water for six months during rainy season. People’s mobility along with livelihood optionssqueezed during this period. However during rainy season men who do not non farm activitythey do fishing and women do poultry like duck rearing. Jute was once a major economic cropof Bangladesh and this GBM basin produced major portion of quality jute. Therefore both menand women have hard work during the harvest of jute plants. As scarcity of high land, fragility ofexisting land due to critical ecosystem like river bank erosion the district has very lack ofinfrastructural development like yet it is alienated from national and capital city by roadcommunication. River vehicles are main transportation for communication with capital and otherregion. Only 10% people hhs are connected with electrification facility. Bangladesh SmallIndustries Corporation set a industrial zone where yet most of the plots are barren. A few smallindustries are operated where an insignificant number of employment are created.In the district there were 227187 hhs where number of farm hhs were163957. Among farm hhs92.52% were small farm (Agriculture Sample Survey, 2005). Gross cropped area 271652 acreswhere Aus (local), Aus (HYV), Aman (Local), Aman (HYV), Boro, Wheat and jute grow mainly.Among single cropped area Boro cultivable land is highest which is 53186 acres around 1/5thoftotal cultivated area.In the Shariatpur among the poor and vulnerable hhs most of them live in owned house whichaverage size is 5.3 decimal and cultivable land is around 40 decimal. Majority of them daylabours, part time rickshaw and van puller and simultaneously also cultivator of own land( Baseline, 2012, NSA Project, Oxfam) . It also reveals that among 14 plus years .people 24%male and 79% female are unemployed. Study reveals that only 10% of HHs received variousservices from the local government and a great majority 70% of the poorest and vulnerable hhsdid not go to seek services from local government in the preceding survey year. It might be thatunavailability of services or lack of information about the available services at the different localgovernment service delivery points. Data shows that all the among the vulnerable and landlesshhs only 8% went to land office to collect information about khas land.Other national level studies depict this region most vulnerable in terms of food security of thepoorest hhs. Almost 50% of the total land is flooded every year because of the concentratedrainfall during the monsoon, which has the evidence of massive crop damage (Framjii 1977,Shahabuddin 1999). Due to climate change situations induced changes of precipitation patternin terms of delayed or advanced onset and withdrawal of monsoon as well as increasedmonsoon precipitation would have impact on the flooding characteristics across the basins ofGanges, Brahmaputra and Meghna river. Thus there might be changes in the timing of peakingin the major rivers resulting increase in the magnitude, frequency, depth, extent and duration offloods.5.1 Driver of Micro farm and farmers voiceMost of the farmers are typically landless as they posses lower than fifty decimal land. Amongthe 20 participants there were six women farmers. They opined that this year a good number of10 | P a g e
    • small farmers did not cultivate ‘Boro’ . The reason behind of avoiding boro cultivation was theydid not get ‘fair price’ of their production in the last year and even price of rice per mon is verylower according to them. They also informed that the large land owner do not cultivate land bythemselves. They share crop out or lease out the land for a crop a season. They were askedhow the production cost could be minimized. They think the following way government couldsupport them which could reduce their production cost: Required Government support:1. Supplied of electricity for irrigation could reduce the cost2. Fertilizer, seed and insecticides from government3. Training on modern farmingTable: Per maund paddy production cost, 2013Input Price ( Tk.)Fertilizer 100Seed 150Planting 50Daily wage 250Weeding 100Ploughing 100Water 50Total cost for per/ maund 800 tkGovernment purchasing paddyprice/ per maund55011 | P a g e
