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									Climate Change
and Food Security:
A NGO Experience

                              In association with LWF/World Services Geneva and Related Agencies
                              Committed to change through empowering the rural
Climate Change and Food Security :
A NGO Experience

Farmer Field School                               3

A NGO evolution to develop and extend
short duration rice-based cropping
pattern to ensure food security in lean period    4

A NGO experience in promoting BUdhan 1            8

Incorporation of short duration mungbean
in rice-potato-fallow cropping system:
A NGO experience to mitigate
monga in northern Bangladesh                      10

Rice-fish culture: A NGO experience
in promoting food security at household level     14

Broiler rearing: A NGO experience
in enhancing food security for vulnerable women   27

Submergence Tolerant Rice Program                 36

Drought tolerant rice in climate change           46

Rice Bank in the Community:
A NGO experience in addressing food
insecurity during lean/disaster period            50

Pariza- Ensuring Food Security through
Additional Rice Harvests                          53

Strawberry cultivation in northern Bangladesh:
A NGO experience                                  64

Mat promotion: a women-friendly income
raising activity of A NGO Bangladesh                   67

Introduction of pulses
in cereal-based cropping system under
ACIAR NW Pulses Project: A NGO experience         69

Food for Progress for Bangladesh (FFPB)           71

Conservation agriculture and site-specific nutrient management
technologies help improve productivity and income through
rice-maize systems in northwest Bangladesh                 72

Farmer Field School

Farmer Field School (FFS) is an approach, where farmers play the key role in technology
validation, development and extension at community level for their livelihood
improvement, FFS represents an experiential learning process, which sharpens farmer
critical thinking and stimulates farmer innovation. Farmer Promoters of FFS are the key
player to run their FFS as a local extension agent. In FFS, 15 to 25 group members are
available, where one Farmer Promoter has been selected among the group members. The
selected Farmer Promoters (FP) received training on how to conduct the session and
skills training on demand led technologies. A NGO is developing Farmer Promoters
through training, study visit, workshop as well as establishing and analyzing study plots
in their own field/campus. Farmer Promoters are conducting the demand led FFS session
with the help of A NGO and partner NGO field staff along with Govt. field staff. Farmer
Promoters are activated as local extensionist, now recognized by the community people,
where neighboring farmers are happy to receiving information from the Farmer
Promoters after observing their study plot/demonstrations.

In 2010, A NGO implemented 1400 FFS through 14 partner NGOs. Out of 14 partner
NGOs, 5 of them are Federation-based NGOs. Out of 1400 FFS, 1048 FFS consists of
hundred percent female. It is our observation that women are more sincere to participate
in the FFS, while they maintain scheduled date and time, and percentage of their
participation is higher than male FFS participants. Also women are more dedicated to
follow the information as a new technology as well as establish the study plots in right

Most important demand led and need-based programs which are disseminated by A NGO
through 1400 FFS to mitigate climate change vulnerability and monga issues are as

    1. Extension of short duration rice
       under rice-potato-mungbean
       cropping pattern.
    2. Extension of mungbean program
       under short duration rice-based
       cropping pattern.
    3. Flood tolerant rice program in
       flood-prone area.
    4. Drought tolerant rice in drought-
       prone area
    5. Additional rice cultivation
       technology between boro and aman
       season (Pariza rice)
    6. Rice-Fish culture in same piece of

    7. Broiler rearing at household level
    8. Goat recycling program
    9. Mat/ Weaving/ Embroidery training to poor women households
    10. Community Rice Bank
    11. Compost making at household level
    12. Strawberry program
    13. Tree Nursery
    14. Fruit trees plantation at household level
    15. Pest management of vegetables production by sex pheromone trap

A NGO has included rights-based approach in FFS in order to ensure services in groups
and individuals from government and other stakeholders. Out of 16,500 sessions in FFS,
Sub-Assistant Agricultural Officer (SAAO) from the Department of Agricultural
Extension (DAE) participated in 4,775 FFS sessions (39%) and provided latest
technologies to the FFS members. In order to increase access of khas land among the
landless people, a number of FFS groups submitted written application to land acquisition
department through Federation for Khas land distribution among the landless people. A
network was also developed between FFS members, Federations along with Govt.
departments like DAE and Upazilla Land office along with other stakeholders of civil
society in order to increase access of khas land and ensure rights for poor landless people.
By 2010, 44 landless poor households received 440 decimal of land from the Department
of Land acquisition of Bangladesh Government.

After observing a sustainable and meaningful socio-economic development among the
FFS households, some donors are coming forward with grant supports to establish
different bi-lateral projects based of FFS concept.

       A NGO evolution to develop and extend
       short duration rice-based cropping
       pattern to ensure food security in lean period

In local Bengali term “monga” is used to describe the famine like situation at northern
Bangladesh in which the poor suffer acute deprivation caused by their lack of purchasing
power arising from seasonal scarcity of gainful employment. This acute seasonal distress
recurs each year as an inherent feature of northern Bangladesh especially greater Rangpur
district, which is very dependent on agriculture. Evidence available in Bangladesh
indicates that the people of northern Bangladesh are facing severe food insecurity every
year as compared to the people of other parts of Bangladesh. In two periods of each year
(between the month of mid-September to mid-November and mid-March to April), the
rural poor who rely on farm work regularly suffer severe seasonal hardship, when
household food availability and farm employment dries-up. Mid-March to April lean
season also brings hardship but this is now less severe due to recent crop diversification
in the northern region, such as maize, potato, winter vegetables, wheat mustard, etc. are
now cultivated by the farmers and spreading the          seasonal load of work and food
supply. Now-a-days, the most serious lean season occurs in mid-September to mid-
November (ashwin-kartik as bangla months) each year, when many people are affected

by monga. When this monga period arrives, the food stocks of the poor people have been
heavily depleted, while opportunities for farm laboring work dried-up before the next
peak, which falls during the main rice harvest in December. Hence the rural poor living
in these months can pass days and even months with very little work and therefore
income. These families may have to survive an extended period without proper meals and
sometimes with no food at all.

Normally in northern Bangladesh, almost hundred percent farmers are cultivating aman
(monsoon) rice crop (see Table). Most of the farmers cultivate long duration rice variety
of aman rice which required 145-160 days (BR11, swarna, etc.). Farmers prepare the
seedbed and sow seeds of these varieties in late June and then prepare the main field in
July and transplant the seedlings in late July and then conduct intercultural operations in
August and early September. After that, there is a little farming field operations required
from late September to early November in the rice field and this is the main cause of
monga. Since aman rice crop cultivation is universal, around 70% of day-laborers and
hardcore poor households are fully dependent on employment in various stages of rice
cultivation. Hence, there are few alternative job opportunities during late September to
early November.

The cropping pattern shown above are most commonly practiced in northern Bangladesh.
In the Table, it is observed that farmers are now following diversified cropping patterns
in the rabi/winter season but not in aman season. It may be pointed that the opportunity
for crop diversification in monsoon period is also too minimum due to heavy rainfall
during these months. These causes joblessness in agricultural field during late September
to early November, where no work is required by the aman rice crop, until harvesting in
late November and December. On the other hand, farmers are facing serious problems to

 Sl#   Jan      Feb         Mar    Apr     May         June   July   Aug   Sep       Oct    Nov      Dec
                Irrigated   Rice                                           Monsoon   Rice

                Tobacco                                                    Monsoon   Rice

                Maize                                                      Monsoon   Rice

       Potato                                                              Monsoon   Rice

 4                                 Maize
                Wheat                                                      Monsoon   Rice

       Potato   W.Veg                      Jute                            Monsoon   Rice

       Potato                              Irrigated   Rice                Monsoon   Rice


 Cropping pattern for mitigation
      Potato               Mung                                            SD.Rice          Potato

Seven most important cropping patterns, which are
practicide in northwest Bangladesh

cultivate winter crops in right time (i.e.in November). Normally in high and medium high
land farmers go for wheat/potato/mustard/winter vegetables/maize cultivation after
harvesting of aman rice. The proper time to cultivate these winter crops in northern
Bangladesh is in November.

But due to presence of aman rice crops in most of the lands in November, farmers have
no scope to avail the right time to cultivate such winter crops. This delayed cultivation
hampers the normal yield and also increases the production cost of different winter crops.
It may be mentioned that when farmers will be able to cultivate potato/wheat in right time
(in November), farmers will get more yield for timely cultivation and side by side could
be able to minimize the production cost by reducing use of pesticides especially for
potato cultivation. It may also be reported that wheat yield will be reduced at least 1% for
delayed plantation of each day from 1st December.

A NGO evolution on short duration
rice-based cropping pattern (Year-wise)

In 2003, A NGO along with Irrigation and Water Management Division of BRRI under
PETRRA-ICM project piloted BRRI dhan33 in farmers’ field as short duration rice
variety to mitigate monga.

In 2004, A NGO established a research program at A NGO Rangpur Farm in aman
season with BRRI dhan 33 (a short duration rice variety released by BRRI in 1997) under
both direct and transplanting methods and received encouraging results, where yield
under direct seeding condition was 4.1 ton/ha and it was possible to harvest within 100
days of seeding. Under transplanting condition, the yield was 3.8 ton/ha and was possible
to harvest within 120 days of seeding.

In 2005, A NGO developed a PhD research program at A NGO Rangpur Farm under the
Department of Botany at Jahangirnagar University and received very positive research
findings. Side by side, A NGO extended the technology in 18 farmers field in the same
year and received an average yield 4 ton/ha and the crops were harvested in early
October. A NGO presented a research finding on short duration rice (BRRI dhan 33) to
mitigate monga at Tista barrage in presence of agriculture State Minister.

In 2006, based on last two year research findings, A NGO extended the technology in
1271 hectares of land by 9427 farmers through 22 local partner NGO’s. Also through
financial support from RIB along with training from BRRI Rangpur, around one hundred
acres of land were cultivated by BRRI dhan 33 where A NGO, BRDB, TMSS and USS
were the implementing partner NGOs. A NGO continued the PhD research program in
2006 and 2007.

In 2007, the above technology was extended by A NGO (with assistance of DAE) in
1,820 hectares of land by 5,928 farmers through 25 local partner NGOs. Also a number
of other organizations came forward to establish the same technology in farmers’ field.

In 2008, after a huge coverage by electronic and print media in last four years, the
Caretaker Government of Bangladesh took the lead role to extend the same in 40,000
hectares of land under GO/NGO collaboration to ensure food security in lean period. In
the same year, A NGO extended the technology in 2,500 hectares of land by 25 local
partner NGOs. A NGO also piloted a new short duration rice variety (BINA dhan 7)
developed by Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture (BINA).

In 2009, RSRS extended BINA dhan7 rice variety, which was highly accepted by farmers
for its short duration nature and also for higher yield. In the same year, A NGO also
piloted another short duration rice variety (BUdhan1) in farmers’ field, which was
developed by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University

In 2010, A NGO extended BUdhan1 rice variety in farmers’ field along with BSMRAU
and Agres Foundation with support from Kristi Gobeshona Foundation (KGF) project.
The said variety was also highly accepted by farmers’ for its short duration nature, long
and medium size grain quality and higher yield. This year, A NGO is extending both
BINA dhan7and BUdhan 1 rice varieties in order to increase access of rice during lean
period by marginal farmers and day-laborers.


Yield of short duration rice is low due to early maturity compared to normal harvest of
long duration rice variety in December. But net profit of these short duration rice
varieties was found higher than the traditional long duration variety due to low
production cost and higher market price. Around 60 day- laborers may be occupied/ha for
harvest and post-harvest operations in lean period, where none is available for traditional
aman rice cultivation. So to overcome monga, farmers can cultivate short duration rice,

where farmers will get rice and day-laborers will get job through harvesting rice in lean
period. After harvesting of short duration rice in lean period, it is now possible to
cultivate winter crops in right time, which increases yield and reduces production cost.
After harvesting of potato, farmers can go for mungbean cultivation as an additional crop,
which not only help increase production and income but also help increase household
nutrition and improve soil health.

A NGO experience in
Promoting BUdhan 1

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agriculture University (BSMRAU) developed a
new rice variety popularly named as BUdhan 1. This variety evolved through crossing of
KK8 (preserved at Agronomy Department, BSMRAU) and local Badshabhog receiving
pedigree number BU-9625-12-15-50-74-123 for further trial. In 2006 and 2007,
BSMRAU and A NGO jointly conducted a good number of preliminary yield trials in
farmers’ field where farmers received 4.0 to 4.5 t yield per hectare. Then National Seed
Board (NSB) of Bangladesh released BUdhan 1 in 2008 for Commercial cultivation in
aman growing season. In 2008, A NGO extended the variety to 78 farmer’s field in rice-
potato-mungbean cropping pattern in order to access rice harvests in monga month
(October instead of traditional harvest in late November). A NGO further extended the
variety in 475 farmers in 2009 under joint collaboration with BSMRAU and Agrarian
Research Foundation with financial support of Krishi Gobeshona Foundation (KGF of

BUdhan 1 is unique for its short duration characteristic and it fits well in intensive
cropping system. Its life cycle is 110-120 days with field duration only 90 to 100 days.
This Variety is high yielding and its grain yield ranges from 4.00 to 4.50 ha-1. BUdhan 1
is much taller in height (105-120 cm) than other short duration rice varieties and thus it
produces higher amount of straw which is useful as fodder in lean period.

Because of its short duration and photo-insensitive characteristics, this variety is
especially suitable is monga prone area (northern region) of Bangladesh where BUdhan 1
is possible to harvest by the month of October (kartik). It is long grain rice (7.1 mm) ,
contains high amylase (27.5%) and possesses fine grain quality which creates an added
value to obtain higher market price. This variety is unparallel in producing payes, birani,
polao and muri.

The variety BUdhan 1 fits best in rice-wheat/potato-mungbean cropping system. Sandy
loam to clay loam soil is better for cultivation of BUdhan 1.High to medium high land
with alternate wetting and drying is preferable for good harvest of BUdhan 1.Seeds
require 30-35 kg for transplanting one hectare of land. Seedling age of 20-25 days old is
better for good tillering of the crop. It requires closer spacing and planting configuration

of 15cm x 15cm is appropriate for higher yield of this variety. Two to three seedlings per
hill in this spacing is enough for optimum population of BUdhan 1.

As BUdhan 1 is photoperiod insensitive variety, it may be transplanted from early July to
mid August. Early transplantation of BUdhan 1 creates opportunity to early harvest at
monga period of nothern Bangladesh and subsequent early establishment of winter crops.
Early establishment of winter crops ensures better system productivity this variety in rice-
potato/wheat mungbean cropping system.

The variety BUdhan 1 requires less fertilizer than the other modern varieties. A fertilizer
dose of 60-50-30 kg N, P, K, ha-1 is enough for the variety. Sometime, lesser amount of
fertilizer may be applied depending on the fertility status of the soil. Basal application of
all P and K and three split applications of N at 10, 20 and 40 days after planting are
desirable for BUdhan 1. One to two weeding before 40 days after planting is enough to
control weed in BUdhan 1. The variety BUdhan 1 also requires less amount of water
throughout its growth period. No standing water is required but alternate wetting and
drying (AWD) environment is favorable for optimum growth and yield of the crop.
Alternatively, if BUdhan 1 is grown is high standing water, then there is every possibility
to lodge the crop. So, the AWD technology is very much appropriate for BUdhan 1 rice
variety to ensure maximum production at farm level.

Cultivation of BUdhan 1 is highly economic as it is harvested early and high price of
early marker make it more profitable. High price of BUdhan 1 further deserves for its
slender grain. From last year research with BUdhan 1 in northern region, it was found
that TK. 56,171 ha-1 may be earned against total cost of production TK 36,975 ha-1. This
indicated that net return TK. 19,196 ha-1 with 1.52 benefit cost ratio may be found from
cultivation of BUdhan 1 in northern region of Bangladesh.

Large scale farming of BUdhan 1 rice can help the farmers to get early rice during the
lean monga period. This variety also enables farmers to cultivate winter crops like potato,
wheat, vegetables, mustard in right time and to ensure better yield and market price of the
crops. Based on successful harvests in last three years, A NGO collected 10 t seeds of
BUdhan 1 for extending the variety in 2,500 bighas of land of 2,500 farmers in eight
districts of northern Bangladesh.

Incorporation of short duration mungbean
in rice-potato-fallow cropping system:

A NGO experience to mitigate
monga in northern Bangladesh

Incorporation of mungbean in rice-potato-fallow cropping system in northern districts of
Bangladesh has been proved a profitable system that offers an opportunity to increase
production and improve rural livelihood and thus eliminate monga (a famine situation)
significantly. Mungbean variety BUmug 4 and BARImug 6 were used in this cropping
system that matures within 60 days. This variety fits well in rice-potato-fallow cropping
pattern after short duration rice varieties (BUdhan 1, BINA dhan 7, BRRI dhan 33, or IR
64-Sub 1) planted in aman season and potato in winter season. Because of short duration
characteristics of aman varieties, short duration mungbean accommodated easiely in
fallow period of the existing cropping system.

The nutritional status in farm household of northern Bangladesh is very low, where
mungbean can improve their nutritional conditions. Besides, soil health is also decreasing
day by day and introduction of mungbean not only ensure as an additional harvest but
also improve soil nutrient status by nodule formation at root level and add organic matter
when decomposing the mungbean plant into the soil.

On completion of an extensive action research carried out jointly by scientists and experts
of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU) and A
NGO Bangladesh, claim that growing short duration mungbean in rice-potato-fallow
cropping pattern offers a great promise to avert seasonal crisis like monga and improve
nutrition in the northern districts of Bangladesh. More than 60% of cropped area in the
northern region is high and medium high land representing favorable environment for
mungbean cultivation. With the increase of high demand of potato, its cultivation is
increasing covering about 1, 50,000 hectares, where mungbean can be fitted immediately
after potato harvest . Thus mungbean can be planted in March and ready to harvest by the
end of May. After mungbean harvest farmers can transplant short duration rice timely
that matures towards the end of October. Mungbean can be harvest without adding
fertilizers since farmers use substantial amount of fertilizers on potato crop.


