Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Bangladesh government has been working to strengthen the national agricultural technology system, including research and extension services to farmers, and thereby improve productivity of crops, livestock and fisheries through the National Agricultural Technology Project.

The project supports agricultural research efforts. A total of 108 Sponsored Public Goods Research (SPGR) subprojects have been approved and awarded, out of which 54 have already been completed and remaining will be completed by June 30, 2014, a project update said on Sunday.

For Competitive Grant Program (CGP), 53 out of 92 sub-projects have been completed and rest will be completed by October 31, 2014. Research activities have focused on promoting climate-smart agriculture and subprojects covered agro-ecologically constrained ecosystems including Saline intrusion, Hill terrain, Haor, Char land, and Drought and Floodplains areas.

The project has led to over 1.31 million farmers adopting 47 demonstrated new technologies. Almost 400,000 farmers have been mobilized into over 20,000 Common Interest Groups with access to relevant research and technologies that will significantly improve agricultural productivity.
Productivity of major commodities stands in the range of 29 to 87 percent in crops, 12 to 92 percent in livestock and 107 to193 percent in fisheries against the overall target of 8.0 percent.

The number of Farmers’ Information and Advisory Center (FIAC), decentralized one stop extension and advisory services for crops, livestock and fisheries, has increased to 732 and they are becoming active rural hubs for technology access and dissemination at Union level.   
More than 16,000 farmers have adopted 34 improved post-harvest technologies and management practices. So far, 21,500 tons of commodities worth US$ 10 million from small and marginal farmers have been sold through 25 Commodity Collection and Marketing Centers. This has led to a net benefit of BDT 68 million (USD 0.88 million).

The NATP is funded by the World Bank (IDA Credit of US$ 62.6 million), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) (US$ 19.4 million) and the government of Bangladesh (US$ 2.6 million). The project is jointly implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.

BBN/SSR/AD-15June14-12:47 pm (BST)