    • Table: Poor farmers perception of agricultural extension services, Opinion survey, Shariatpur,2012No. 300Sl. Area of services Yes % of total Comments /01 Most of the farmers do not knowagricultural information126 42 Requiredimprovement02 Inadequate human resources inextension services87 2903 Group contact with farmerscomparatively lower in number102 34 Requiredimprovement04 Poor farmers are lower contact withagriculture department288 96 Requiredimprovement05 Poor farmers do not know aboutagricultural subsidy146 49 Requiredimprovement06 Extension services are lagging behindfrom modern technology58 1607 No farmers school 72 2408 Production cost is higher than sale 292 97 Requiredimprovement09 The region is vulnerable to naturalhazards91 3010 Unavailable of agricultural inputs 105 35 Requiredimprovement11 Farmers are more willing to purchaseseeds instead of preserve bythemselves156 52 RequiredimprovementAccording to farmers Opinion survey highest score provided in the eighth row that is “Production cost is higher than sale price”, which is 97 % followed by “Poor farmers are lowercontact with agriculture department”. It is interesting that similar result has been found in thenational level survey that Extension Services are less responsive to poor and marginalizedfarmers.Constrains of women farmersEmpirical information revealed that women are economically marginalized in the community.However they have access to mobility in public places like shopping places but not local greenshops in urban areas. However poorest women work as daily labour in the public works underthe different SSNPs programs even in the whole sale green market as called hat, during harvest12 | P a g e
    • work as daily labour in the solvent farmers land for picking vegetables from land and jutestripping but women contribution are not adequately recognized.Besides in the livestock subsector women have greater contribution in production of chickens,ducks and goats (Hossain and Jaim, January 2011). While it was talking how would bebenefited from participating in this sharing meeting, then women peasant replied, they haveseldom opportunity to participate such sharing which they felt very important. It has found thatall the women participants have bank account but unlikely as male participants. Poorest womenthose who benefited from SSNPs they have their bank account.Farmers Bank Account a best case of how social patriarchal norms could be translated intonational policy formulation! This policy was a clear distinct farming is predominantly men’soccupation in Bangladesh as when we called farmer we portray a man not a woman! Throughthis card access to government resources of men has acknowledge as producer and farmersbut women are excluded as they can not be a farmer. Through this policy government hascreated another gender disparity.Identified Agriculture Service Related Problems and recommendations at Upazila Level PublicHearingTable: Agricultural problems and Policy Priority areas at local levelIdentified Problems Policy Areas Responsible CommentsO1 Information needs to increasedamong farmersExtension Policy UpazilaExtension02 More employees are needed inextension servicesExtension Policy CentralGovernment03 Required Cold Storage AgriculturePolicyCentralGovernmentPrivate Sectorcan comeforward04 Farmers should be encouragedfor use of quality seeds andpreserve seeds05 Farmers should be organizedand trainedExtension Policy Upazila06 Modern technology transferamong farmers through farmersclubExtension Policy Upazila07 Subsidies should reach in time Extension Policy CentralGovernment08 Agriculture sector should bemore prioritizedCentralGovernmentPrivateinvestmentshouldencourage09 Agri land needs to bepreserved from housingCentralGovernment10 Traditional way of cultivationneeds to drive awayExtension Policy Upazila11 Organic fertilizer should be Extension Policy Upazila13 | P a g e
    • popularized among farmers12 Government should availablemodern agricultural inputsExtension Policy CentralGovernment12 Attention should be given howto ensure better price ofproductionExtension Policy CentralGovernment13 Barren land acquisition andinclusion it under cultivationAgriculturalPolicyCentralGovernmentMinistry ofLand / Ministryof law / LocalGovernment14 Brick Field should be restrictedin agri landAgriculturalPolicy / CountryInvestment PlanCentralGovernmentMinistry ofCommerce15 More services and inputsshould be provided for MarginalfarmersAgriculturePolicy/ ExtensionPolicyCentralGovernment /Upazila16 Women are needed to provideagricultural supportsExtension Policy Upazila/ CentralGovernmentWomen andChild affairs17 Effective strategy for ClimateChange issue in agricultureAgriculturePolicy/ ExtensionPolicy / NAPACentralGovernmentDevelopmentPartners18 