In rice-potato-fallow cropping pattern, farmers harvest potato in the late February. After
harvesting of potato in late February, farmers can sow mungbean seeds in the same land
by early or mid March which is optimum time of mungbean sowing for Rangpur region.
A NGO conducted a research on the effect of variety and planting time of mungbean in
its campus, where it was found that sowing time influenced significantly on the yield

performance of mungbean. Planting of mungbean in mid March produced the highest
yield compared to planting in later dates. Mungbean should not be planted beyond first
week of April as it produced very low yield due to excessive rainfall during flowering
stage (An Expert et al).

Line sowing at 30 cm apart is better for harvesting good mungbean yield. One or two
weeding before 30 days after sowing is very effective to control weed in mungbean.
Mungbean pod borer or thrips may be serious problem in mungbean cultivation and
precautionary measures against those pests are better to safe the crop.

Promotional activities
A NGO Bangladesh and BSMRAU along with Bangladesh Agricultural Research
Institute (BARI) and Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) are engaged in
promoting the cropping system accommodating three crops in a year for the last five
years in order to avoid monga. In 2009, a total number of 1285 farmers established
mungbean in Rangpur division under the supervision of A NGO. Farmers are now
growing mungbean extensively as production cost of the crop is low requiring about
Tk.20,000 ha-1 while producing over a ton of mungbean. Because of high market price,
mungbean farmers can easily earn over Tk. 50,000 ha-1.

       A field day on mungbean was organized at village level to popularize and extend
       the technology. Dr. M. Abdur Razzaque, Minister of Food and Disaster
       Management participated as the Chief Guest.

The improved cropping pattern short duration rice-potato-short duration mungbean have
been evolved through intensive research and field trials for several years in the region
jointly by the scientists, academics and development workers of Bangabandhu Sheikh
Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRUE). A NGO Bangladesh and
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI). Nearly 1,50,000 hectares of land
remains fallow after the potato harvest that can be brought under mungbean cultivation in
northern districts. BUmug 4 and BARImug 6 are especially suited for the rice-potato-
mungbean cropping system.

The Farmers Field Day was organized to demonstrate the success of mungbean grown in
rice-potato-mungbean cropping system .The field day was administrated by the A NGO
Bangladesh and about 300 farmers, local extension officers, government officials,
development workers and several academics and scientists of BSMRAU and BARI
participated in the Field Day. Government is committed to eradicate monga ensuring
food security said Food Minister Dr. Md. Abdur Razzaque, while addressing in the
mungbean Field Day held in Parbatipur, a village near Rangpur town. He said that the
Government would do everything to eradicate hunger and monga in northern Bangladesh.
Monga must not prevail in Bangladesh. Dr. Razzaque in his speech expressed satisfaction
over the success of mungbean production in a three-crop sequence that potentially offers
increased employment opportunity, greater yields and increased income. He thanked the
academics, scientists, and development workers of BSMRAU, BARI, A NGO and DAE
for their relentless efforts in developing varieties and component technologies that helped
expending mungbean in non-traditional areas of northern Bangladesh. He asked them to
work jointly and coherently to increase farmers’ yield and income while reducing
production cost, and extrapolate the research results in different agro-ecological niches.

Inclusion of mungbean after harvest of potato creates opportunity to increase cropping
intensity, farm productivity and nutritional status of farm families. For better
productivity, mungbean can be sown earlier even at late February and may continue
throughout the month of March. Sowing of mungbean should not be delayed beyond first
week of April as delay planting of mungbean may results its very poor yield due to
excessive rainfall at reproductive stage.

Rice-fish culture: A NGO experience
in promoting food security
at household level

In the country like Bangladesh, where land is scarce, effort should be taken to increase
production through integration of various production systems like rice-cum-fish culture
for efficient utilization of scarce resources and maximization of diversified production,
from a minimum area. It is evident that the integrated production systems help avert risk
of single component and eventually increase access to food and income at different time
of production regime. Bangladesh has as ample opportunity for fish culture in medium
rice land, where water holding capacity higher than the other land. This type of land has
occupied about 30% of the total rice cultivable land. The demand for rice and fish is
constantly rising, with the increase of population by more than three million people each
year. The land available for rice and fish farming separately is not expanding.
Nonetheless, fish farming in rice fields offers a solution to this problem, contributing to
enhancing food production and income generation per unit area of land.

Eighty percent of the total protein demands of the country come from fishes. But the total
fish production is much lower than the demand of the country. The demand of fish
consumption is increasing day by day with the gradual increase of population. In
Bangladesh context, rice-cum-fish culture is the technology, which can help mitigate
national protein consumption as well as the source of additional income.

In Bangladesh, rice is cultivated in eighty percent of total cultivable land. On the other
hand, boro rice (irrigated rice) cultivation area is gradually increasing with the increase of
irrigation facilities, Therefore, huge rice cultivated area, especially in medium to medium
high land, where water holding capacity is high can be developed to rice-cum-fish culture
following a simple management. Rice-cum-fish ecosystem is not only giving an
additional production from rice field, fishes eats-up harmful insects, egg and larvae from
rice field which leads to more production and less use of insecticides. Moreover, excrete
of fishes becomes a potential source of organic fertilizer for rice plant nutrition and fish

movement in water diffuses more oxygen for better nutrient uptake of plants. So, this
system is ecologically sound and environment friendly.

The people of northern part of Bangladesh are poorer than any other parts of the country.
The resource poor families having small rice field fit for rice-fish culture cannot utilize
their limited resource for good harvest due to lack of financial capacity and technical
know-how. This type of technology, if disseminated through training followed by credit
assistance might be the source of additional income and family nutrition. Culturing fish in
rice field through improved technology will help the poor farmers to improve livelihoods
and food security in lean period as well as help increase labor employment compared to
the rice monoculture.

A NGO conducted intensive research on rice-fish culture in 2005 at A NGO Rangpur
farm in comparison with monoculture rice and then in 2006, piloted the rice-cum-fish
culture in farmer’s field aman season. The major findings of this research indicated that
the culture of fish in rice fields greatly improved the productivity of low-income rice
farmers. This technology combining fish culture and rice gave a higher net return
(Tk.37,321/ha)compared to the traditional rice farming alone (Tk.27, 935/ha).

The net profit was recorded as Tk. 10,094 per hectare from rice-cum-fish culture as an
additional income compared with rice monoculture. The rice yield was almost same in
rice-fish culture as in monoculture rice. Based on outstanding performance, A NGO was
extending this technology in farmers’ field from 2007, which is gradually increasing year
by year . Around 2000 farmers are now practicing this technology in the rice field and
getting significant benefits in order to improve their living status.

Rice-fish extension program in A NGO
After successful research in 2005 and subsequent piloting of the same in farmer’s field in
2006, A NGO has extended the rice-cum-fish culture technology to ensure food security
at poor household level. The technology is extended by 1985 farmers in 393 hectares of
land in northern Bangladesh through Farmers Field School (FFS) program. Following
this technology, farmers are now harvesting 1-1.2 kg fishes/decimal of land as an
additional harvest that gives around 60-72 taka. In aman season, this harvest starts in late
October, locally known as monga months (kartik). Through this harvest, farmers get extra
money by selling fish that helps increase their purchase capacity. In addition, fish
provides nutritional support to the poor household members.

Through DFID supported Research into Use (RIU) project managed by NRI
International, U.K. and implemented by the World Fish Center and A NGO (lead agency)
in collaboration, rice-fish program in rural area has been extended in Rajshahi and
Rangpur division of Bangladesh and piloted in Nepal and India, which is described in
later part of this paper.

     a) General description of rice-fish technology :
Rice-fish culture is a high-yield technology that makes good use of available resources
and provides ecological benefits. The basic principle of this technology is that the rice is

the main crop and fish is the secondary one. The establishment of a good ecosystem
makes full use of space, land and water in the rice field and greatly raises the biomass
and total value of the output of the rice field with a little extra input or cost. In rice-fish
culture, the following should be considered:

Land selection
Right selection of the land is the pre-condition to get a good success from rice fish culture
at farm level, where the following points needs to be considered.

        The selected land should be free from flood and it should be
         comparatively flat keeping in view that the land will not be over flooded.
        Texture of the selected land should be clay-loam, so that the land has high water-
         holding capacity.
        Water should be available at least 3-4 months in the rice-fish field with 10-20 cm.
         water depth.
        The field must have a good irrigation and drainage system to ensure that there is
         no water logging during the rainy season and that the field does not dry out during

Land Preparation
Land preparation as also an important factor for rice-fish culture, where following points
need to be considered.


        Dyke of the rice-fish land should be constructed firmly. The heights of dyke will
         be above flood level and should be well protected from any over flow during
         heavy rainfall in monsoon. Otherwise fish will escape from rice field.
        Minimum one ditch, which should be 4% of the total rice land, has to be
         excavated with 1 to 1.5 meter depth in slopping side. The depth of ditch should
         not be more than 1.5 meter. If the depth is more than 1.5 meter, fish will not move
         over the rice field. As a result, the growth of fishes will be hampered.
         Surrounding the ditch, a dyke measuring 50cm. in height (steep slopping
         downward) and 50 cm. wide at the base has to be made.
        Well-defined canal from top to bottom of the field needs to be established in rice
         field for easy movement of fish and also to facilitate the fish harvesting. After
         completion of ploughing and just before the transplanting of rice seedlings, the
         canal could be prepared by traditional furrow.
        It will be good for fish growth, if 50 kg organic fertilizer and 5 kg ammonium
         phosphate are used in the ditch before watering.

Rice variety Selection
    The selected rice variety for rice-fish program should be high yielding, and highly
       disease and pest resistant.
    Non-lodging characters should be considered for rice-fish program.

        A number of suitable rice varieties like BR-11, BRRI dhan 51, BRRI dhan 52, etc.
         to be selected under rice-fish program. These varieties have capacity to resist
         lodging as well as are submergence tolerant in nature.

Fish species Selection

        The fish species should have capacity to tolerate shallow water level.
        The fish species should withstand temperature and temperature fluctuations.
        The fish species should withstand fairly high turbidity of water and poor oxygen
        The fish species should have faster growth rate and desirable characteristics to
         grow to marketable size within short period of time.
        Sharputi, Tilapia, common carp can be selected for rice-fish program.

Rice- Fish Management

Management activities for fish culture include stocking, fertilization, feeding and water
quality control, harvesting and restocking. This management depends on location, fish
species and number of fish stocked.

        To ensure good rice yields from rice –fish fields, rice seedlings should be planted
         at a density that is 10-20% lower than the density used in a regular fields. 75% of
         the total nitrogen fertilizer should be applied within 7 to 10 days of transplanting,
         i.e. before fish fingerlings stocking in the rice field. The remaining fertilizers have
         to be applied within 40 days of transplanting.

        Stocking density of fish depends on its size, species and the fertility of the land.
         The size of fingerlings varies from specie to specie, but comparatively large size
         fingerlings offer excellent result. The average size of stocking fingerlings around
         8 cm. is good to rear around 3 to 4 months for better harvesting. The fish species
         should be adaptable, resistant and quick growing.

        Appropriate time for releasing fish fingerlings in rice field is after well
         establishment of transplanted rice. Fish fingerlings can be stocked within 15-20
         days after transplanting.

        The following species and stocking composition may be effective, which are
         being practiced by A NGO in northern Bangladesh.

                                    No. of fingerlings
            Name of species          decimal of land

               Sharputi                    15
                Tilapia                    10
             Common Carp                   05
                 Total                 30/decimal

        Supplementary feed supply may not be essential, because farmers normally use
         recommended doses of fertilizer for growing rice. So, it helps increase the nutrient
         concentration in water, which flourish the growth of phytoplankton and the later
         is directly consumed by the fish.
        To boost the growth of fish, rice bran and mustard oil cake in the ratio of 70:30 at
         the rate of 2-3% of the body weight of total fishes can be provided. This extra
         feed will enhance the fish production significantly.
        In some cases, it may be necessary to apply pesticides to the rice crop. This is not
         recommended, while fish are present in the paddy field. If not avoided, fish can be
         transferred from the paddy water level into the ditches during pesticide
         application and needs to be kept in the ditch at least 10 days.

Harvesting of rice and fish

After stocking the fish fingerlings around 3 to 4 months, the average yield of fish records
as 250 kg/ha in different A NGO demonstration plots in farmers field, while yield of rice
is almost similar to that of single cultivation of rice.

Comparative study on rice-fish
and single rice culture

A comparative economic analysis on rice fish and single rice cultivation in 100 decimal
of land during aman season is given below.

         Sl.        Head of             Rice cum fish culture             Single rice
         No.        Expenses                                              cultivation
                                       Quantity      Amount         Quantity       Amount
                                                       (TK)                         (TK)
         1.    Rice seed             15 kgs        450/=           15 kgs        450/=
         2.    Seed bed                            1000/=                        1000/=
         3.    Land                                1200+                         1200/=
               preparation                         1500=2700/=
         4.    Fertilizer cost                     2000/=                        2000/=
               Transplanting                       1200/=                        1200/=
         5.    Fingerling                          3000/=                        0
         6.    Weed control                        1500/=                        2500/=

        7.      Pesticide cost                       0                              1000/=
        8.      Harvesting                           1500+500=                      1500/=
        9.      Supplementary          100 kgs       1000/=                         0
                Total cost                           11250/=                        10850/=
                Head of
        1.      Fish sale              100 kgs       6000/=                         0
        2.      Rice sale              1440 kgs      20160/=          1440 kgs      20160/=
        3.      Straw sale                           2000/=                         2000/=
                Total income                         26,360/=                       22,160/=
                Total Net profit                     15,110/=                       11,310/=

Other benefits of rice-fish culture
     1. Rice-fish culture may establish the food chain, where fish eats insects and weeds
        and make it possible to use little or no chemical pesticides. The fish fingerlings
        feed on plankton, when the weeds begin to send out sprouts, the small fish eat
        these sprouts as well as small insects. As the fishes grow their ability to eat weeds
     2. Fish culture in the fields also helps eliminate mosquito larvae. The density of
        larvae in the rice fields was reported to be reduced by 50-90%, so rice fish culture
        is an effective control method of mosquito.
     3. The cultivation of the fish in the rice field increases the amount of nitrogen in the
        soil and the amount of nitrogen absorbed by the rice plants. The quality of rice in
        the fields with fish is found better. The fish in a rich field can transform unstable
        nitrogen in the soil into a soluble state, which increases soil fertility. The stirring
        movements of the fish increase aeration in the soil and improve oxygen diffusion.
        In rice-fish fields, the activities of the fish help mix the manure with the soil. Fish
        in the rice fields fertilize the soil with their excreta. Soil nutrients are found higher
        in rice-fish fields than in rice monoculture. Fish rearing reduced the amount of
        pesticides and the frequency of spraying. As a result, beneficial organisms are
        increased. The fish sallow, digest and assimilate 30-40% of the organisms living
        in the fields. The rest of the organic matter is excreted into the fields and becomes
        manure. The fish excreta are good quality manure that continues 42% phosphorus.
        Nutrient analysis has shown 1.2 times more phosphates in rice-fish fields than in
        fields without fish and ammonia levels are 1.3 – 6.0 times higher.

     4. Under normal conditions, the diffusion of oxygen in water is ten thousand times
        lower than that in air. This often results in anaerobic conditions at the soil-water
        interface. The activities of the fish increase the contact area of the water with air
        and profoundly change the gas structure of the water and soil and improve their
        physical properties and chemical composition. Rice-fish culture helps increase
        rice production by increasing the oxidation of the soil and decreasing the reducing
        agents. Rice-fish culture facilitate the highly concentrated nutrients to spread to
        the roots of the rice plants.

Challenges of rice-fish culture

          To select land free from flood and make dyke well protected from any over flow
           during monsoon.
          To maintain a required water level at least 3 to 4 months.
          To protect snakes, heron, rat, frog from rice-fish land.

Limitation of rice-fish culture

          Rice-fish culture has limited growth period.
          Small amount of water is available in rice-fish field.
          Frequent change of water level in rice-fish field.

Description of Decentralized (fish)
Seed production project


The integrated farming systems encourage farmers for using the resources in manifolds to
get higher benefits; Aquaculture is becoming an important income generating activity by
the farming people with rice farming. The farming people in northern Bangladesh having
huge demands of quality large size fingerlings to culture in their seasonal ponds, in rice
fields as well as low land water bodies .The production of carp fingerlings cannot meet
the demand because of seasonality and dependency on hatcheries and nurseries. Seed
represent the most critical input for aquaculture, yet the geographically clustered nature
of hatchery and nursery operations means that seed is often unable to keep pace with
demand; and a few powerful individuals maintain a monopoly over supply chain. This
project would include the farming people especially those are resource poor with
fingerling production in their rice-field systems. At community level, the decentralized
fish seed production systems will make quality large size fingerlings available.

To spread proven ways of producing fish seed in rice fields and put fish farming within
reach of the poor. Producers and traders will be less dependent on central hatcheries for
fish seed. Poor fish farmers will get access to resources, increased income from
production and this will thereby lead to overall livelihoods improvement.
         The other objectives are:

          to make (poverty reduction) the rice-field based fingerlings producers households
           benefited from the production of fingerlings by using the decentralized seed
           production system.
          to enhance the value chain for fish seed supply for increased livelihood of poor
          to pilot the decentralized fish seed production concept in Nepal & West Bengal
           for further scaling up in wider communities.


