Japan Supports Improved Natural Storages and Farmers Training Center
Dhaka: 13 March 2014
Government of Japan has decided to donate US$97,279 to GMark Foundation and US$121,623 to Society for Development Initiatives (SDI) to implement agricultural development projects. The grant contracts for the two Grant Assistance for Grass-roots Human Security Projects (GGHSP) were signed today at the Embassy of Japan in Dhaka by H.E. Mr. Shiro Sadoshima, Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh, and by the heads of the two organizations.
GMark Foundation, a national NGO, will construct 7 Improved Natural Storages (INS) in Bogra for 7 marginal farmers’ cooperatives. This initiative will enable poor potato farmers to store their harvest at low cost, with less wastage and for an increased amount of time compared to conventional methods. Further, GMark Foundation’s project design which allows operational cost to be covered solely by the service charge collected from the users will ensure the sustainability of the project.
Mr. Md. Saifuddin Khaled, Executive Director of GMark Foundation, shared that “temperature, moisture and humidity will be controlled naturally in INS system, helping to maintain the quality of the harvest for a long time at low cost; this will allow potato farmers to improve their margins”.
SDI, similarly a national NGO, will construct an agricultural training center with demonstration plots in Dhamrai and organize agricultural trainings mainly for marginal farmers. The trainings, coupled with the follow-up services, will enable farmers to acquire skills to enhance productivity on the field and to add more value to their produce. Additionally, as special focus will be placed on such subjects as vegetable cultivation using biological pest-control and organic fertilizer production, the project is expected to contribute to increased food safety in Bangladesh.
Mr. Shamsul Haque, Executive Director of SDI, mentioned, “Rural Bangladesh is home to 85% of the poor and agriculture is their main occupation. Further, there is an alarmingly high rate of toxic chemical-use in agricultural production. We hope to play our part in improving this situation”.
The Japanese Ambassador encouraged both organizations in their new endeavors saying, “The agriculture sector employs 44.4% of the population but constitute only 20% of the Bangladeshi economy. We are very happy to be a part of the effort to improve the productivity and profitability of this sector”.
Through GGHSP, the Government of Japan has been providing assistance to enhance human security at the grass-roots level in Bangladesh since 1989. To this date, a total of 180 projects have been funded through this scheme, amounting to US$ 13,890,148 in grant.
More Information on GGHSP(Click here)