Lack of value chain and supplychain initiativeAgriculturePolicy/AgricultureMarketingUpazila/ CentralGovernmentDevelopmentpartners/NGOs/ PrivatesectorsArticulated Recommendations:Policy Priority Areas1. Fair Price of Micro FarmsMost of the farmers are marginalized and small farmers and their seed money is verypetty therefore if they do not get minimum price of their product then this is really ainjustice as they are the people who ensuring food security of the 15 crore people ofBangladesh. Besides based on their activities other rural economy is flourishing.Unlikely it is anymore sectoral issue. Rather its related to poverty reduction, foodsecurity and employment of near about half of the population.2. Initiative for production cost reductionExtension services should be strengthened among irrespective of farmers. ModernFarming method, mechanization and quality inputs of farming should be available amongthe farmers. A majority of farming are micro enterprises where real cultivators arelandless therefore priority of extension services should be revisited3. Women farmers farming14 | P a g e
    • As half of the population is women and gradually women are replaced in the mentherefore extension policy as well as agriculture policy should foresight the current trendof male migration, labour shortage in agriculture and high rate during boro cultivationand potentiality of women considering the historical context of women who were actuallyinventor of planned agriculture. Special Farmers card need to be distributed among thewomen farmers.4. Research and extension linkagesCrops Intensification research and timely dissemination should give priority consideringthe recent and emerging challenges of our agriculture ( limited land resource, yearly 1%reduction of cultivable land, growing population and infrastructural development, publicamenities development and Climate change issue)5. Investment in the crops research, diversification, value addition in the arena of non cropsare needed to increased6. Climate adaptive agriculture technology are needed to transfer among peasants7. Priority in Policy ImplementationA framework and time to time follow up should be strengthened in implementing policy/policies in the respective development issue otherwise policy will be merely as paper.Country has all ready developed Country Investment Plan which should give priority thefood security issue and zero tolerance needs to be employed for violation of any pointsof this policy when its related to food security8. Acquisition of uncultivable land and a buffer stock of plan should be developed. Thisuncultivable land stock could be utilized for crop research and joint farming system9. Khas land distribution policy should strengthen and a national commission should beformed as emergency basis to redistribute khas land among landless.10. Credit Facility should be available for landless and small farmers. Public Banks andmicro finance organizations should come forward to make available low rate creditfacilities during the crops planting season11. Subsidies are squeezed into a few inputs like fertilizer, and diesel and sometimes insome areas seeds and insecticide are provided in low cost where some specialagricultural project is being implemented. Subsidies in agriculture particularly for smallfarmers through agricultural input, technological supports are big investment whichaccelerate economic growth as well as reduced poverty. This has direct links withimproving local non farm economic activities.12. An action plan should be executed for better implementation of NAEP. In this processparticularly CSOs and Local Government representatives should be incorporated inimplementing NAEP at local level. Along with a national steering committee from CSOscan work for review and time to time oversee the progress.In conclusion I would like quote from Professor Esther Duflo, Abdul Latif Jameel Professor ofPoverty Alleviation and Development Economics at MIT. She urged the international communityto focus resources on anti-poverty strategies , which are practical and cost effective and basedon rigorous evidence. She focused on seven highly effective anti poverty programmes toachieve MDGs. According to her these are referred as “best buys” where no. 7th“best buy” isSmart Agricultural subsidies. According to her “Simple agriculture technology has a large15 | P a g e