A NGO, the lead partner in the qualities on worked with other implementing partners
including SACHETAN, PROVA, ACD and Practical Action in the Barind Tract, a
geographically distinct region within Rajshahi division, south west of Bangladesh and in
the Rangpur division, the northwest of Bangladesh. IAAS and OAS introduced small-
scale piloting schemes in Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts of Nepal and Purolia district
of West Bengal (India).

Geographical coverage of DSP project:
Sl.                     Name of                       Total Rice-      Implementing
No.                     district                      fish Farmer         Partner/
1.    Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari,                11,864       A NGO Bangladesh
      Panchagarh, Thakurgaon and Dinajpur

2.    Gaibandha and Dinajpur                             1,286         Practical Action

3.    Naogaon and Rajshahi                               1,605               ACD

4.    Rajshashi and Chapainawabgonj                      1,258             PROVA

5.    Rajshahi                                           1,723          SACHETAN
6.    Chitwan and Nawalparasi                             500           IAAS (Nepal)

7.    Purolia of west Bengal                              500             One Aqua
                                                                         Shop (India)
      Total                                             18,736

Description of the technology:

Decentralized Seed Production (DSP) of fish is very simple. During February, farmers
stock tilapia brood fish and common carp eggs in small ditches located in suitable corners
of irrigated rice fields. Brood fish spawn, and eggs hatch, and the fry forage on insects
and algal detritus in the shallow waters of the rice fields. Seed production peaks during
May and June. The fingerlings are harvested by drawing down water levels to concentrate
them in the ditch from which they originated from where they can be retained and netted
prior to sale or restocking in household ponds. Little or no additional irrigation or
supplementary feed is required, and the fingerlings are ready for sale at the time of peak
demand among pond farmers. Seed production in this manner also tends to be healthier,
larger, and more predator resistant than that from hatcheries, and less likely to have
suffered from physical damage as a result of transport over long distances.

In Bangladesh around 85% of rice fish seed producer farmer who stocked GIFT brood
with support from DSP project got fingerling from their plot. Each farmer produced an
average of 3,366 fingerling and the sale value was Tk. 3,255 and got Tk.1,126 as cash
income through selling fingerling to fingerling traders and grows out farmer . From that

production, each household consumed an average of 16 kg fish, which contributed to
meet up the household nutrition. A total of 50.7 million GIFT fingerling was produced by
15,075 rice field farmers.

Significant Initiatives
of Kolpona Rani
(a case study of FFS program)

Sreemoti Kalpona Rani (46) of Subarbari village of Panchagram Union under
Lalmonirhat Sadar Upazilla (Sub district) in Lalmonirhat district has one daughter, one
son & spouse. Her husband Dulal Chandra. Roy is a marginal farmer owning only 50
decimal cultivable lands, which is too small to run the family.

Kalpona Rani such a hard time joined the Subarbari female group of A NGO in 2000.
She received different types of training followed by credit from A NGO during last ten
years but no projects made a significant profit as she desired.

A high road passes away besides her 50 decimal of rice field. Their rice field became low
land due to lifting soil from rice field through local government scheme. She had a desire
to produce fish in her rice field. Due to lack of knowledge and fund she failed to produce
fish. She was therefore, keen to learn improved rice fish management techniques for
better income and soon learnt from A NGO Field Trainer about A NGO rice fish
programme through Farmers Field School (FFS) session. She was then selected as a
member of FFS to receive 2 day training on rice fish culture in 2008 from A NGO. After
the completion of training, she received a support of Taka 3,000 for the implementation
of the project.

Within a short time she prepared the land for fish culture. She also raised dykes of the
rice plots and made a small ditch in one corner of the plot covering 2 decimal of land.
She stocked 3,000 number fingerlings of sarputi in 50 decimal of rice field in June 2008.
She invested Tk. 1,200 for fish production and got a net profit Tk. 3,950 from selling 79
kg table fish in mid November 2008. With the inspiration of this profit, she again stocked
300 gm carpio spawn in the same ditch in irrigated rice field in February 2009. She used
oil cake and rice bran as feed for better growth. She invested Tk.550 for fingerling
production and made a net profit Tk. 4,120 from selling 52 kg fingerling in mid May
2009. Following the experience, she continued fish production in rice field and got profit
Tk.3,250 in November 2009. Similarly she made a net profit Tk. 6,595 from both
monsoon and irrigated rice seasons in 2010.

Kalpona Rani was making higher profit from the rice cum fish culture than from the rice
monoculture. She made a net return from rice cum-fish culture Tk.9,635 in 2008 from
one season, Tk. 27,530 in 2009 from both seasons and Tk. 27,475 in 2010 from both

She analyzed and said that the application of chemical fertilizer was reduced by 25% and
also the application of pesticide was reduced by 100%.

                                                     Income-expenditure status of rice fish
                                                      culture project (50 decimal) in Taka

                                           Income       Net       Inves     Income      Net       Inves        Income        Net
 Fish      Fish       Size       Invest     (fish)     profit     tment      (rice)    profit     tment          (rice     profit
culture   species     and         ment                 (Fish       cost                (rice)      cost         +fish       (rice
period              quantity      cost                culture)     (rice                          (rice+       culture)    +Fish)
                                  (fish                            prod-                           fish
                                culture)                          uction)                        culture)

June-     Sarputi   1-1.5      1,200       3,950      2,750      3,765      10,650    6,885     4,965       14,600        9,635
Nov’                inches
2008                3,000
Feb-      Carpio    300        550         4,120      3,570      4,960      18,600    13,640    5,510       27,720        17,210
May’                gm
09                  spawn
June      Carpio/   1-1.5      2,000       5,250      3,250      3,780      10,850    7,070     5,780       16,100        10,320
Nov’      telapia   inches
09                  4,200
Feb       Carpio    500gm      1,050       4,280      3,230      4,985      18,760    13,775    6,035       23,040        17,005
May’                spawn
June      Carpio/   1-1.5      2,200       5,565      3,365      3,820      10,925    7,105     6,020       16,490        10,470
Nov’      Sarputi   inches
10                  4,500
Total                          7,000       23,165     16,165     21,310     69,785    48,475    28,310      97,950        64,640

To enhance food security, vegetable gardening, fruit trees and roof gardening were
established in her homestead. For getting quality organic fertilizer, she established a
compost pit in her homestead space. For drinking safe water, she installed a tube well
from the profit of the project. She also established a hygienic sanitary latrine to reduce
water borne diseases. She met the expenses of her daughter’s marriage ceremony from
the profit of the project. Now Kolpona’s husband assists her more in the rice fish project
since its profitable turnover has been gradually improving their livelihood.

Now, she thinks to stand her own feet by utilizing the benefits of the rice fish project and
other supports of A NGO. She hopes that her son will be educated and serve the nation.
However, she expects that the poverty will not retard her spirit for future development.
She also hopes to overcome poverty and other challenges through commitment, ceaseless
effort and hard work with her family members as per guidance of the A NGO provided
training programme.

Rasheda eliminated family barriers through fingerling production in
rice field: a case study of DSP Project
Ms. Rasheda Pervin is a poor hard working housewife, lives in west Doljor village under
Saptibari Union of Aditmari upazila of Lalmonirhat district with her husband and three
children. They have only 41 decimal land for their livelihood including homestead and
agricultural land. They have no alternative source of income except agriculture. When
she showed willingness to receive the new technology of fingerling production in the rice
field, her husband did not allow her to do such types of work in the agricultural land. But
she took it as a big challenge and motivated her husband and finally she got success.

In last year through getting suggestion from A NGO Bangladesh about the fingerling
production technology, she made a small ditch into rice plot and raised dyke and stocked
about 20 GIFT tilapia brood fish. Finally she earned about Tk. 11,000, where she sold 8
kg fingerling with Tk. 500 to fingerling traders and neighbors grow out farmers and 80 kg
fingerlings were used for her household consumption, which was equivalent to a cost Tk.
5,000. When her husband saw that she was getting additional profit besides rice
production using this technology, he started assisting her in fingerling production. Last
year, they tried to keep brood fish in rice plot but failed due to scarcity of water and pond

This year (2010), they purchased brood fish from neighbor Satellite Brood Rarer and
continued their GIFT fingerling production into their rice field. This year they sold 4,500
pieces of fingerling @ Tk. 1 and they are consuming fish frequently 4-5 days per week.
During the Holy Ramadan this year, they consumed fish daily in the morning diet (Sehri)
whereas in last year Ramadan, they had consumed fish only 5-7 days a month. They
consumed about 60 kg fish and still they have about 40 kg in the rice plot. They didn’t
use any pesticide for their rice production and they gave away of about 200 fingerling to
neighbors’ for extension of the technology. At present, for adopting the new technology
in the locality, she is honored by the villagers. Finally, the government of fisheries
department recognized her effort and gave her Fish Week Award.

All the above experiment of A NGO regarding rice-fish culture implies that the current
deficit of fishes in Bangladesh (MT 2.41 lac) can be reduced significantly by promoting
this technology. It is evident that a total of 2.83 million ha land is suitable for rice-fish
cultivation in Bangladesh. If these land are brought to this rice-fish ecosystem, about
1,04,851 MT of fish can be produced (370 kg/ha) in addition to normal rice production.
To make this fish production in rice-field efficient the important input like fingerlings can
also be made available (about 13,981 million) using 3, 37,910 ha rice field. Besides,
around a total of 3,10,671 poor households can be employed as rural fish traders for
marketing of fingerlings for three months.

The culture of fish in rice fields greatly improves the productivity of low-income rice
farmers. The technology combining fish culture and rice gave a higher production and net
return compared to the traditional rice farming alone. Rice-fish culture is a feasible and
efficient way to improve the use of agricultural resources. Rice-fish culture provides
technical, economic, social and ecological benefits. It improves soil fertility, reduces
damage from weeds and insects, and therefore reduces costs for pesticides and chemical

To achieve high yields, it is important to choose the appropriate fish species and to use
the proper stocking density and size, Sharputi, Tilapia and Common Carp are the ideal
species for rice-fish culture.

The economic benefit of rice growing alone is not as high as fish culture. At present, the
unit yield of rice is stable. It is difficult to raise the economic benefit of the fish field by
increasing rice yield. But improved benefits and production values can be achieved by
rearing fish in rice fields. Fish bring changes to rice cultivation and help achieve
remarkable economic benefit.

A NGO comprehensive program including decentralized fish seed production in the rice
field will therefore pave an efficient way of reducing the current deficit of fishes in the
market, if the lands suitable for this technology are brought to this effect in Bangladesh.

Broiler rearing: A NGO experience
in enhancing food security for
vulnerable women

Bangladesh is a densely populated agricultural country with an acute shortage of meat,
milk and eggs. The 24.08 million cows and buffaloes, 23.43 million goats and sheep and
245.97 million poultry are the major source of meat, milk and eggs (District Livestock
Services, 2006-07). Most of the livestock are indigenous and the production is less in
comparison to improved breed and variety. As a result, Bangladesh is running with a
shortage of 82.21% milk, 83% meat and 63.28% eggs.

About 80% of the 20 million households in the rural areas rear poultry along with other
domestic animals. This contribution in agricultural income has increased from 7.6% in
1973-74 to 12% in 1998-99 and is expected to increase further to 19.9% by 2020. It also
provides 15% of total income employment and 40% of agricultural employment,
indicating the poverty reduction potential sub-sector. The poultry sector is dominated by
small holder producers and has huge potential for improving productivity and income of
the rural poor. The production of poultry meat increases at an average annual rate of
4.6% (FAO 1995, Vol.8 Quarterly Bulletin).

The majority of the rural women are poor. Most of them are economically deprived and
socially disadvantaged. In case of women, most of the productive activities are performed
at the household level. Though they may appear to be unemployed, generally they are
overworked. They desperately need productive and remunerative employment
opportunities. Rural poor women in Bangladesh are dominated by patrimonial and
patriarchal kinship system, which maintain a set of social relations with a material base
that enables men to control property, income and enforce dependence of women on man.
Women make a direct contribution to the economy through their participation in
agriculture and non- farm activities and indirectly, they contribute through their work in
the household.

In rural areas, women are mostly taking care of the children and other family members,
preparing and serving food to family members, taking care of domestic animals and birds
and other household activities. the job they perform at the household level is virtually

A NGO Program
At the beginning, A NGO piloted this income generating activity under a project from
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) in 2002 and a project on knowledge
Information System (KIS) on Natural Resource System .UK in 2004. Based on
outstanding success to this end, A NGO engaged vulnerable women for poultry broiler
rearing as a year-round income generating activity at the household level in order to
reduce their vulnerability as well as to enhance their status in family and community.

A NGO Bangladesh mainly works with the poor households. Participation of women in
different aspects is strongly affected by social, cultural and religious norms such as
seclusion, segregation and veiling (purdah) of women in public. These restrictions
impose a limitation on the mobility and participation of women in outdoor work. As a
result, they are reluctant to work outside. A potentially valuable contribution from the
women workforce is thus squandered.

Small-scale broiler farming however is usually conducted in the backyards of dwellings,
which offers women good working conditions since broiler farms are established at a
household level. In Bangladesh, rural women traditionally play a very important role in
raising livestock. In most cases, they are solely responsible to rear goat/sheep and poultry
at the household level. Female family members handle most of the vital jobs like
continuous monitoring, appropriate timing and amount of feeding, watering, lighting,
cleaning and vaccination which is critical for the reduction of mortality and for excellent
production in broiler farming. Broiler rearing would be one of the most popular income
generating activities among the women households for its short duration nature and
possible to rear at household level. Looking after the regular household activities, a
women can easily rear 100-200 chickens in a small house at village level and make profit
around Taka 3000 to 5000 with in 30 to 35 days through which she may be able to rear
around 7 to 8 times in a year. Not only that the said technology is one of the shortest
duration income generating activities (only 30 days required from implementation), so
the technology is much more appropriate for adaptation to climate change after any
natural disaster. Also, the technology is not only viable for its economic returns but very
helpful for family nutrition too.

After long research and piloting in the project area, this activity is now proved to be one
of the most appropriate women-friendly incomes generating activity, where women now
desire for broiler farming at their household level. Although broiler farming has proven to
be a beneficial and most potential source of income and employment generation, poor
households with limited capital are not capable of establishing and maintaining small-
scale broiler farms. So, one time grants or partial support of interest free loans are helpful
to sustain the program at vulnerable women household level.

Based on practical experience of the last five years in A NGO, this technology can be
implemented from February to November every year. December and January may not be
appropriate to rear such broilers due to the severe cold in northern Bangladesh. However,
demand of broiler chicks in the remote areas is steadily increasing. In A NGO, a daylong
practical training session is provided to the selected vulnerable women households who

are interested in rearing broiler chicks. The selected households prepare/renovate poultry
houses with bamboo and straw as per direction of A NGO technical staff, where A NGO
provides Taka 3000 as grant to the selected vulnerable women in order to build their
poultry houses as well as to purchase other material for poultry rearing. After that, A
NGO provides 100-200 day old broiler-chicks and poultry feed for each household.

Technology of broiler rearing
Broiler houses should be established in dry places with access to adequate ventilation.
The house should be protected from rainwater as well as from heavy cold spell. A
minimum space as one square ft is required per chick for normal and healthy growth.
Quality broiler chick of high yielding variety like Star Bro, Hy Bro, Babcock, Rose-1,
Rose-2 etc. may be considered for broiler rearing. Light is also an important factor for
broiler rearing. Artificial light (electric bulb or hurricane lantern) need to be ensured in a
broiler house as per their age in the following way.

If daylight is available for 12 hours in a day, then artificial light (through electric bulb or
hurricane lantern) to be ensured in broiler house for the remaining 12 hours in the first
week. In the same way, in the second week, artificial light needs to be ensured for 8
hours, while in the remaining days from the third week around 6 hours artificial light is to
be used for better performance.

          Requirement of optimum
     light in broiler house according
        to the age of broiler chicks
         Week              Total Time
       1 week               24 hours
      2nd week              20 hours
       3 week               18 hours
     4th-6th week           18 hours

Temperature is also a very important factor to rear broiler chicken in a healthy and
diseased-free environment. Requirement of temperature in broiler house is varied from
season to season according to age of chicks in the following way.

          Temperature requirement            In 1st week, in winter season
           for broiler chick rearing
                                             required temperature is 29℃ and in
     in different season in Bangladesh
  Age of chicks        In winter In summer   summer 27℃, while in 2nd week,
    (week)                                   26℃, and 23℃, temperature is
        1                29℃         27℃     required in winter and summer
         2           26℃          23℃        respectively. One hundred watt
        3-4          23℃          20℃        capacity of two bulbs or 3-4
                                             hurricane lanterns is enough to rear
        5-6          20℃          18℃
                                             two hundred chicks in a broiler

For broiler rearing, seventy five percent humidity is suitable for their optimum growth.
Rice bran, sawdust as litter for the broiler house is appropriate in order to create a healthy
environment. The litter, either rice bran or sawdust, should be dry, where the moisture in
such litter should not be more than fifteen percent. Giving proper vaccines at specific
times is also an important factor to ensure the maximum survival rate of poultry birds.
The following vaccines should be used regularly as per following dose:

In normal weather morning or evening time is the best to use vaccine. The vaccine should
be used immediately within half an hour from its preparation. The broiler house should
be diseased free. The floor can be cleaned by dettol. One kilogram lime can be used in
two hundred square feet area of broiler house to make it disease-free. After selling all
broiler chicken in each batch, the house should be cleaned in same way. The footbath
which can be prepared by potassium permanganate in a pail of water to be kept in front of
the door of broiler house, so that anyone can use it before entering in broiler house .

