PKSF established AU as its mainstream program in June 2013. The purpose of this unit is to extend sustainable agricultural technology and capacity building supports to the door-steps of farmers with a view to increasing farming productivity of the country and ensuring food security. This Unit enables the farmer to gain access to resources necessary for boosting crop production. Accordingly, `Agriculture Unit’ has designed its work plan and implementation strategy for crops sub-sector. Being an integral part of PKSF, `Agriculture Unit’ has been working within the purview of financial and administrative capacity of PKSF as a supplementary and additional service provider of the Government.
Objectives of this Unit are
- to assist in providing microfinance services considering the seasonality of agricultural activities;
- to provide useful, modern and environment-friendly agricultural technologies;
- to establish market linkages of agricultural commodities; and
- to develop skilled manpower at PKSF, Partner Organization (PO) and farmer level.
The major activities of this Unit are:
- Conducting cluster-based demonstrations on proven profitable crop technologies;
- Introducing Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) at field level for better crop production;
- Introducing high value, high yielding, stress tolerant and resistant varieties of crop based on locality;
- Introducing safe crop cultivation practices (by using bio fertilizer and adopting bio control for pest management etc.);
- Promoting season-wise diversified vegetable cultivation;
- Enhancing homestead gardening for preventing nutritional deficits of the family members;
- Enhancing knowledge, skills and awareness of farmers as well as staffs of POs through training, exposure visit, motivation etc.
- Conducting field days for effective dissemination of technology related information and the best practices of crop cultivation.
Agriculture Unit of PKSF already has completed the 3rd year of its execution successfully, marked by enthusiasm among farmers and POs. For the fiscal year 2016-17, PKSF has allocated BDT 3.50 crore for AU activities in 28 POs working in 38 Upazillas of 21 District.
Achievement of Agriculture Unit:
Since its inception a total of 8109 demonstrations have been established on different agricultural technologies. This includes 51 demonstrations on summer tomato production, 13 demonstrations on natural vegetable/potato storage, 518 demonstrations on safe crop cultivation etc. up to June 2016. Besides, 343 field days have been arranged in order to disseminate the positive results of technology demonstrations to large number of farmers. AU has also provided 176 USG applicators and 24,990 pheromone lures (for pheromone trap) to the farmers up to June 2016. For learning and sharing of the best practices of crop cultivation 05 exposure visits have been arranged. About 39 Upazilla Planning Meetings and 1275 ‘Agriculture Counselling meetings have also been arranged under AU. During FY 2016-17, a total of 2293 demonstrations have been established on different agricultural technologies; provided 52 USG applicators and 5,424 pheromone lures up to 20 January 2017. Besides, 30 field days, 30 Upazilla Planning Meeting and 117 ‘Agriculture Counselling meetings have also been arranged during current Fiscal year.
Considering the easy and effective expansion of new technologies a total of 13,100members were trained on crop production. These training were conducted with the help of central and local level resource persons from Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute(BARI), Bangladesh Rice Research Institute(BRRI), Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) etc. About 270 members were also trained on specialized farming activities at RDA, Bogra & PO training centers of various districts. About 1850 PO level officers have been trained on “Implementation Strategy of Agriculture Unit” in different PO’s training centres. AU also trained 370 agriculture officers of POs on different improved technology at Rural Development Academy (RDA), Bogra and Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institution (BARI) respectively. During Fiscal year 2016-17, AU has trained 28 agriculture officers of POs on “Commercial Production and Management of Indigenous Flower” at BARI and a total of 107 batches (for 2675members) of local level training has been arranged on crop production in line with the implemented technology up to 20 January 2016.
AU has taken an initiative for expanding floriculture, spices, fruits, oil seed crops, special quality enriched crops and high value crops cultivation at the field level. A number ofdemonstrations is being established on capsicum, niger, coriander, marigold, gladiolus, chrysanthemum, snowball, broccoli and short duration mustard at different Agro Ecological Zones (AEZs) of Bangladesh. Vegetable cultivation on the edge of cultivable land is another dimension of activities within the purview of this Unit. AU is also involved with the expansion of safe vegetable production. Besides, aMemorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed with International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) on 17 January 2017 under this Unit as an initiative to build up institutional.
Some activities of Agriculture Unit