    • potential to dramatically increase income. Subsidies , which are implemented at the right tinme,can trigger big changes in fostering agriculture at a low cost”.Annexure:Data Source Place Tools ParticipantsEthnographicModelShariatpur Opinion Surveyamong PrimaryStakeholder(300×1)Quantitative Unions Public Hearings (15×1)Qualitative Dialogues atUpazila level(60×1)DifferentPolicydocumentsDialogue in thedistrict level(01×80)PolicyBriefing andotherresearchdocumentsFGD (02×7 )Policyimplementer’sinterviewsUnion-Upazila-District03Observation ofdemonstrationplot0116 | P a g e
    • References1. “Agriculture Extension In Bangladesh: An Entitlement of All Farmers?” in the Result ofa National Extension Coverage Survey, December 2003. Agricultural ServicesInnovation and Reform Project (ASIRP). www.daebd.org2. “Agriculture, Food Security and Social Security: Proposed National Budget 2011-12, AnAnalysis”, June 25, 2011. BRAC and Bangladesh Rice Foundation (BRF), Advocacy forSocial Change3. BBS, July 2011. Population & Housing Census 2011, Preliminary Results, GoB, BBS, January 2009. Statistical Pocket Book of Bangladesh 2008, CIRDAP. 1997. Poverty Profile and Sectoral Poverty Alleviation Effects inBangladesh : A SAM Based Analysis . Policy Brief No. 6. Dhaka. Centre on IntegratedRural development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP)6. CPD.2010. State of the Bangladesh Economy in FY2008-2009 and Outlook for FY2009-10. Dhaka: Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD)7. Fan. S Hazell, P and Thorat S. 2000a. “ Government Spending , Growth and poverty inRural India”.American Journal of Agricultural Economics,82 (4): 1038-10518. Fan S., Zhang, L. ad Zhang, X 2000b.Growth and poverty in Rural China: The Role ofPublic Investment. Research Report No. 125. Washington, D.C. : International FoodPolicy Research Institute (IFPRI. Available at: Ghos SC ANMM and RAZA WA Agricultural practices and its relation to poverty andfood security in selected river basins in Bangladesh: a situation analysis. Dhaka:BRAC,2011. Vi 20p. (RED Working10. Hazell and Roell 1983 and Johnston and Mellor 1961 in the “ Agricultue, RuralDevelopment and Pro-Poor Growth, Country Experiences in the Post-Reform Era, ARD-21, The World Bank (2005)11. Hossain, Mahabub and Jaim, WMH. January 2011 in the “ Empoweringh Women toBecome Farmer Entrepreneur” in the Conference on New Directions for SmallholderAgriculture, 24-25 January 2011, Rome, IFAD HQ12. Hossain, Mahabub. Asaduzzaman, M., Mandal, MA Sattar, Deb, Uttam. And Jones,Steve May 2009, “Rice Technologies: Strategic Choices and Policy Options”. No.0903,May 2009, BIDS Policy Brief13. Hossain, Mahabub November 2012. “ Impact Assessment of Credit Program for theTenant Farmers-Baseline Report 2012”, BRAC Research and Evaluation Division(RED), Dhaka RED14. Hossain, Mahabub and Bayes, Abdul. 2009. “ Rural Economy and Livelihoods: Insightfrom Bangladesh”, AH Development Publishing House (AHDPH), Dhaka17 | P a g e
    • 15. Informal Summary, Second Committee, 64thGeneral Assembly, Panel discussion on “Achieving the MDGs by 2015: Preparing for the 2010 UN MDG Summit”, UnitedNations Headquarters, New York, 12 October 200916. Khatun F., Khan T.I. and Nabi, A. 2012. “National Budget fore the Ultra Poor- AnAnalysis of Allocation and Effectiveness”, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) andAdvocacy for Social Change, BRAC17. New Agriculture Extension Policy (NAEP), GoB, Ministry of Agriculture, 1996,www.daebd.org18. National Agriculture Policy , Ministry of Agriculture, GoB, April 1999, www.daebd.org19. Narayan, A. and Zaman, H.2009 . Breaking Down Poverty in Bangladesh, Dhaka: TheUniversity Press Limited (UPL).20. PIER-1, 2010, World Bank21. Parvin, Jhinuk. 2010. “Agriculture Input Assistance Card: Direct Input SubsidyDisbursement”, Unnayan Onneshan, Dhaka, www. Unnayan.org22. Rahman , A. and Kabir, M.2010. Redesigning Budgetary Policy to Reach OublicResources to the Poor. CPD-SACESPS Monograph Series 5. Dhaka: Centre for PolicyDialogue (CPD)23. Reports of NSA project. 2012. “ Public Dialogue on Agriculture at Union level”,Shariatpur Development Society, (SDS)24. Reports of NSA project. 2012. “ Public Dialogue on Agriculture at Upazila level”,Shariatpur Development Society, (SDS)25. Reports of NSA project. 2012. “ Public Dialogue on Agriculture at District level”,Shariatpur Development Society, (SDS)26. Sobhan, R.2010. Challenging the Injustice of Poverty : Agendas for InclusiveDevelopment in South Asia. New Delhi: SAGE Publications India Pvt Ltd.18 | P a g e