                 Vaccination requirement in different methods and time
         Age (days)                Name of vaccine              Application system
            2-5                         BCRDV                   Drops in both eyes
           10-12                  IBD-228 or IBD-D                     Do
                                78 for Gamboro disease
           18-21                  IBD-228 or IBD-D                     Do
                                78 for Gamboro disease
           25-24                        BCRDV                          Do

For proper utilization of poultry feed, it may be noted that there is no need to provide any
poultry feed to day-old chicks for the first seventy –two hours, but better to provide
glucose water within 48 to 72 hours. However, during the first three days, poultry feed is
to provided to the chicks on clean paper and then after three days feeder for poultry feed
and water vessel for pure drinking water should be used in broiler house. At least, eight
feeders and four water vessels are essential to feed two hundred poultry birds uniformly.

Based on A NGO experience, following quantity of poultry feed and vaccines are
essential per day to rear two hundred poultry birds to ensure maximum benefit.

     Broiler Rearing at household level:
     Requirement of Feed, Medicine & vaccine

 Age        Feed/per   Total Feed     Growth           Medicine                   Vaccine
(Day)          day       (gm)          Rate
              (gm)                     (gm)
01        10           10           30         Cosumix plus                  BCRDV
02        12           22           45         5-gm/per pack, Tk.11          Age-2-5 days
03        16           38           55         Does=1gm/liter                1 drop per chick
04        20           58           70         1-5 days Tk.                  20
05        24           82           90         Vit-c, 50gm/pack,Tk.100       Need -2vial
06        28           110          115        Dose=1 gm/4 liter, 1.5 days
07        32           142          140
08        36           178          165
09        40           218          195
10        44           262          230        Megavit-AD3E 50g/             GUMBRO
                                               pack, Tk. 150 Dose=1
                                               g/4litter 13-14 days
11        48           310          270                                      Age-10-12 days
12        52           362          300                                      1 drop per chick
13        56           418          330                                      Tk.220,need-1 vial
14        60           478          365
15        64           542          400
16        68           610          440
17        72           682          480        Esb3 5gm/pack, Tk.14
18        76           758          520        Days, 17-21
19        80           838          560        Dose=1 gm/liter               GUMBRO
20        84           922          610                                      Age-18-21 days
21        88           1010         660                                      1drop per chick
22        92           1102         720                                      Tk.220 Need-1 vial
23        96           1198         780
24        100          1298         840
25        104          1402         900                                      BCRDV
26        108          1510         955                                      Age-25-28 days
27        112          1622         1010                                     1drop per chick
28        116          1738         1065                                     Tk.20 Need-2 vial
29        120          1858         1120
30        125          1983         1180
31        130          2113         1250
32        135          2248         1320
33        140          2388         1380
34        145          2533         1440
35        150          2683         1500

 From the above chart, around 2.6 kilograms of poultry feed is required for each bird for
its 35-day life cycle, where expected body weight of each bird will be around 1.5
kilogram. So that a total of five hundred twenty kilogram poultry feed is required to feed
200 birds within its 35 days life cycle.

Also a cost-benefit analysis of broiler rearing has been conducted at household level,
where following data/information was collected to analyze the economic viability of this
income generating activity.

Cost-benefit analysis of broiler
rearing at household level
Total : 200 birds
 Sl #                                Particulars                             Total cost (Tk.)
    A) Expenditure
1        Chick cost                      33 Tk./chick* 200              6600.00
2        Feed Cost                            2.56 kg/chick * 30Tk. /kg 15360.00
         Feed*200 bird
                                   Cost Megavit AD3 E 50 gm                  150.00
3         Medicin                  Consumix plus 4 pack*Tk. 11               44.00
                                   Vit-C- 50gm                               100.00
4         Vaccine Cost             BCRDV 4 vial * Tk.20                      80.00
                                   BGUMBRO 2 vial * Tk.220                   440.00
5        Litter Cost                   Rice hush 200 kg* Tk.5/kg.            1000.00
6        Electricity/Kerosin oil                                             500.00
                               Total Expenditure                             24274.00
     B) Income
1         Broiler Meat         190 bird* 1.45 BW*Tk.105(5% mortality rate)   28927.00
2         Litter                           5 bags* Tk.50                     250.00
                                   Total Income                              29177.00

  C) Total Profit                      (TK.29177-Tk.24274)                   4903.00
  D) Fixed cost
1     Housing                                                                4000.00
2     Equipment                                                              1000.00
                           Total Fixed cost                                  5000.00

     E) Depreciation                   Tk. 5000/12 batches in two years      416.00
     F)Net profit
           Total profit             200 birds                                4903.00
           (Less) Fixed cost        One batch                                416.00
                                    Total Net Profit                         4487.00

Around Taka 25,000 to 30,000 is required to establish the broiler poultry rearing Income
Generating Activity (IGA) at household level. A NGO ensure follow-up and technical
support in order to make the IGA in a profitable way. Presently by rearing 100 – 200

broiler chicks in each household, broiler rearers earn around TK. 3000- TK. 5000 per
batch. In this way, vulnerable women can earn around TK. 25000-TK. 36000 in a year at
their household level. A NGO has extended the technology to 318 vulnerable women
households with ensuring 53,305 day-old chicks (100 to 200 day old broiler chicks to
each household) along with poultry feed in northern region of Bangladesh , which are
now continuing in a sustainable way throughout the year.

Besides these advantages, there is still room to improve the said income generating
activity to make it most viable technology for the vulnerable women households. Due to
high demand in the market, hatchery owner do not grade their chicks before delivery . As
a result, mixed chicks are marketed and farmers are not getting optimum growth from
each bird. Most of the poultry farmers are facing the problem of adulterated and inferior
quality feed and feed ingredients. Feed manufacturers fail to provide information on their
packaging concerning composition, ingredients, date of manufacture, date of expiry,
storage guidelines, energy levels, protein and vitamin content. Poor quality feed and
packaging results in poor feed conversion (FCR) and lowers the self life. Broilers are
susceptible to different kinds of diseases. In addition, Avain Influenza (Bird flu) appears
in Bangladesh as a national calamity. There is no structured marketing system for broiler
in our country. Farmers sell their broilers at the farm level to the middlemen for a low
price. Middle men then take the broiler to the upazila market or the city areas for better

To overcome this problem, A NGO organizes regional/district workshop with the
hatchery owners and the feed manufacturers to ensure the quality of chicks and poultry
feed. In order to access quality broiler chicks and quality poultry feed at household level,
A NGO now produces broiler chicks and poultry feed, maintaining the standard quality
and distributes the same at household level. Also A NGO conducts intensive study to
select appropriate breed and feed for the rural areas. A NGO is also organizing structured
marketing channels to ensure fair prices and organizing massive awareness campaign on
bio-security. Farmer’s providers at district and upazilla level for vaccine, medicine and
for quality feed. For easy marketing of broiler chicken, the broiler rearers are directly
linked with the whole seller to ensure better price.

Based on practical experience in broiler farming at household level, A NGO provided
53,305 day-old broiler chicks (100 to 200 broilers per households) to 318 vulnerable
women in eight districts of Rangpur division. The demand of broiler chicks in remote
areas has been increasing over the past years. Participation of women in broiler rearing
has empowered them and included them in decision –making regarding various issue of
the family. They now join their husbands in decision-making; they have increased
responsibility and a sense of belonging. Because of their sincerity and effort, women
show better results in broiler rearing. There is a huge potential for broiler rearing in the
poverty-hit region as most of the houses in rural areas are suitable for this business in a
sustainable way. As this income generating activity requires only 30 to 35 days, the
technology is not only viable for its economic returns, but also for household nutrition.

Women earn by rearing broilers:
a case study of Farida Begum
Farida Begum, a housewife, lives at Panchgachi Shantiram village of Shantiram union
under Shunderganj upazila of Gaibandha district with her husband, two daughter, one son
and aging mother-in-law. The family has nothing but a hut. Her husband
Md.Asaduzzaman was the family’s only source of income. He is basically a day-labourer
and has no sufficient and regular income to meet the family expenses. He began his
earnings as a day labourer, but it was very difficult to feed so many family members. To
maintain minimum family requirements, he needs to earn more money, as his present
income is not sufficient to feed the whole family twice a day. So, all the family members
suffer from severe food insecurity.

Farida would think of ways to enhance family income, but could not really reach any
solution due to lack of capital. She was demoralized. One day, she learnt about A NGO’
Farmer Field School from her neighbors and showed her interest to be the member of
FFS. It was 2009 and A NGO Bangladesh was organizing vulnerable households and
forming FFS at a village level. In the FFS session, she learnt a lot pf agro-based income
generating technologies such as broiler rearing by vulnerable women at household level,
alternative cropping pattern to mitigate monga, rice-fish culture in same piece of land,
 Armed with inquisitiveness concerning to agricultural technology and an aspiration to
enhance the family income, she sought more assistance from A NGO in 2010. She
showed interest in broiler rearing at a household level, in consideration of her limitations.
She felt that it only required a small plot for broiler rearing. She expressed her plan at a
FFS session and discussed with Farmer Promoter (FP) and other FFS members. As one of
the most vulnerable women, she was selected for this income raising activity.

She received training on broiler rearing from A NGO and then she made a broiler rearing
shelter with straw and bamboo in dwelling place according to the guidance of A NGO
field staff. On 1st February 2010 she received 200 day-old chicks and poultry feed from A
NGO. As per guideline, she provides poultry feed regularly and taking special care with
ensuring medicine time to time and continuing the same up to 27th February, when her
200 birds attained an average of 1.37 kilograms per bird. It was tremendous production
within 27 days and initially she could not believe her success. Ninety seven percent was
the survival rate and local A NGO field staff helped her to negotiate with the local
wholesaler to sell all the birds. as local market price was high at the end of February, she
sold all the birds and earned 7,575 taka as a net profit from 1st batch and was inspired to a
second rearing.

She started to rear 2nd batch with 200 day-old chicks and earned TK. 5,950 due to high
market price. She has now completed a total of seven batches rearing cycle and earned
TK. 30,775. Within a calendar year, she completed seven rearing cycles, and earned
30,775 taka. The additional income has made a very big difference in supporting and
maintaining her family. Now she is planning to increase the number of chicks per cycle
from 200 to 300 to make more profit.
She invested most of this money in a rickshaw repair shop for her husband who has had
some experience in repairing rickshaws. Her husband is no longer a day-labourer, but

 shop owner who repairs rickshaws. He now earns more from the repairing shop and the
 family now has three square meals a day throughout the year. Besides this, she can now
 afford to send her children to school.

 The extra money has made a very big difference. “We can now buy lentils and vegetables
 along with rice from the local market. My family members can eat more and better – and
 of course the chicken meat also gives us important nutrients and vitamins. My children
 are now going to school and I hope they will now be able to find good jobs. I have been
 able to install a sanitary latrine in our house and hope to lease a piece of land in next year
 (2011). Now the future looks much brighter, “she says.

Batch-wise total cost and net
income of broiler farming in 2010.

       Day-old       Total Survived Selling Average Price/Kg Total                  Total  Total
 Batch Chicks        chicks chicks  date    weight  (Tk.)    Sale                   cost   Net
       collection    (#)    (#)             (kg)             value                  (Tk.)  Profit
       date                                                  (Tk.)                         (Tk.)
 1st   1 Feb.        200    194     27      1.37    125      33,222                 25,800 7,422
 2nd     16 Mar.     200    200     17Apr. 1.5      120      36,000                 30,050    5,950
 3rd     29 Apr.     200    192     4 Jun. 1.51     118      34,210                 32,100    2,110
 4th     21 Jun.     200    189     23 Jul. 1.47    122      33,895                 29,110    4,785
 5th     6 Aug.      200    197     9Sept. 1.53     130      39,183                 32,750    6,433
 6th     23 Sep.     200    191     28      1.55    116      34,341                 32,860    1,481
 7th     11 Nov.     200    190     10      1.37    116      30,194                 27,600 2,594
 Total                                                                                        30,775

Tolerant Rice

A NGO initiative and experience
to adapt to climate change

As an impact of climate change, flash floods are now perpetual affairs in northwest
Bangladesh, which occur almost every year during monsoon. Flash flood generally
occurs immediately after a continuous and heavy rainfall. The northwest Bangladesh is
situated in Teesta, Dhorola and Brahmaputra river basin, where aman rice crops grown in
40,000 hectares of land are almost destroyed by flash flood every year. This flash flood
inundates the rice fields for 1-2 weeks and damages the aman rice crops seriously. Due to
these flash floods. 1.2 million tons of rice grain is lost every year, which causes seasonal
food insecurity (monga) in northwest Bangladesh. The people of this region, who have to
fight against all kinds of natural disasters including flood, drought and cold wave, are at
their most vulnerable stage to face food insecurity. They are mostly dependent on
agriculture as marginal farmers and as day laborers. Available evidences indicate that the
low-lying areas of this region are inundated every year and thousands hectares to aman
rice are flooded and finally damaged. Almost 100% farmers, who have lands, cultivate
aman rice during monsoon but 67% of the total rural families are landless and hence
agricultural day laborers, where aman rice cultivation is the principal source of labour
employment. It farmers lose this crop, there will be a serious problem to ensure food
security of agricultural day laborers in particular.

A NGO Bangladesh has been implementing a project entitled “Stress Tolerant Rice for
Poor Farmers in Africa and South Asia (STRASA)” since 2009 in northwest region of
Bangladesh in partnership with International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) as a lead
agency under the financial support of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). IRRI
along with Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) has recently developed some
submergence tolerant rice varieties, which can survive easily even the plant goes under
water for about 15 days; whereas existing rice varieties survive under the same conditions
for a period of 3-5 days only. The submergence tolerant rice contains the submergence1
(Sub1) gene that allows it to survive 10-17 days complete submergence and to renew
growth, when the water subsides. However, the duration of survival is also influenced by
environmental factors such as water turbidity, temperature, light and other factors such as
seedling age. It was observed that such plants were more tolerant as they got older. Four
rice varieties were invented through introducing gene sub1 by marker aided selection, a
molecular breeding method at IRRI into Indian mega variety Swarna, Samba Mahsuri
and Bangladesh mega variety BRRI and Philippines variety IR64. The National Seed
Board of Bangladesh has officially released the Swarna-Sub1 as BRRI dhan51 and BRII-

Sub1 as BRRI dhan52 this year to enable farmers to cultivate at a large scale from the
next season. Seed production agencies of government and private sectors also can
produce seeds of these rice varieties to meet-up the national demand.

Since the start of this project, A NGO along with its local partner NGOs has been
demonstrating cultivation of flood tolerant aman rice considering geographical
vulnerability i.e. yearly flash flood, soil erosion, etc. In 2009, A NGO established 88
plots with submergence tolerant rice varieties involving 88 farmers in 5 flood-prone
northwest districts viz., Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Kurigram and Gaibandha.
Most of the plots were established in the areas, where flash floods are occurred almost
every year. A NGO organized the training programme at Rangpur and Kurigram district ,
where Dr. U. S. Singh, South Asia Regional Project Coordinator of STRASA project
provided training to the farmers and field staff of A NGO and partner NGOs as well as
field staff of government agency like Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE). A
NGO distributed rice seeds of four submergence varieties among the 88 trained farmers
of five flood-affected districts.

Cultivation technology
a. Seedlings raising and management

Best time for seeding the rice seeds in the seedbed is in mid-June and for transplanting
the seedlings is in late July. Proper seedling Management in seedbed before transplanting
is required for both survival and recovery of rice seedlings following submergence. This
seedlings management helps to increase grain yield, if complete submergence occurs
during the vegetative stage. However, in order to obtain robust seedlings, the following
factors are to be considered to cultivate these rice varieties.

        Seedbed should be prepared in sunny places with good soil and good water
         control facilities. Moreover, the nursery should not be flooded but be kept
         saturated all the time ensuring proper weeding and pest management.
        50-75 gram seeds need to be sown in one square meter seedbed. These 30 kg
         seeds can be seeded in 300-400 square meter and seedlings grown from this area
         of seedbed can be transplanted in one hectare land. In this way, 4 kg seeds are
         enough to transplant seedlings in one bigha (33 decimal) land.
        To prepare seedbed, 6gm. Nitrogen, 4gm. Phosphate, 2 gm.Zinc sulphate and 1 kg
         cow dung are needed for each square meter seedbed before seeding the seeds.

b. Transplanting and crop management in the main field

A 35-45 day-old seedling is appropriate to transplant in the main field. Transplanting
should be done just after uprooting of seedlings from the seedbed. It is very important
that the seedling height should be higher from water level during transplanting in the field
, as in early stage the seedlings are more sensitive to submergence. Spacing should be
maintained with 15*15 cm, as tailoring will be reduced at high of standing water. For
transplanting, 2-3 seedlings per can be followed.

Based on soil fertility, 20-30kg phosphate and 20-30kg potash per hectare can be used
during final land preparation. as a 1st top-dress, 40 kg nitrogen per hectare can be added
after 10-15 days of transplanting, while 20 kg nitrogen per hectare can be used as 2nd top-
dress before panicle initiation. If the water level is high in the field, slow-release and
coated nitrogen fertilizer may be applied.

If the rice field is inundated due to flash-floods, farmer has to wait until full recession of
flood water. when the flood-water goes down and the field water level remains less then
15cm, then nitrogen (20kg/ha) and potash (20kg/ha) can be used as top-dress. But such a
top –dress should be applied one week after the flood water.

c. Limitation of the submergence rice cultivation

Despite huge potentials, still there are some limitations to cultivate this submergence rice
varieties, which are as follows.

