The USAID Agricultural Extension Support Activity and the public and private partner institutions provided training completion certificates and agricultural toolkit to the project supported Local Service Providers (LSPS) and Retailers.

The USAID Agricultural Extension Support Activity (AESA Project), implemented by Dhaka Ahsania Mission with CARE Bangladesh and mPower works in 12 targeted FtF (Feed the Future) program districts in southwest and central Bangladesh to sustainably improve the food security and nutrition for the smallholder farmers. The goal of the project is to strengthen the existing agriculture extension system by meeting demand driven extension delivery system in order to provide enhanced support to both the men and women farmers.

The project works to strengthen the existing capacity of the field level extension officials and also train the farmers with the help of these trained field staff so that the farmers are able to receive effective, innovative and value chain-based extension services from them. The project also organizes various training sessions for the local service providers (LSPs) and local retailers so that they can support the farmers with their improved and enhanced knowledge on extension services. These training sessions for farmers, LSPs and the local retailers are organized with the help of different public and private officials and institutions.

Government bodies like the Department of Fisheries (DoF), the Department of Livestock Services (DLS) and the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) and public academic institution like the Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) and private companies like Spectra Hexa Feeds Ltd., ACI Crop Care & Public Health, ACI Animal Health help the project in organizing such training sessions.

Accordingly, various training sessions were organized by the project with the help of these institutions for the LSPs and the local retailers during last few months. A Training Certificate and Agricultural Toolkit distribution ceremony was organized for the local service providers (LSPs) and retailers on Wednesday, 8 February 2017, at the BRAC Learning Center, Kholadanga Vekutia, Jessore.

Dr. Md. Nizam Uddin, Deputy Director, Department of Livestock Services (DLS), Khulna Division, graced the event as the Chief Guest, while Dr. AKM Mostafa Anower, Chairman and Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology and Public Health, Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) and Mr. Anowarul Haq, Director, Extreme Rural Poverty Program (ERPP), CARE Bangladesh were present as Special Guests at the event.

Other guests like, Mr. Ranjit Debnath, AGM Marketing, Spectra Hexa Feeds Ltd., Mr. Biswas Mohammed Shaifullah, Business Manager, ACI Crop Care & Public Health, Mr. Mohammad Shaheen Shah, Business Director, ACI Animal Health, Dr. Sk. Shafiqur Rahman, District Fisheries Officer, Jessore, Dr. Bhabotosh Kanti Sarker, District Livestock Officer, Jessore, Dr. Syed Md. Anwar Ul Islam, District Livestock Officer, Khulna, Kazi Md. Habibur Rahman, Deputy Director, DAE, Jessore also spoke on the occasion.

Representatives from farmer groups and LSPs also shared their experiences at the event.

Mr. Bidyuth K. Mahalder, Chief of Party of the USAID Agricultural Extension Support Activity chaired the program.

Ms. Tania Sharmin, National Technical Coordinator, AESA-CARE, showed a presentation on the private extension advisory service provisions at the event.

Appreciating such training initiatives and the toolkit for the LSPs and local retailers, the guests hoped that the acquired knowledge from these training sessions will be helpful for the participants to provide qualitative and effective extension services to the farmers at field levels.

Senior officials from the government bodies, project and the private sector were also present at the certificate and toolkit distribution ceremony.