The USAID Agricultural Extension Support Activity works within the 12 FtF (Feed the Future) program districts in southwest and central Bangladesh in order to sustainably improve the food security and nutrition situation for vulnerable smallholder farmers, with an emphasis on women. The project is being implemented by Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) with technical partners: CARE Bangladesh and mPower.

The project links the farmer groups with public and private extension service providers, input retailers and output market actors. In order to discuss the constraints and opportunities of public and private extension services and input and output market actors, and also for searching out leveraging points and recommendations of different stakeholders, the project organized a “multi-stakeholder workshop for economic development and cooperation” in a parallel session of A-Card at the Ambika Memorial Hall, Faridpur on August 17, 2016.

The main objective of the workshop was to identify the challenges and scopes of economic development and cooperation of different stakeholders and to incorporate market based initiatives in future planning of the Ag Extension Project.

Mr. Bidyuth K. Mahalder, COP, Ag Extension Project inaugurated the workshop while Ms. Tania Sharmin, NTC, CARE Bangladesh presented the keynote paper at the workshop. Different issues on crop, livestock and fisheries were covered in the keynote paper based on the agricultural production, inputs and services, value addition and selling of agricultural produces, supporting functions of agriculture including policies of agriculture.

The panelists at the workshop were: Dr. Md. Latiful Haider, Agriculture Extension Specialist, Ag Extension Project, CARE Bangladesh for crop sector,  Mr. Md. Hassanuzzaman, Technical Manager, Ag Extension Project, CARE Bangladesh for Livestock sector and Mr. Biswajit Mondal, Technical Manager, Ag Extension Project, CARE Bangladesh for Fisheries sector.

Project supported farmers, input retailers and LSPs from crop, livestock and fisheries sectors and other retailers of Agro-Input Retailers’ Network (AIRN) supported by the USAID AIP project and Fisheries service providers supported by the USAID AIN project and buyers from different crop sectors for jute, mungbean, chili, livestock sector for milk and bull fattening, and fish sector for white fish, prawn, etc. were present to discuss different input, buying and selling related issues at the workshop.

Representatives from microfinance institutions and Government bodies like: Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), Department of Livestock Services (DLS) and Department of Fisheries (DoF) were also present at the multi stakeholders’ workshop.

The project believes that with the findings from the workshop, it will work jointly with the public and private extension agents and help the farmers benefitted through further collaborations among different service provides and stakeholders.

Mr. Abu Zafar Mohammad Sadeque, Senior Training Coordinator, Dhaka Ahsania Mission moderated the panel session while the overall coordination of the program was done by Mr. Md. Azizullah Al Mahmud, Agri-Business and Marketing Specialist, Ag Extension Project, CARE Bangladesh. The event ended with the closing remarks of Mr. Anowarul Haq, Director-ERPP, CARE Bangladesh.