        If complete submergence or water logged condition continues for more than 15
        If the flood water contains mud and turbidity.
        If water temperature is high during flash floods, and
        If the crop goes under water at flowering stage.

d. Performance of submergence rice variety at a glance

In 2009, 77 plots were fully inundated and were under water about 10 to 15 days (during
17th August to 27th August 2009). After recession of flood water, all Sub1 plots were
survived without any damage and the farmers harvested around four tons rice grain per
hectare. Most of other traditional rice varieties in the same areas were damaged by flash
floods and the affected farmers are required for re-translating of seedlings as a separate
crop. Farmers’ Community named these varieties as “magical paddies” due to their
miraculous survivals even after 10-16 days of complete submergence.

Performance of Swarna-Sub 1 rice variety
A comparative study with 13 farmers (Appendix-1) was carried out in 2009 who
cultivated submergence tolerant rice variety Swarna-Sub 1. It was found that without any
inundation/submergence, farmers received an average yield 4.1 ton rice grain per hectare
which required 145 days to harvest. But when the Swarna Sub 1 variety was fully
submerged for 8 days, farmers received an average yield of 3.4 ton per hectare which
required 148 days to harvest. On the other hand when the Swarna-Sub 1 variety was fully
submerged in water for 14 days, farmers received an average yield of 3 tons rice per
hectare which required 160 days to harvest. A summarized result of 13 farmers is given
in Table 1 and Figure 1:

Life cycle of Swarna-Sub 1 (BRRI dhan 51) rice variety and
date of harvest as affected by duration of submergence.
                                  Duration of
Farmers      Land      coverage submergence Date of                         Life cycle
(No.)        (decimal)            (days)          harvest                   (days)

3           10-33 (17.7)          0                15 Nov.-30 Nov. 09       143-148 (145)

4           16-48 (31)            4-10 (8)         14 Nov.-09 Dec. 09       141-153(148)

5           25-87 (52.8)          12-17 (14)       27 Nov.-22 Dec. 09       154-168 (160)

N.B. Parenthesis indicates average of the parameter

In country, a total of 217 hectares land cultivated with traditional transplanted aman
variety was totally damaged due to flash floods and required re-transplanting leading to a
marginal loss of TK. 1500/ha due to land cleaning and land preparation, seedlings
purchasing and transplanting, etc.

A case study of Swarna- Sub 1 rice farmer

Mr. Badsha Miah, a poor farmer lives is char Doaleepara of Jatrapur union in Kurigram
district. He has only 0.61 hectares (150 decimal) of land, which is not so fertile due to its
sandier soil. Badsha Miah and his wife along with 3 sons and 3 daughters are fully
dependent on these 0.61 hectares of land for their household food security. In almost
every years, he loses his aman (monsoon) crops due to flash floods coming from Dharala
river. As aman rice is the main crop for his family, he generally faces serious food
insecurity due to this loss of crops.

Upon motivation, he joins the Farmers Field School (FFS) operated by Jatrapur
Federation. Being the member of FFS, he has learnt about the submergence tolerant rice
variety and its significance. Subsequently he started demonstrating the same variety in his
land despite his little confidence on the rice crop to protect from flash floods.

However, A NGO provided him a day-long training and then distributed Swarna Sub1
rice seeds. He seeded the rice seeds in seedbed on 22nd June 2009 and transplanted the
seedlings on 29th July 2009 in his 56 decimal land. He applied 20 kg TSP, 20 kg MoP 10
kg Zypsum and 2 kg Zinc sulphate during land preparation. He also applied 20 kg urea as
top-dress on 8th 2009. As usual, due to continuous rainfall, a flash flood occurred during
mid-August and flooded his rice crop fully on 18th August 2009. This flash flood

prolonged for 11days till 28th August 2009. After recession of water , he found that all his
rice plants were still green in color and standing in the field. Badsha Miah applied further
8 kg MoP and 8 kg urea on 31st August for quick recovery of submerged rice plants and
then he sprayed insecticide as he suspected that stem-borer could affect his rice crop
seriously. However, with in a very short time, all plants were recovered nicely. He
harvested Swarna-Sub 1 rice on 5th December 2009 and received 3.7-ton yield per
hectare, which required 167 days from seed to seed. Badsha Miah is now very happy to
see the real performance of this variety as flood tolerant nature. After observing its
performance as submergence variety, most of all neighboring farmers and his relatives
bought this seeds from Badsha Miah for their next year cultivation. “The variety is really
a blessing for char farm households those who are often affected by flash floods-he

Performance of IR64-Sub 1 rice variety
Performance at a glance
 In 2009, A NGO Bangladesh implemented a number of demonstrations on variety IR64-
Sub 1 under the STRASA project. It’s field performance under flash –flood conditions
was outstanding. This was the first time for the farmers to observe IR645-Sub 1 as a
flood-tolerant rice variety that was fully recovered from 10 to 12 days of complete
submergence and harvested by 125 days with grain yield of 4 tons per hectare. Farmers
usually provide supplementary irrigation in aman rice fields in late October when severe
drought is observed in rice fields. As a short-duration variety, IR64-Sub1 was already
harvested in October. Consequently, no supplementary irrigation was required. On the
other hand severe infestation of insects was generally observed in late October. Thus,
farmers were able to save money, which would have otherwise spent for irrigation and

Implication of IR64-Sub 1 to eliminate monga (seasonal food insecurity) in
addition to adapt to flash floods.
In northwest Bangladesh almost 100% farmers cultivate monsoon (aman) rice crop and
usually use long-duration rice varieties (145-170) such as BR11 and Indian swarna.
These varieties require the preparation of seedbeds and seeding in late
June, followed by main land preparation and transplanting of rice seedlings in the main
field in July. Cultural operations such as top–dressing and weeding, etc. are done in
August. After that, fewer field operations are required from mid-September to mid-
November in the rice field until harvest in late November and December. The majority of
the people(70%) in this area depend on agriculture. More than 70%of the day laborers
and poor households totally depend on employment at various stages of rice cultivation
due to scarcity of off-farm employment, which is primarily limited by inadequate power
(electricity,gas,etc). Hence, they lack alternative job opportunities during mid-September
to mid-November, leading to seasonal food insecurity called monga in northwest
Normally in high and medium highlands, farmer’s plants wheat/potato//winter crops after
the aman rice is harvested. The proper time to cultivate these crops in northwest
Bangladesh is November. But, due to presence of late-maturing aman rice in most of the
lands in November, farmers have no opportunity cultivate such winter crops (rabi)at the

right time. This delayed cultivation hampers normal yield and also increases the
production cost of potato, wheat, and other crops. A short-duration rice variety such as
IR64-Sub1 introduced in the aman season will enable farmers to harvest rice in October
and then do timely sowing of winter crops such as potato, wheat, and similar crops in

In northern Bangladesh, almost every year, a total of 30,000 to 40,000 hectares of aman
rice is damaged by late flood. These floods usually last for 1 to 2 weeks in late August to
early September and damage almost all aman rice fields. In the case of late flood, there is
no way to recover aman rice and the farmers just have to wait for the next cropping in the
rabi (winter) season. Therefore, short duration and submergence-tolerant IR64-Sub 1 rice
would be an alternative and alternative for many farmers and labors to adapt to climate
change and to mitigate monga as well. It is therefore, considered as a miracle rice variety,
from which both farmers and agricultural day laborers can get rice and labor wage to buy
rice during the monga months and can also adapt to late season flash floods.

Future plan of A NGO for IR64-Sub 1 variety

After conducting the field-research in its Rangpur farm on yield and economic return of
IR64-Sub 1 , A NGO came up with following recommendations. Take into consideration
to obtain a good harvest as well as net economic profit from such a rice variety under
short duration aman rice-potato-mungbean of short duration aman rice-potato-late boro
cropping pattern.

       Chose time for seeding the seeds in seedbed is by mid-June
       A maximum of 30-day old seedlings will be transplanted in the main field
       A 15 x 15 cm. spacing for transplanting will be followed
       All urea (nitrogen fertilizer) top-dressing will be completed within 50 days of
With the above experiences, A NGO has been promoting IR64-Sub 1 rice in its monga
mitigation and climate change projects from this year due to its short duration and flood-
tolerant capacity.

Promotional activity
To disseminate the variety of submergence-tolerant rice along with its production
technology in the flood-prone area, A NGO along with its partner NGOs organized a
number of farmers’ rally in a place close to the demonstration plots during harvesting.
Rice farmers as well as community leaders participated in this occasion. Also officials
from government agencies, local elites, NGOs,journalists were invited and many of them
participated in those rallies. Demonstration farmers and A NGO concerned staff shared
the cultivation technology and their experience. Participants also observed the yield
performance of this rice variety.
Mr. Md. Asaduzzaman, Deputy Commissioner of Kurigram district (District
Administrative Head of the Government), joined the farmers’ rally of the submergence-
tolerant rice program at char Jatrapur on 22nd November 2009. He appreciated the
initiative of IRRI and A NGO along with other partners of this project, who demonstrated
these submergence- tolerant rice varieties in Kurigram district. He felt that this successful

demonstration will help introduce this variety which eventually protect aman rice 15 to
20 thousand hectares of aman rice being damaged almost every year during monsoon by
flash floods.

Dr. Robert S. Zeigler, the Director General of IRRI Philippines also visited the
demonstration plots in Kurigram Jatrapur Village and talked to Sub 1 farmers as well as
other neighboring farmers to know their reaction after cultivation of these varieties. In
reply the farmers stated that it was a miracle rice variety which could survive even if it
went under water continuously for 15 days; we had never seen this miracle before”.

Dr. David Bergvinson, Senior Programme Officer from the bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation (BMGF) visited a farmer’s rally at Boktiarpur village under Rajendrapur
union of Rangpur district on 18 October 2009. All participants along with 300 male and
female farmers were invited to the submergence demonstration field. The farmer Mr.
Rezaul Karim shared his experiences with IR64-Sub 1 and Swarna-Sub 1. He pointed out
that these two varieties went under water just a day after transplanting and remained
submerged for 10 days. Although all other rice fields were totally damaged and required
re-transplanting after flood, these two varieties IR 64 Sub 1 and Swarna –Sub 1 survived
well. Having seen the performance of these varieties, farmers from his and neighboring
villages were asking him for seeds of these varieties for the next aman season. To make
these seeds available, A NGO plans to produce 15 tons of quality seeds of submergence –
tolerant rice varieties during the next aman season in 2010. Dr. David of BMGF
mentioned in his address to farmers that submergence-tolerant rice varieties have great
potential. He highlighted that the farmers of the demonstration areas could play a
significant role in motivating others for promotion of sub 1 lines. He further mentioned
that their contribution at this stage would be a part of the history of a second Green
Revolution. He therefore urged them to come forward with full enthusiasm to promote
submergence-tolerant lines for the benefit of both the farmers and the consumers.

A NGO Bangladesh has been spreading the message of submergence –tolerant rice not
only in the country level but also across the South-Asian countries. Flood is a global
menace and is becoming a more serious problem because of changing climate. A NGO
Bangladesh highlighted the performance of Sub 1 lines Swarna-Sub 1, BRRI-Sub 1,
IRRI64-Sub 1 and Samba Mahsuri-Sub 1 under flash-flood conditions of Bangladesh at
an international workshop in Cambodia on climate change in October 2009. Government
delegates from Cambodia as well as participants from different agencies especially LWF
(Lutheren World Federation) Cambodia showed keen interest in promoting these varieties
through their own climate change projects. A NGO has forwarded their requests to IRRI.

A NGO also participated in the World Food Summit organized by Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) in Rome in November 2009, where A NGO representatives shared
their experiences and highlighted the potential of submergence-tolerant rice varieties to
adapt to climate change. Delegates from different countries highly appreciated this
technology and its potential impact in the contest of current crisis of food security due to
climate change.

Table: Comparative study on flood tolerant Swarna Sub 1 rice (BRRI dhan 51) variety on the basis of inundation period
Duration of inundation: 0 day
 S     Farmers Name and Address             Seed       Transplanting     Land        Date of       Date of         Total        Harvestin      Total life         Yield
 L                                         sowing          date          Cov.         full        recession      duration          g             cycle          (Ton/ha)
                                            date                         (dec)     inundation                       of            date       (Seed to seed)
 1    Gatu chandra, Titma,                10.07.09       20.08.09         33       No                 -             0           30.11.09          143             3.8
      Gunaigach                                                                    inundation
      Ulipur, Kurigram
 2    A NGO Farm (Plot-1)                 23.06.09       30.07.09         10       No                 -              0          15.11.09          145             4.3
 3    A NGO Farm (Plot-2)                 01.07.09       10.08.09         10       No                 -              0          25.11.09          148             4.2
                                                               Average                                                                            145             4.1
Duration of inundation: 4 to 10 days
 SL      Farmers Name and Address        Seed sowing   Transplanting   Land Cov.   Date of full     Date of    Total duration   Harvesting   Total life cycle     Yield
                                             date          date          (dec)      inundation     recession   of inundation       date      (Seed to seed)     (Ton/ha)
 1    Osman Gani, Dewallpara,              28.06.09      02.08.09         48       18.08.10       21.08.09           4           16.11.09          141             4.2
      Jatrapur, Kurigram
 2    Abu Taher, Dewallpara,Jatrapur,     25.06.09       02.08.09         16       18.08.15       23.08.09           6           14.11.09          142            3.6
 3    Rabiul Islam, Bokularpar, Bozra     10.07.09       19.08.09         30       16.08.09       23.08.09           8           09.12.09          152            2.9
      Ulipur, Kurigram
 4    Firoza Begum, Char Bozra,           10.07.09       15.08.09         28       16.08.11       23.08.09           8           07.12.09          150            3.2
      Bozra, Ulipur, Kurigram
 5    Silvia Nasrin, Goghar Kuti,         04.07.09       10.08.09         33       16.08.09       25.08.09          10           05.12.09          153            3.0
      Borovita, Fulbari, Kurigram
                                                                            Average                                  8                             148            3.4

Duration of inundation: 13 to 17 days
 SL      Farmers Name and Address        Seed sowing   Transplanting   Land Cov.   Date of full     Date of    Total duration   Harvesting   Total life cycle     Yield
                                             date          date          (dec)     inundation      recession   of inundation       date      (Seed to seed)     (Ton/ha)
 1    Shufala Begum, Jogodispur            25.06.09      20.07.09         36        16.08.09      28.08.09           13          04.12.09          162             2.7
      Rajendrapur, Rangpur
 2    Azizul Islam, Koipara, Gojghonta    01.07.09       08.08.09         60          16.08.09    01.09.08          17           15.12.09          168            2.1
      Gangchara, Rangpur
 3    Badsha Mia, Dewalipara              22.06.09       29.07.09         56          18.08.12    29.08.09          12           27.11.09          158            3.2
      Jatrapur, Kurigram
 4    Swakat Ali, Netarpur, Hasnabad,     18.07.09       31.08.09         25          16.08.12    28.08.12          13           22.12.09          157            3.5
      Nageswari, Kurigram
 5    Lutful Kabir, Goghar Kuti,          04.07.09       09.08.09         87          16.08.09    28.08.09          13           05.12.09          154            3.8
                                                            Average                                                 14                             160            3.0

Drought tolerant rice in
climate change

Introduction -

Rice production faces the threat of a growing worldwide water scarcity due to changed climate. The food
security of millions of farm households depends on the availability of water. Water scarcity due to
change climate. The food security of millions of farm households depends on the availability of water.
Water scarcity is the most severe limitation to the productivity of rice in drought-prone areas. It takes, on
average, 2500 liters of water (by rainfall or irrigation) to produce one kilogram of rice using traditional
cultivation method. Considering the effects of climate change, farm households can’t continue to grow
rice, if the water supply becomes increasingly scarce. The threat of climate change, however, is greatly
aggravating the drought problem. The impact of climate change is already being felt in Bangladesh
through increased incidences and severity of drought and floods. Around one million hectares of land in
Bangladesh is drought –prone. Rice farmers in rainfed areas often face crop failure due to drought at
different stages of the crop. The delay of monsoon results into delayed transplanting of seedlings, which
affects yield of rice. A long interval between two rains during monsoon causes drought at vegetative
stage. Also early departure of monsoon affects crop by exposing it to drought which is happening now-a-
days due to climate change. One of the most viable options to enable farmers to adapt to climate change
is the use of rice varieties with good tolerance of drought. The development of drought-tolerant rice
varieties is one of the solutions to increase rice yields in drought-prone environments.

To help farmers cope with water scarcity, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has developed
one rice variety that is not only drought tolerant but high yielding despite the lack of water. The genotype
has been dispersed to other Asian rice growing countries including Bangladesh. The said breeding line
(IR74371-70-1-1) was released by India in the name of Sahbhagi dhan in 2009.


The drought tolerant rice variety (IR74371-70-1-1) is a short duration rice variety. Its life cycle is
completed by 110-120 days with field duration 90 to 100 days. This variety is high yielding and its grain
yield ranges from 4.00 to 4.50 ha-1. Because of its drought tolerant as well as short duration
characteristics, the variety is especially suitable in monga and drought-prone areas in northern region of
Bangladesh. Monga means seasonal crisis which generally occurs during late September to early
November every year. Due to short duration nature of this drought tolerant variety, the cropcan be
harvested in October, which then create employment for day-laborers and rice for farmers and thus
enable them to reduce the effect of monga. It is medium grain rice, which may attract farmers to get
higher price in the market. This variety is also unique in producing khichuri and muri.


This drought tolerant rice variety fits best in rice-wheat/potato–mungbean cropping pattern. Sandy loam
to clay loam soil is better for cultivation this variety.High to medium high land with alternate wetting and
drying is preferable for good harvest of this variety. It requires 35-40 kg seeds for transplanting one
hectare of land. Seedling age of 20-25 days is better for good tillering of the crop but seedling age of 30
days can also be used. It requires closer spacing and planting configuration of 15cm X 15cm for higher
yield of this variety. Two to three seedlings per hill in this spacing are enough for optimum population of
this drought tolerant rice.

