ADRA’s Contribution to Food Security in Bangladesh
Bangladesh has great potential for agriculture-led growth and food security. Nearly half of all Bangladeshis are employed in agriculture. Empowering women benefits both households and communities and is an important source of resilience in Bangladesh.
There are contributing threats to food insecurity, which is fundamental to developing self-sustainability in the community. ADRA in Bangladesh is playing a significant role in terms of mitigating the food crisis in the rural areas of Bangladesh.
ADRA contributes to food secured households in a number of ways:
SRI: The System of rice intensification (SRI) is an environmentally friendly method of farming. It is less expensive, needs less agricultural inputs, and yields more than the traditional method of farming. SRI has been introduced in the community and has been welcomed. The Ministry of Agriculture recognizes SRI and encourages farmers to practice it.
Homestead Gardening: Usually, in urban areas, most households do not utilize the land around their houses for gardening. However, motivation has resulted in such practices in the urban as well as rural areas in ADRA Projects. Projects have shown that homestead gardening can be useful in producing vegetables for household consumption as well as income. This has encouraged many in the community. Beneficiaries have found this method contributes directly to food and nutrition security and economy, as well as a greener environment.
Dike-cropping: Making the best use of agricultural blocks is the main idea of dike-cropping. The borders of the agricultural blocks are used for planting creeper vegetables, which climb the sticks.
Variety Selection: Choosing the right variety of crops is vital in agriculture. ADRA projects to train farmers to choose the appropriate (appropriate variety varies according to the area, soil fertility, weather) variety and seeds. Beneficiaries also learn to preserve seeds, identify the disease by inspecting leaves, etc. They select variety themselves and do not depend on market-oriented hi-yield varieties.
Multi-cropping: ADRA projects introduce multi-cropping in the fields. Traditionally, in some low-lying areas, farmers keep their land fallow after one harvest, unlike higher leveled areas. ADRA shows through projects how multiple cropping is possible. Instead of farming a single crop in a year because of weather or soil, the farmers are learning to plant different weather-resistant varieties in different soil types and weathers.
ADRA has promoted gender integration in agriculture and increase women’s empowerment in the rural community that robust agribusiness development as well as providing economic opportunities for Bangladeshis.