This variety can be transplanted from early July to early August. Early transplantation of this variety
creates opportunity of early harvest during monga period of northern Bangladesh and subsequent early
establishment of winter crops. Early establishment of winter crops ensures better system productivity
incorporating this variety and mungbean in the cropping system. In case of dry seeding, seeds are sown in
20 cm apart in rows either by seed drill or behind the plough with a seed rate of 40-50 kg/ha. In wet
seeding, sprouted seeds (soaked in water for 24 hours and incubated for 48 hours) are using power tiller
operated seeder machine (PTOS) or drum seeder with a seed rate of 35-40 kg/ha.

Soil test-based fertilizer recommendation is the best to get maximum yield. If it is not possible, then
application 60-30-20 kg N, P, K, ha-1 is enough for the variety. Basal application of all P and K and two
splits of N applications at 15 and 45 days after planting are desirable for this drought tolerant rice variety.
As it is a drought tolerant rice variety, it requires less amount of water throughout its growth period but
alternate wetting and drying environment is favorable for optimum growth and yield of the crop.

Two weeding before 40 days after planting is enough to control weed of this variety. For herbicidal weed
control, it needs to apply butachlor at 1.5 kg/ha or pretilachlor at 800 g/ha or pyrazosulfuron ethy1 at 20
g/ha in a thin film of water in transplanted rice field at 3-6 days after transplanting. It can be done either
by spraying or broadcasting granules or even by mixing EC formulations with sand 50 kg/ha and then
broadcasting the same. In case of direct seeded rice, preemergence application of butachlor (3-5 days
after seed sowing) at 1.25 kg/ha or pretilachlor at 800 g/h in moist surface soil effectively controls the
first thrust of grassy weeds and sedges in direct seeded rice. Chemical weed control should be followed
by mechanical weeding or light manual weeding before top-dressing of nitrogen (Source: Nemai et al.)

A NGO Experiences

 Under STRASA-BMGF project, A NGO tested the aforesaid breeding line in its Rangpur campus in
2009. This line was transplanted on 7th August along with other two different traditional rice varieties
(BR 11 and BR14) in separate plots. The field plots were of similar characters and the crops were equally
managed. Fortunately or unfortunately, there was no rainfall during 23rd September to 16th October in
2009, where it was found that the said breeding line survived and did not require any supplementary
irrigation which provides 3.4 ton yield/ha, while other two varieties like BR 11 and BR 14 were found
wilted on 7th and 9th October respectively and required supplementary irrigation in followings days.

The drought tolerant rice was piloted in 27 farmer’s plots under Rangpur division in 2010. All farmers
harvested their crop within 113-119 days and ensured a very good harvest with an average yield of 4.2
ton/ha (see Annex).

One farmer Mr. Mosaharraf Miah of Tupamari, Nilphamari sadar said “I could not cultivate aman
previously as rain not cultivate aman previously as rain was water does not stay in my high land unless it
rained heavily. But this season, the drought tolerant rice has provided me a good harvest despite a little

Advantages of this variety

Now-a-days, farmers are usually irrigating aman rice fields in September- October due to low rainfall
during this period. But cultivation of this drought tolerant rice enabled them to save considerable amount
of money. Farmers have shown particular interest of this drought rice variety for its drought tolerance
capacity as well as short duration nature and comparatively higher yield, which can be flexible enough to
avoid drought during late September-October as well as higher market price due to early market.

Limitations of this variety

This variety tolerates intermittent dry spells better but it may not tolerate cold spell. Hence, late planting
(after early August) may not be desired. Thus, it is not suitable for boro cultivation.


Cultivation of this variety is highly economic as it is harvested early and high prices of early market
make it more profitable. High price of this variety further deserves for its medium size grain. Through
one year research in northern region, it was found that TK. 56,171 ha-1 can be earned against total cost of
production TK.36, 975 ha-1. This indicates that a net return TK. 19,196 ha-1 with 1.52 benefit cost ratio
can be found from cultivation of this variety in northern region of Bangladesh.

Rice Bank in the Community:
A NGO experience in addressing food
insecurity during lean/disaster period


An independent research group from Jahangirnagar University led by Professor S. Dara Shamsuddin
initiated the rice bank in 2006 at Laxmichap union Nilphamari district with the cooperation of Northwest
Focal Area Forum and A NGO Bangladesh. The Laxmichap union was identified as severely affected
area due to seasonal food insecurity (monga. Implementation of this rice bank was done with the help and
assistance by a local partner NGO of A NGO named Udayankur Sheba Sangstha (USS). The
responsibility of executing the program at village level was taken by the community people. Major
funding was done through private donation by philanthropic Bangladeshi individuals living abroad. Since
the rice bank is still distributing rice twice a year- one during late March and the other in late September.
The community people identified these two months as most severe months. They also returned their rice
in their bank in the month of June and December accordingly. Based on outstanding performance in
terms of ensuring food security in lean period for vulnerable community households, A NGO included
rice bank program in its core and other bi-lateral programs since 2008.

Concept of rice bank
The general concept of rice bank is to make rice available for ultra-poor households during lean and
disaster period. A total of 10-20 rural ultra-poor households in a community who are suffering from food
insecurity will from and own this rice bank. A NGO provides rice to these rice banks for one time as
grant, where the members will borrow rice from this rice bank during lean period and return rice to their
rice bank during harvesting period, so that they can borrow rice again in next lean/disaster. It helps the
particular household family members not to go hungry during lean period. The members have absolute

ownership of this bank and its rice with the only condition that they have to return the equal amount of
rice (with some extra like 5 kg per 50 kg for maintenance and weight loss) during next harvesting period.

Rice is the major locally produced staple food and the local community and their livelihood depend on it.
The targeted beneficiaries are the family members of vulnerable community households who suffer from
food insecurity, but the approach of the rice bank is collective through the community. The purpose of
rice bank is to encourage people for savings/food savings by enhancing food security during the
lean/disaster period, so that people do not go hungry. This protect them from selling assets, selling
advance labour, borrowing money from moneylenders with high interest rates , taking paddy from rich
people with a condition to return double the amount during next harvesting period. All these
cumulatively keep them away from debts and consequently protect them from falling into the vicious
cycle of monga as well as any disaster during lean period.

       Major crops cultivation and harvesting period along with identification of lean period, rice
       storing period in rice bank and rice barrowing time.

        Major           Jan   Feb    Mar     Apr   May    June    July   Aug    Sep Oct Nov        Dec

       Cultivation period                    :

       Harvesting period                     :

       Lean/Unemployment period              :

       Storing period of rice in rice bank   :

       Rice borrowing period                 :

Operational modality
The vulnerable households in the community can form a group to establish and implement rice bank in
their community. A total of 10 to 20 vulnerable households may be the member of a particular rice bank
.The members of this rice bank will be the owner of this particular rice bank. The members of this rice
bank will be the owner of this particular rice bank and they will form one executive committee
comprising 2 to 3 members among the general members who will take proper care of this bank and run
the bank in a right way. The executive committee will select one member, who can be able to store
around 1 to 2 ton rice in his/her house in a proper way. The lump-sum cost in relation to proper storing of
rice by a particular household could be maintained by the all general members. The bank will decide
through an agreement which month and date they will borrow rice, and which month and date they will
return rice to their bank, In most cases, rice bank owners borrow rice twice in a year; i.e. in early March
and another in September. They also like to return rice early June and December accordingly.

                                           Executive Committee

  Rice       Rice       Rice       Rice       Rice       Rice       Rice       Rice       Rice       Rice
  bank       bank       bank       bank       bank       bank       bank       bank       bank       bank
 member     member     member     member     member     member     member     member     member     member

General idea is that the member of rice bank owners will borrow 50 kg rice and return 55 kg. The extra 5
kg is to cover the maintenance cost and compensate handling and weight loss. All transactions of rice
(distribution and return) are maintained in the register book with signature of the borrowers during

Sustainability of the program
The rice bank program in the community can be treated as a sustainable model, as it requires only one
time support/grant at the beginning of the program. Any donor can support it by providing paddy (around
50 or 100 kg per household) at the beginning of the program, and then the program will continue year
after year. If there is no donor support, the members of the rice bank can store rice in their bank during
harvesting period and may be able to maintain it accordingly. After establishment of these rice banks, it
requires just only to follow-up the program by the executive committee in order to keep it in the right

Lessons learnt
At the beginning of the program, it was suspected that members of rice bank who borrowed rice (paddy)
from rice bank, might not feel enough interest to return rice as per agreement. But when the members of
rice bank understood that they were the owner of this bank which was based in their communities and
they were getting rice in lean period. Therefore, they felt more interest to return rice in their rice bank.

In some cases, it was found that households did not maintain scheduled time to return their rice due to
lack of follow-up by the executive committee and A NGO, which created a problem to continue the rice
bank program efficiently. So, close monitoring and follow-up by the executive committee and A NGO
has been ensured for maintaining proper records and resolution and to make the program a successful

Conclusion :
Through rice bank, rural poor households have gotten access to food in lean period in a sustainable way.
Food security is enhanced among the rice bank member households during lean period for which they are
now able to avoid moneylender and also to avoid selling labor in advance with a very low wage.
Government of Bangladesh may consider the rice bank concept as an alternative model for its effectivity
and sustainability, which can supplement the Government existing safetynet program like VGF and VGD
program. Sustainability of rice bank means that the first cycle of grant support in kind i.e. rice will be
recycled without further grants support to the same ultra-poor particularly day-laborers.

             By Using Rainwater Additional Rice Harvests Befor Flood
Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world More than one thousand peoples
are living per one square Kilometer in Bangladesh. While only 20-25 peoples are living in developed
country like Europe, Australia and others area. So in order to their huge number of population, there is
the only way to enhance food production. We need more cultivable land to increase the food production.
Due to increasing population, our cultivable land is decreasing at the rate of 65 thousand hectares per
year, which is a big concern to produce more food. So that technology should be developed to produce
more food within the limited land. On the other land due to natural calamities almost every year,
Bangladesh faces a rice grain scarcity of about 1.0 to 1.5 million tons annually. A recent innovation of A
NGO Bangladesh which has been piloted in farmers’ fields, proves that the production of a short-duration
local rice variety pariza, in between boro and aman seasons, can produce 1.8 million tons of additional
rice on 0.6 million hectares of land in the Greater Rangpur-Dinajpur region. If this production technology
is extended throughout the country, it will be possible to produce 9 million tons of additional rice on 3.5
million hectares of land . This will not only help in meeting our own food demands, but also produce
surplus for export. This write –up is all about this technology that A NGO has been extending to farmers
in Rangpur Division over the last three years.

Food insecurity is a fundamental feature of poverty in Bangladesh. Though there has been impressive
agricultural and socio-economic progress in the recent past, feeding the increased population remains a
major concern. Furthermore, given the level of poverty in Bangladesh, a balanced diet for the majority of
the population is also a matter of significant concern. Of the total population, around 40% live below the
poverty line (with a per head calorie intake less than 2,122 kilo-calories per day) and around 35 million
people are estimated to belong to the category of hardcore poor; 45% of the children under five are
considered short for their age and maternal malnutrition is widespread (A NGO and BftW survey, 2004).
Apart from the prevailing deficit in calorie intake, the normal Bangladeshi diet is also seriously
nutritionally unbalanced.

The increasing population has also made many people subject to marginalization and landlessness. In a
subsistence rural economy like Bangladesh, poverty and food insecurity are directly linked to the basic
production resource of land . Some 70% of the rural poor are landless. Per capita land availability today
stands at 0.09 ha and is decreasing with population growth and expanding urbanization.

Even for those who have access to land, agricultural production systems are not adequate enough to attain
food security on a sustainable basis because of various reasons such as poor agricultural techniques, lack
of improved seeds, seedlings, modern production techniques, irrigation, storage, marketing facilities, etc.
Frequent natural disasters also reduce or destroy the scarce land resources of the poor or degrade this
further, increasing pressure on them.

The people of the northwestern region have to fight against all kinds of natural disasters, like floods,
drought and cold waves, and are the most vulnerable to insecurity. Around 70% of the landless and day
laborers in northern Bangladesh work in agricultural fields. These poor farm families suffer a famine-like
situation locally called monga. This is caused by their lack of purchasing power arising from the scarcity
of employment. The immediate impact of this situation is massive unemployment (from late August to
early November), reducing family income, food security and intake of nutritious food. This acute distress

is almost annual and is an inherent feature of northern Bangladesh, where employment is acutely
dependent on agriculture.

Evidence indicates that the poor people of northwestern Bangladesh face severe food insecurity every
year during monga period, more than people in other parts of the country. The rural poor in this region
who rely on farm work suffer severe seasonal hardship during this period when their food stocks are
heavily depleted and opportunities for sale of daily labor dry up. They are relieved by their main rice
(aman) harvest in December.

Late floods in Bangladesh are believed to be caused by climate change. Due to these late floods, aman
rice crop (monsoon rice) is often destroyed and the farmers can no longer replant the crop. People face
untold miseries when they lose their harvest. In the last 10 years, the Rangpur region has endured five
major floods including three of devastating proportions. All of these floods have occurred during a period
between 26 August and 14 September, which is the peak period for aman rice season in the country.

Under these conditions, additional rice production technology may be a blessing in the monga prone area
of northwestern Bangladesh. Generally, farmers in the north cultivate rice twice a year on around half a
million hectares of land (68% of total cultivable land) Normally farmers transplant boro rice seedlings in
late December to January, and harvest in late April to early May. Farmers generally transplant aman rice
seedlings in the same land in late July to early August, and harvest in the late November to early
December. So the land is left fallow for more than two months in between boro and aman seasons.
Farmers can utilize this fallow period by introducing additional rice production technology and can
obtain three harvest (boro, pariza and aman) in the same year instead of two (boro and aman) and thus
ensure higher income for better livelihood.

So, if farmers are able to harvest an additional crop rice in early August, agricultural laborers get work
and therefore earn some cash or food grain. They also get additional rice in the lean season and straw to
feed cattle. Immediately after harvesting additional rice grain agricultural laborers can get begin
preparing the land for the aman crop, transplanting, weeding, etc. Through introducing of pariza rice
technology, it will be easier and rational to motivate farmers to cultivating other crops in boro season
especially in high lands instead of boro rice, as they will ensure two rice (pariza and aman) in a calendar

A NGO Initiatives
For the last four years, A NGO has conducted research on local short-duration rice variety in area seasons
on its research farm and has developed the technology of three crops a year . A NGO experimented on 11
extinct indigenous rice varieties Shaita, Pariza, Lakheejota, Parangee, Kataktara, Panbira, Haskalmee,
Dular, Marichbati, Shurjamukhi and Dhola Shaita. Through extensive research, A NGO selected a local
rice breed, pariza, as the most suitable variety in terms of most short duration nature and relatively higher
yield as compared with other local short duration rice variety. Because this local rice variety ripens
before late floods, the harvest is also secure. Pariza requires 90 days from sowing seeds to harvest.
However, if 20-day seedlings are transplanted, it can be harvested in just 70 days. Per hectare yield of
pariza can be around 3 tons. The rice variety also attracts farmers because of its lower production costs
and quality grain. Besides, floodwater does not stay for more than 10-12 days during flood, so farmers
can also grow other short –duration aman rice varieties such as BRRI dhan 46, BINA dhan 7 and BU
dhan I, BRRI dhan 56, BRRI dhan 57, IR64 Sub-1 immediately in aman season after recession of
floodwater. Thus farmers can manage three harvests instead of two in a calendar year on the same piece
of land.

Pariza Rice Production

The land, which is usually cultivated for both boro and aman rice, is suitable for pariza rice cultivation.
The seedbed of pariza will be prepared around 15 days ahead of boro rice harvesting. Land ends to be
well ploughed immediately after harvesting of boro rice. Each hectare of land has to be prepared with 75
kgs of triple super phosphate (TSP) and 75 kgs of triple super phosphate (TSP) and 75 kgs of maturate of
potash (MoP). In addition, use of 3,000 kgs of cow-dung is very useful in maintaining soil health and
ensuring high production.

The 15 to 20-day old pariza seedlings should be transplanted on well-ploughed land in the first half of
May. For this, pariza rice seeds should be sown in the seed beds around 15 days ahead of boro harvest.
The rice seedlings should not be aged more than 20 days for transplanting. As few tillers come out from
pariza rice plants compared to other high yielding rice varieties, the spacing for transplanting should not
be more than 15 cm. from row to row as well as plant to plant. Three to four seedlings are transplanted in
one hill.

Within 8 to 10 days after transplanting, 75 kgs of urea per hectare has to be added to the soil for the first
time. Within 30 days of transplanting, the same amount of urea has to be given for the second time. Then
the field needs to be kept weed-free for the first 40 days of planting. After that weeding, is not necessary.
In the beginning, a only a few farmers will be involved in pariza cultivation, most of the land will remain
unused and empty. That exposes the pariza cultivated land to insects and birds. To control insects, 10 kgs
granular carbofuran per hectare may be applied during the first top-dress of urea; liquid insecticides may
be applied during the second top-dress and during the milking stage of the panicle to save the crop from
stem borer and/or rice bug insects.

After transplanting of 20 day-old rice seedlings, crops will ripen in 70 to 75 days. If 15 to 20-day old
pariza rice seedlings are transplanting in early May, it can be harvested in late July. If the farmers follow
the technology systematically, around 3.0to 3.5 tons of paddy can be harvested from one hectare of land.
After reaping, the land should be ploughed well again, using recommended doses of chemical fertilizers
and adequate cow dung for aman rice crops and then 25 to 30-day short duration aman rice seedlings like
BRRI dhan 46, BINA dhan 7 of BU dhan 1 can be transplanted in the same land. In this way, around 4
tons aman rice can be produced from the same land after harvesting pariza.Thus, the nation can become
self-sufficient in food-grain production following boro-pariza-aman or winter (rabi) crops-pariza-aman
production technology. By harvesting one extra crop, farmers will get extra paddy in the month of
August, which is very a crucial time for climate victims. The best thing is that farmers can also save their
crops from late-floods.

There are some hectares which to be considered to introduce additional rice cultivation technology
between boro and aman season in a better way to ensure maximum benefits.

        In order to introduce pariza rice production technology between boro and aman season, the boro
         rice should be harvested by April. In this connection, BRRI dhan28 or similar duration of suitable
         rice variety can be selected to cultivate in boro rice season which seeds to be sown in seed bed by
         November, which will be ensure to harvest rice in late April.

        If there is no adequate rainfall during transplanting in 1st week of May, there Supplementary
         irrigation to be ensured. So that irrigation canal to be clean and in unable form. Also drainage
         system should be ensured, if there is abundant rainfall.
        At the beginning, only a few blocks and lands will be brought under additional rice cultivation
         programme, where most of the lands will be fallow. So, there is a suspicion that pests and birds
         may to the additional rice field. So, that additional rice block from bird, pests and decency.
        As there is an attention to cultivate three crops in a year instead of two, so that adequate organic
         fertilizer to be added in the to keep if healthy.

As per above discussions, following practices to be considered to introduce pariza rice technology
between boro and aman season in a better way to ensure maximum benefits.

              Pariza rice seeds to be sown in seed bed around 15 days ahead of boro rice harvesting
              15-20 day-old pariza rice seedlings to be transplanted in early May.
              Spacing for transplanting pariza rice seedlings should not be more than 15cm. (6 inches)
                 from row to row and plant to plants as well.
              Urea (nitrogen fertilizer) top-dress should be ensured with in 30 days of transplanting.
Cost-benefit Analysis
Cost-Benefit analysis in farmers field under
three crops in a year (per/ha)

 Intervention                                  Farmer- Farnmer-
                                                                 Farmer-3             Farmer-4        Average
                                                  1        2
Boro rice                 Activities           Md. A. Md. A.    Md. A.               Md. A.       -
(BRRI                                          Rouf    Shafi    Kafi                 Halim
cultivation in    Seed sowing date             17.12.08   26.12.08    21.12.08       01.01.10     -
2008-2009         Transplanting date           03.02.09   10.02.09    02.02.09       15.02.10     -
                  Harvesting date              07.05.09   22.05.09    15.05.09       21.05.10     -
                  Production cost (TK.)        50,875     46,025      55,250         42,480       48,657
                  Yield (ton)                  4.5        3.8         4.3            3.4          4.0
                  Total income (TK.)           81,000     67,600      77,400         61,200       71,800
                  Net profit (TK.)             30,125     21,575      22,150         18,720       23,142
Aus (local        Seed sowing date             11.05.09   27.05.10    18.05.10       17.05.10     -
Pariza rice       Transplanting date           -          -           08.06.10       08.06.10     -
variety) rice     Harvesting date              01.08.09   17.08.10    17.08.10       17.08.10     -
cultivation in    Production cost (TK.)        31,900     29,500      32,000         30,600       32,250
                  Yield (ton)                  3.2        3.2         2.8            2.9          3.0
                  Total income (TK.)           57,600     57,600      50,400         42,050       43,862
                  Net profit (TK.)             25,700     28,100      18,400         20,850       23,450
Aman (BINA        Seed sowing date             18.07.10   18.07.10    20.07.10       18.07.10     -
dhan 7) rice      Transplanting date           20.08.10   22.08.10    22.08.10       21.08.10     -
cultivation in    Harvesting date              18.11.10   22.11.10    26.11.10       24.11.10     -
2009              Production cost (TK.)        38,550     37,600      38,900         34,200       37,312
                  Yield (ton)                  3.7        3.6         4              3.4          3.7
                  Total income (TK.)           51,800     50,400      56,000         47,600       51,450

                    Net profit (TK.)        26,000        22,900     30,500           23,180          25,645
                    Total Yearly net profit 81,825        72,575     71,050           63,500          72,237

Cost-Benefit analysis in farmers field under
three crops in a year (per/ha)

     Intervention                              Farmer- Farnmer- Farmer-
                                                                                Farmer-4             Average
                                                  1        2       3
Boro rice (BRRI             Activities         Md. A. Md. A.    Md. A.          Md. A.         -
dhan29)                                        Rouf    Shafi    Kafi            Halim
cultivation in
2009                   Seed sowing date        10.12.08   16.12.08   12.12.08   10.12.08       -
                       Transplanting date      28.01.09   26.01.09   27.01.09   25.01.09       -
                       Harvesting date         26.05.09   30.05.09   27.05.09   30.05.09       -
                       Production       cost   50,900     52,200     49,700     53,000         51,450
                       Yield (ton)             4.2        4.4        4.0        4.5            4.3
                       Total income (TK.)      73,500     77,000     70,000     78,750         74,812
                       Net profit (TK.)        22,600     24,800     20,300     25,700         23,362
Aman rice(BR           Seed sowing date        18.06.09   20.06.09   10.06.09   23.06.09       -
11) cultivation in     Transplanting date      24.07.09   30.07.09   27.07.09   02.08.09       -
2009                   Harvesting date         18.11.09   21.11.09   12.11.09   22.11.09       -
                       Production       cost   40,000     39,000     35,650     36,000         37,626
                       Yield (ton)             4.0        4.1        3.9        4.0            4.0
                       Total income (TK.) 66,000          67,650     64,350     66,000         66,000
                       Net profit (TK.)   26,000          28,650     28,700     30,000         28,337
                       Total Yearly net 50,600            55,500     50,950     57,750         51,699
                       profit (TK.)

In the above two tables, it is observed that farmers have received average net profit of Tk. 72,237 from
three crops (Tk.23,142+Tk.23,450+Tk.25,645) a year, while average total net profit is Tk. is Tk.51,699
(23,362 +28337) from the existing two crops. The farmers cultivating three crops a year got net benefit of
Tk.20, 538 from a hectare of land. An interesting fact is that after introduction of pariza as an additional
crop in aus season in between bor5o and aman season, a significant number of farmers in the project area
have even attained four crops a year . The attainable cropping pattern is : potato (Granular-first week of
December to last week of February); boro (BRRI dhan 28-transplanting in the first week of March and
harvesting in mid-May); aus (pariza-transplanting in mid-May and harvesting in the first week of August
) and aman (BU dhan 1/BINA dhan 7 transplanting in mid-August harvesting in end November). Under
three crops system, A NGO is encouraging the farmers to grow mungbean and other crops requiring less
water especially in high land during March instead of boro rice in order to avoid excessive irrigation

Cost benefit analysis of 3625 farmers as three crops in a year as component with two crops per year in
2010-2011 .

            Three crops in a year                                                Two crops in a year
Season           Activities                                 Time     Season          Activities                                   Time
       Seed sowing date                                   30.11.10          Seed sowing date                                    25.11.11

                                                                     Boro rice (BRRI dhan 28)
Boro rice (BRRI dhan 28)

       Seedling transplanting date                        08.01.11          Seedling transplanting date                         14.01.11
 cultivation in 2010-11

                                                                     cultivation in 2010-11
       Rice Harvesting date                               25.04.11          Rice Harvesting date                                16.05.11
       Production cost (Tk./ha)                           62,350            Production cost (Tk./ha)                            64,300
       Yield (ton/ha)                                     4.5               Yield (ton/ha)                                      4.7
       Gross Income (Tk/ha)                               92,250            Gross Income (Tk/ha)                                96,350
       Net profit (Tk./ha)                                29,900            Net profit (Tk./ha)                                 32,050

                            Seed sowing date              17.04.11
Aus rice (Pariza)
cultivation 2011

                            Seedling transplanting date   05.05.11

                            Rice Harvesting date          19.07.11                                       70 – 75 days
                            Production cost (Tk./ha)      35,500
                            Yield (ton/ha)                3.0
                            Gross Income (Tk/ha)          63,500
                            Net profit (Tk./ha)           28,000
                            Seed sowing date              25.06.11                                Seed sowing date              16.06.11
Aman rice (BU dhan 1)

                                                                     Aman rice (BU dhan 1)

                            Seedling transplanting date   25.07.11                                Seedling transplanting date   24.07.11
 cultivation in 2011

                            Rice Harvesting date          28.10.11                                Rice Harvesting date          16.11.11
                                                                     cultivation in 2011

                            Production cost (Tk./ha)      50,600                                  Production cost (Tk./ha)      51,900
                            Yield (ton/ha)                4.1                                     Yield (ton/ha)                4.4
                            Gross Income (Tk/ha)          84,050                                  Gross Income (Tk/ha)          89,000
                            Net profit (Tk./ha)           33,450                                  Net profit (Tk./ha)           37,200

                           Total Yearly Net Profit        91,350                                Total Yearly Net Profit         69,250

Seven most important benefits
from pariza rice cultivation

        1 Local pariza rice can be harvested in the middle months between boro and aman season, when
the land remains fallow. In the Rangpur division, around 0.6 million hectares of land are suitable, where
the additional pariza rice crop harvest technology (boro-pariza-aman) can be implemented. Each hectare
of land requires around 60-70 agricultural laborers for harvest and post-harvest operations. If 0.6 million
hectares of land in Rangpur division are brought under this pariza rice cultivation technology, it will
create additional 40 million working days, viz., 2 million agricultural laborers will get job for 15 to 20

         2. Every year, Bangladesh faces a rice-scarcity of between 2 and 2.5 million tons. To face this
crisis, there is no other alternative but to increase rice production, additionally, aman (monsoon) rice
yields are often destroyed by annual floods and arable lands decrease due to population increase. In this

situation, additional rice production technology (pariza dhan) can help reduce food insecurity by
producing an extra cereal in limited lands. If this technology is possible to implement on 0.6 million
hectares land, around 1.8 million tons of extra harvest can be produced from 3.0-3.5 millon hectares of
land. If this technology is extended nationwide, then 9 million tons of extra paddy can be produced. So,
this technology will not only help to meet our own food scarcity, but there will also be surplus for export.
Side by side, we can discourage farmers to grow boro rice in high land, where water requirement is too

         3. May, June and July record the maximum rainfall in Bangladesh. The average rainfall in the
northern region is 350 mm in May, 500 mm in June and 550 mm in July, which is wasted in the present
cultivation technique, because after harvesting of boro in late April, no crop is available in the field
during May, June, and the first half of July. If the farmers can grow pariza as an additional rice crop, they
can utilize the rainwater of these three months. Based on the nature of the land, the farmers have to
irrigate 10 to 15 times in boro season for two and half months, Irrigating one hectare of land for one time
requires 5 liters of diesel, costing almost Tk.300. So it will cost almost Tk.3500 for 60 liters of diesel to
irrigate for 10-15 times in one hectare of land. So farmers require diesel of Tk. 2,000 million for two and
half months irrigation in 0.6 million hectares of land of northwestern region of Bangladesh, which they
can save, if this new production technology is utilized plus a surplus harvest of almost 1.8 million ton
rice a year. This is a big gain because the ground water level has been decreasing by 4 cm every year due
to utilization of ground water for boro rice cultivation, which is an eminent threat to our environment.
The future generation will surely suffer from drinking water (tube-well water) crisis. So, pariza rice
cultivation technology will contribute to the best utilization of rainwater.

       4. Late floods occur now in Bangladesh almost every year. During the last 10 years, these floods
occurred between 26 August and 14 September. Given pariza rice is possible to harvest by the first half
of August; the farmers can avoid flood risks and harvest the crop.

        5. In general cultivation of boro and aman cost around Tk. 28,000 and Tk.22, 000 per acre
respectively. On the other hand, pariza cultivation requires only around Tk.15000 per acre. Since price of
paddy is comparatively lower as compared with other commodities, the farmers have to face losses. And
since the production cost of pariza is almost half than that of boro, execution of this technology will
greatly help the farm households.

        6. Local rice varieties that are short-duration in nature, disease-resistant and drought-tolerant are
getting lost from Bangladesh. Through this technology, we can save our eco-friendly rice varieties.

        7. During May, June and July, there have no way to cultivate any crops other than rice due to
monsoon. So we can encourage farmers to grow pariza rice in fallow land during May, June and July to
utilize maximum rainfall and then cultivate aman rice during August to November. As farmers are
getting two rice as pariza (aus) and aman in a calendar year, through which, it will be easier to motivate
such farmers to cultivate other crops in high land instead of boro rice during December to April, as boro
rice requires a huge amount of ground water.

Ataur Rahman
grows three crops a year

Ataur Rahman (32) shows how to grow additional rice crops in between boro and aman season. Ataur is a
marginal farmer of Satirjan village at Sundargonj upazila in Gaibandha district. His village is monga
prone and is affected by flash floods every year. Most of the villagers are dependent on agriculture. A big

percentage of the villagers are agricultural day laborers. Aman (monsoon) and boro (irrigated) rice are
the main crops in the area. Flash floods damage aman rice almost every year leaving the people to
struggle for food. Many migrate to other areas in search of seasonal work. When he was 20 years old, he
married Rozina Begum (16). He headed his family with wife, one daughter, seven sisters and mother. He
has been engaged in the agriculture since he was ten years old. He was knowledgeable about traditional
crop cultivation technology, but has less idea about modern and appropriate technology. So he failed to
produce enough cereal to feed his family.

Ataur got one acre of land from his father .He is fully dependent on one acre of lands for subsistence. He
cultivates mainly aman and boro .What he grows is not enough for three meals a day for an eleven-
member family. His daughter is going to school and he needs to spend a significant amount of money on
her education. Due to regular overflowing of the river Brahmaputra, his aman crop was often damaged,
And his family always suffered from food deficit.

In 2010, Ataur came to know about the Farmer Field School (FFS) that A NGO was developing and
implementing at community level. The farmers gather at this school once every month and discuss new
agricultural technology and use demonstration plots to test its viability. He joined the FFS and learned the
new technology, viz, additional rice cultivation in between boro and aman season. He prepared his one-
acre land after harvesting boro (BRRI dhan 28) to cultivate pariza. He used 20 kgs of triple super
phosphate and 20 kgs of potash along with around 2000 kgs of cow-dung on his one-acre plot of land. He
transplanted 20 day-old pariza rice seedlings on 20th May 2010. Within 10 days after transplanting, he
added 20 kgs of urea per acre as the first top-dress and then within 30 days, he added again 20 kgs of urea
as the second top-dress.

As only a few farmers were involved in pariza cultivation and most of the land remained unused and
empty, the land remained prone to insects and birds. To control insects, he used 4 kgs of granular
carbofuran and then sprayed liquid insecticides during the second top-dress and milking stages of the
panicle respectively to save the crop from rice bug and stem borer insects. He harvested the crop on 1 st
August 2010, which required only 90 days. His yield was 1,320 kgs. After harvest of pariza, he
transplanted short-duration aman rice seedlings of BU dhan 1 on the same land on 7th August, which was
harvested on 8th November 2010 and the yield was 4 tons. This way, he secured three harvests in a
calendar year.

Two expectations from the Government:

        There is no approved/released rice variety Government level in aus season, which can produce 3
         ton yield per hectare within 90 days of seeding. Such variety needs to be developed, which can
         produce higher yield then pariza within 90 days of seeding in aus season.
        So far it would not be possible to develop such rice variety, which can produce higher yield than
         pariza within 90 days of seeding the pariza rice variety to be considered by the Government in aus
         season as additional rice cultivation technology in between boro and aman season to ensure food
         security at household and national level.

The best technology in farming is the one which the farmers and beneficiaries use enthusiastically for
their gain. In 2009, with the assistance of Bangladesh Water and Food Security (BWFS) project
supported by ICCO Netherlands, 132 farmers implemented this additional harvest technology in their 50
acres of land and received very encouraging benefits in terms of yearly additional production as well as a
significant amount of higher net income. Farmers who were involved with this technology are now very
happy with the outcome and they continued the technology the following year on their own. They
received at clear outline about the efficacy of this technology. Based on the success of this technology at
A number of national, international and Government agencies like a Department of Agricultural
Extension (DAE) of Bangladesh Government, Krishi Gobeshana Foundation (KGF), International Rice
Research Institute (IRRI) acute ... their cooperation to A NGO for the technology of field level, side by
side, Divisional Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, UNOs, Chairman of Upazila and Union
Parishad.....Members of Parliament and Ministers are extending their cooperation for adeptly the
technology ... field. By this time, terms are the technology and safety benefits to this end and ensured
their food security throughout the years at harvested level farm household level, A NGO is extended the
same in 2010 with 1,500 farmers in 40 villages of 8 districts of Rangpur Division under block system
with the assistance of Agricultural Extension Department of the government agency in 2011, this
technology has been extended in other part of Bangladesh like Tangail, Mymensingh, Moulvibaza,
Chittagang and Chittagang Hilltracts in 3526 farm fields.

From the last year’s experience, we’ve found that the farmers who executed this technology had a tough
time to keep the birds away from crop fields. That is why this method should be implemented in a block
or community system. When a large number of farmers will be adopted pariza rice technology, the
problem will be solved automatically.

We hope that the government’s concerned agencies appreciate the potential of this additional rice
cultivation technology and that the government will take this technology as a national program under the
climate change and food security program to protect rice field from late floods as well as to ensure food
security at national level.

Strawberry cultivation in northern Bangladesh:
A NGO experience


Strawberry is one of the popular fruit in all over the world and very attractive for its bright red colour,
taste and flavor. In Bangladesh, strawberry cultivation is very new and a significant number of farm
households are now cultivating strawberry. It is assumed that strawberry will be profitable for growers in
near future. Usually, strawberry grows in the countries, where winter prevails most of the time. In that
point of view, the northwestern Bangladesh may be suitable for strawberry cultivation for its relatively
cold weather compared to other parts of Bangladesh. Despite favorable weather in Rangpur region, a
number of barriers need to be addressed for wider dissemination of strawberry cultivation.

Production Techniques

Sunny land is the pre-condition for strawberry cultivation, which requires a well drained soil with high
organic matter content. It would be better to avoid pepper, tomato, egg plant and potato fields, as these
plants could harbour verticillum wilt, a serious disease which can affect strawberry plant significantly.
Also the land, which was recently covered by grass, should not be considered for strawberry cultivation
as there may be a large number of wire worms. Strawberry should not be cultivated in the same land for a
number of years. It is preferable to cultivate strawberry in a green manured field. Strawberry may not
survive in alkaline soil or high acidic soil. Soil PH range from 5.6 to 6.5 is preferable for strawberry

cultivation. In light soil along with high organic matter, runner formation will be-better. Strawberry
plants cannot produce deep roots.

In northwestern Bangladesh, November is the ideal time for strawberry cultivation. Land should be well-
ploughed to get maximum benefit. Strawberry can be planted on raised-bed. Bed can be prepared with 15
cm. height and 30 cm. widths, where two rows can be planted in one bed. The spacing for planting should
be 25 cm. X 20 cm. Around one lakh (100,000) fresh and healthy runners (seedlings) are required for
planting in one hectare of land.

In one hectare of land, nitrogen 84-112 kg. phosphorus 56-84 kg. potash 56-112kg and 50 tons of farm
yard manure will be required. Strawberry plants are greedy feeders over a relatively short period of time.
The phosphorus fertilizer should be incorporated into the soil before planting. The nitrogen fertilizer will
be applied in two equal doses (15-20 days after planting and during flowering stage) and potash fertilizer
will be used during flowering stage only. Farm yard manure improves the water holding capacity of the
soil and also helps strawberry plants for better runner formation.

Late afternoon is the best time to plant the runners (seedlings) on the raised bed. Regarding plantation of
the runners on the bed, shallow plantation should be considered so that the soil just covers the top of the
roots and a little watering would be better immediately after planting the runners. Usually, runners are
most common propagating material for strawberry. A single plant usually produces 10-15 runners. The
plants may be allowed to set as many runners as possible but not allowed to set any fruits. After 4-5
weeks, the plants will produce runners and new daughter plants.

After top-dress, irrigation may be useful for better utilization of fertilizers into the root zone. Since
strawberry is relatively shallow-rooted, it is susceptible to drought. Frequent irrigation is necessary at
different stages of strawberry plants. Otherwise the mortality of the plants becomes high. Weeds should
be controlled as weeds are the major problems in strawberry production. Strawberry plants start
flowering within one month of plantation and fruits can be collected during February-March.

Strawberry will turn bright red, when they are ripen and ready to be harvested. The Strawberry can be
harvested within two and half months of its plantation and a farmer can earn around Taka one lakh from
50 decimal of land with an expenditure of Taka 25,000. A farmer can get 2000 kg of strawberry from 50
decimal of land. Strawberry can be sold at Tk. 50 per kg.

A NGO experiences
A NGO established a number of demonstration programs through its Farmer’s Field School under 14
partner NGOs in 2009 and 2010. In 2009, a variety named RB-3 strawberry runners (seedlings) has been
collected from Professor Dr. Monzur Hossain of Rajshahi University, who provided a day-long training
to A NGO staff on strawberry cultivation. Then A NGO provided training and inputs to the selected
farmers with a close follow-up to their field. Most of the demonstration farmers harvested around 5 to
20kg strawberry per decimal of land. It was proved that strawberry could grow well in Rangpur weather
and its cultivation could make a good profit for the farmers. But a number of challenges have been
identified at field level during strawberry cultivation in Rangpur region, which needs to be addressed for
wider dissemination of strawberry cultivation in future.

Challengers at production level

        After the end of the strawberry production season in April, it was very difficult for the runners to
         survive due to rise in temperature and eventually led to a strawberry cultivation for the next year.
        Most of the cultivable land in Rangpur region is acidic and in most cases, soil pH is less than 5.5,
         which is unfavorable for strawberry cultivation. although lime is an alternative option to
         overcome the situation, but it requires an extra-cost as well as further training and motivational
         campaign which are not always easy task.
        The quality of strawberry in Bangladesh is not good compared to that of other countries. The taste
         of strawberry is comparatively sour, which may not be suitable for good and sustainable market in

Challenges at marketing level

        Strawberry is highly perishable and hence a great deal of care in handling as well as its marketing
         is also required to be organized carefully. Fruits should be picked in the early morning and carried
         to the market in the afternoon of the same day. It can also be picked in the late afternoon, stored
         overnight in a cool place and carried to the market in the following morning, which really a
         challenge for the strawberry farmers.
        Strawberry should not be left at room temperature for more than a few hours. Warm temperature
         causes browning effect in strawberry. Strawberry can be stored only for a few days to a week in
         the refrigerator, which is also a limiting factor for our farmers.
        The fruits generally ripe during late January to April. For local market, the fruits should be
         harvested when fully ripen, but for transport to distant markets these should be harvested when
         still firm and before colour has developed fully all over the fruits. Since strawberry fruits are
         highly perishable, it requires a cooling van and requires special type of containers like cardboard,
         bamboo, paper trays etc. Still this system is not yet available at field level.


The traditionally production oriented farmers do not know how to tackle the marketing problems
effectively. As the marketing efficiency does not congruent with the change in the production
technology, problems arise and they are not solved, farmers suffer from economic losses despite good
harvests and lose interest in cultivating strawberry.

Mat promotion:
a women-friendly income
raising activity of A NGO Bangladesh


The poor women of northwest Bangladesh are extremely vulnerable. Most of the women are not involved
directly in any income generating activities. They are dependent on income of their husband or father.
The male members are earning from agricultural sector by selling their labor, which is quite seasonal.
This income is not sufficient to maintain their livelihoods properly all round the year. Many women do
not have income generating opportunities other than household activities. In the lean period, when males
are migrating to others area to find a job, then women are living in their houses passing weeks and even
months with very little work and therefore income. These women and their children may have to survive
an extended period without proper meals and sometimes with no food at all.

In order to overcome the situation, A NGO is implementing mat production and promotional activities
involving vulnerable women groups at village level. Mat of Rangpur is one of the most popular
traditional products in Bangladesh and continues to command a good market in home and abroad. Poor
women households in these areas can acquire the modest skills necessary to engage in mat-making.
Therefore, with a view to empowering the women, A NGO has created employment opportunities for the
poor and destitute women by providing practical skills training and by ensuring raw materials at their
household level.

Operational modality

A NGO has developed around three thousand vulnerable women as mat producers through a two-month
long hands-on training, who are now managing self employment throughout the year. A two-month long
training program for 10 to 15 women is normally arranged at village/community level. A skilled trainer is
also selected for these days to provide hands-on training on regular basis. During the training period, the
project will provide the raw materials and equipments to each participant. After training, A NGO
Enterprise Private Limited (REPL) also provide raw materials to each participant to produce mats at their
houses, where REPL staff ensure follow-up to each household in order to maintain the quality of the
product as per design. Then REPL receives the finished product at the rate of Taka 10 per square feet as
their labor wages. REPL sells the product in the local and foreign market with 20 at 25% profit in order
to maintain staff and other support cost.

Mat production as women-friendly technology

Mat production is very suitable for women, which they can produce in their own houses. Side by side,
they are able to see their regular household activities like children and elder care-taking, cooking and
food preparation , cleaning, etc. which are very important for a married women in the context of
Bangladeshi family culture. Through this technology, women may receive a two-month long training and

may be able to make their products in their house by local equipments. Such equipments are possible to
be prepared locally by using locally available bamboo, wood and rope, which is very simple to operate. A
women may prepare 10 to 15 square feet mat a day based on her available time and skills of which she
can earn around Taka 100 to Taka 150 in a day. The program participants are linked with the A NGO
Enterprise Private Limited (REPL), where the women will collect the raw materials and equipment with
free of cost on regular basis and will prepare the product as per design.

Lessons Learnt

It is learnt that the family members of the trained women are also developed and capable to produce mat
after a certain period, as most of the family members involved themselves to this mat making through the
trained women. So, all the family members of a trained household are able to prepare mat accordingly,
which contributed a lot to earning money not only in lean period or monga months, but all round the year.

Limitation to extend the program

Cost for such a long duration practical training is too expensive. Around Tk.100,000 (one lakh) is
required for a two-month long training for 10-15 participants in one batch.


A NGO Bangladesh has created employment opportunities for the poor and destitute women by
providing hands-on training and by ensuring raw materials to produce mat at their household level.
Through this technology, a woman may receive two months long hands-on training and may able to make
mats at their houses by local equipments.

overall experience of A NGO imply that the mat promotion will benefit women being vulnerable to
monga (seasonal crisis) and climate change induced disaster through employment opportunities at
household level on regular basis, A NGO believes that the government , donor agencies and private
sectors will come forward to develop vulnerable women through training and support marketing of their

Introduction of pulses
in cereal-based cropping system under
ACIAR NW Pulses Project : A NGO experience


The main objective of the ACIAR supported pulses project is to rehabilitate and promote cultivation of
lentil and chicken in the northwestern region of Bangladesh. Over the previous three decades irrigation
has expanded in these districts, which consequent increased cultivation of cereal crops, potato and
vegetables crops in the post-rainy season. Lentil and chickpea were traditionally grown as subsistence
crops on residual soil moisture in this season but their cultivation has almost disappeared from the region
in recent years.

The main biophysical impediments to increasing pulses cultivation in northwest Bangladesh relate to late
harvest of t. aman rice. Another significant biophysical constraint includes soil acidity. The major

constraints were assessed as stemphilium blight with weeds, boron deficiency and soil effects for lentil
cultivation. For chickpea cultivation, the major constraint was Botrytis gray mold (BGM) with collar rot
(caused by sclerotium rolfsii) and Helicoverpa pod borer.

However, the recent advent early maturing rice varieties increased scope for timelier planting of rabi
(winter) crops and successful capture of residual soil moisture.

Lime response of lentil and chickpea
Northern Bangladesh has acid (i.e. pH less than 5 units) surface soils and therefore many crops respond
to the application of lime, which raises soil pH. In on-farm experiments conducted under the ACIAR
project on “pulses in north western Bangladesh” it was consistently found that lentil and chickpea also
responded to lime application. However, it is cumbersome and costly to apply the large quantities of lime
(200 kg/bigha) required to alleviate soil acidity and farmers are in any case reluctant to invest in this
input because of the risky nature of growing pulses in the region. An on-farm experiment with lentil in
the 2009-10 season showed that this acid soil problem can be alleviated by pelleting the seeds with lime
after their inoculation with Rhizobium. It is necessary to inoculate Rhizobium onto both chickpea and
lentil in northern districts because the lavels of these bacteria in the soil are too low to permit good
nodulation and nitrogen fixation, and thus healthy growth of these legumes. The inoculation process
consists of firstly coating seed with a sticky substance like chitagur (molasses), then applying the peat-
based inoculum of Rhizobium, followed by adding lime powder until seeds are thoroughly coated in
white. The lime coating decreases the acidity near the germinating seed and thus alleviates the adverse
effects of soil acidity, such as molybdenum deficiency, aluminum toxicity and inhibition of nodulation.
Once the seedling roots are established in natural soil conditions they can grow deeper into the soil which
is not as acid as at the surface.

Time of sowing of lentil

In Bangladesh, it is recommended that lentil be sown within October, but by the first week of November
at the latest. However in time of sowing experiments with lentil variety BARI maser 4, conducted in
Rangpur and Thakurgaon Districts during the 2006-7, 2007-8 and 2008-9 seasons, it was shown that
optimum yields could be obtained even until the third or fourth week of November. Delayed sowing of
lentil would increase opportunity for culvating lentil in the region as increasingly more fields would have
t. aman rice harvested towards the end of November. Yields were poor in October sowing as the soils
remained too wet then and seedling growth was retarded. In a repeat experiment in 2009-10, however,
highest yield by far was obtained in a sowing of 4 November, compared to later in the month. In this
season, December was unusually foggy and damp, with the surface soil remaining saturated. This limited
growth of seedlings of crops sown after the first week in November, eventually result6ing in low yields.
Thus it appears that the optimum sowing time for lentil in northern districts can vary markedly from
season to season depending on weather conditions. Analysis of historical weather data would be needed
to establish the probability of adverse weather conditions in December that would limit growth of lentil
seedlings. Then it would be possible to assess the risk of sowing lentil well into November in northern

Food For Progress for Bangladesh (FFPB)
A NGO Bangladesh is working on various agricultural programs at field level to ensure food security at
poor farm household level. We know that many crops grow best at neutral (PH 7.0) soil PH. The soils of
the northern part of Bangladesh (basically Rangpur division) are highly acidic (pH, 5.5) with low calcium
and magnesium levels. In this connection, A NGO is implementing a project named “ Food for progress
for Bangladesh (FFPB)” under technical assistance of Cornell University, USA with financial support
from USDA. A NGO is transferring liming technology to the rural poor farm households in order to raise
soil PH and improve calcium and magnesium supply to crops. This results in more production and more
income, through which farm households improve their livelihoods and food security.

Food insecurity is a fundamental feature of poverty in Bangladesh. All cultivable land in Bangladesh is
already being used; so increasing crop yield and cropping intensity are the only ways to increase
production. Both of these approaches depend on further improvement of crop varieties, cropping systems
and resource management practices that better fit the environment.

Soil acidity is one of the key constraints to improving and sustaining food security and economic growth
in the agricultural sector of the NE & NW regions of Bangladesh. About 27% (2 million ha) of land
cultivated by 3.5 million farmers is strongly acidic and the productivity of a wide range of crops,
including cereals, vegetables and pulses, is highly responsive to liming of soils. Research has shown that
lime addition to acid soils in Northwest Bangladesh at the rate of 1 t/ha increases average yields of ,maize
by 2 t/ha, wheat by .75 t/ha, legumes such as peanut, chickpea and mungbean by 0.5-1 t/ha and rice by
0.5 t/ha.

In 2010, the project provided training to 18 project staff and 654 Farmer Promoters of which 302 are
female Farmer Promoters. This project formed 330 Farmer Field School (FFS) with 5000 farm
households as per project guidelines and established 4,819 demonstrations plots on different crops and
vegetables. It was observed that, out of 1,262 demonstrations on limed and non-limed plots, crop yields
from limed plots averaged 30 % more than from the non-limed plots. Through these demonstrations,
farmers are realizing the advantages of liming in acid soils.


It is now proved that liming in acid soil is a blessing for farmers. The major challenges are that most of
the farmers have little idea about liming of acid soils for better production. A NGO believes that after
completion of this project, a significant number of farmers will be benefited from this project, while the
government will come-up to take lime technology as a national program.

Conservation agriculture and site-specific nutrient management technologies help improve
productivity and income through rice-maize system in northwest Bangladesh.
The rice-maize (R-M) system has become a trend among farmers in Bangladesh to meet the demand for
the two cereals. But, despite their hard work and determination, overall production of this system remains
modest. Maize is a fairly new crop in NW Bangladesh, yet demand for it is increasing as feed for poultry
and fish. Maize needs to be incorporated with rice, which is still the country’s preferred staple food.
Consequently, the R-M and rice-potato-maize (R-P-M) Systems have become popular as farmers
scramble to supply the increasing demand for maize in the local market. However, the yield of R-M
system in NW Bangladesh is far below its potential. Under financial support of Australian Centre for
International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), A NGO implementing a project on Sustainable
Intensification of R-M Production Systems in Bangladesh along with IRRI , CIMMYT and other national
partners since 2008 at Mithapukur and Gangachara upzillas in Rangpur district in NW Bangladesh to
increase their productivity and income.

The overarching goal of this project is to increase income, reduce poverty and hunger, improve the quality
of life, and conserve natural resources in rural areas of Bangladesh by empowering farmers with ecologically
and economically sound R-M systems that much their specific requirements in selected irrigated and favorable
rainfed R-M areas areas. Rice and maize crops each have their own required soil environment. Excessive
tillage for these crops can degrade the soil-depleting it of organic matter and nutrients. Thus, the project team
operates key principle of conservation agriculture (Ca) and SSNM technology. A key principle of Ca is the
practice of minimum mechanical soil disturbance so as to maintain nutrients and prevent water loss in the soil,
and avoid erosion. CA- based practices such as zero- tillage farming can save much organic matter in the soil
for a long time. thus, SSNM, a tender technology to CA, will help farmers apply only the necessary amount of
fertilizers and so R-M cropping will be profitable and sustainable.

The project has brought several technologies to the farmers through farmers’ field trials and
demonstration plots in Mithapukur and Gangachara upazillas in Rangpur district. Over the past 12
months, the project has made considerable progress in this direction. For example, DSR and unpuddled
TPR have been tried in several farmers’ fields; researcher- managed Nutrient Manager (NM) for Rice
evaluation trials were conducted on puddled TPR in many farmers’ fields; and CA- based trials on the
rice-maize-mungbean system have also been conducted in many farmers’ fields.

To test the usefulness of SSNM; the project conducted trials on rabi maize and on pre-kharif maize in
farmers’ fields. Some SSNM trials with omission plots (meaning either N, P,or K fertilizer in each plot)
are being conducted in rice and Maize to better understand nutrient responses, and evaluate NM for Rice
and Maize software to provide quick, reliable, and profitable fertilize Sustainable Intensification of R-M
Production Systems in Bangladesh recommendations to the farmers.


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