Bangladesh

Bangladesh

September 12, 2017
Wasif Hasan

As part of the Government of Bangladesh’s goal of becoming a middle income country by 2021, USAID – through the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative – is supporting Bangladesh to improve food security and nutrition by promoting sustainable and inclusive agriculture-led growth. To date, Feed the Future programs in southern Bangladesh have helped improve the livelihoods of roughly 28 million people by enhancing the agricultural diversification and productivity of small farmers, increasing incomes and access to food, improving nutrition and dietary diversity, and strengthening the resilience of poor households to withstand natural shocks. 

Despite these successes, many Bangladeshi farmers still face challenges due to limited access to improved seed varieties, quality fertilizers, irrigation, and markets, which hampers food production and agricultural diversification. A partnership between Feed the Future and the Government of Bangladesh’s Ministries of Agriculture and Food is aiming to change that.

In 2012, Feed the Future supported the creation of Bangladesh’s Agricultural Policy Support Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture. This helped pave the way for rigorous agricultural research and analysis that has led to tremendous results.

In 2013, the Government of Bangladesh successfully released four varieties of GE eggplant, with Feed the Future support. These varieties are now being grown by over 8,000 farmers in Bangladesh, providing an additional source of income during the dry season. The Government of Bangladesh plans to release another five varieties of eggplant in the coming years. By taking the lead in adopting this technology, Bangladesh is well-positioned to boost its agricultural productivity even further while simultaneously conserving resources, adapting to changing environmental conditions, and protecting the health of consumers and producers.

To help farmers further improve their agricultural productivity, in 2016, Feed the Future trained 2.4 million farmers in Bangladesh in better production methods, mechanization and marketing. Farmers were also introduced to improved agricultural inputs like fertilizer, irrigation, and new seed varieties. Feed the Future-supported farmers earned an incremental $315.4 million from agricultural commodities that year.

And in February 2017, Feed the Future, in collaboration with the Minister of Agriculture of the Government of Bangladesh, launched the Agriculture Card Initiative, or A-Card Initiative, in the southern city of Khulna. The initiative works to increase smallholders’ access to finance through a card that functions much like a credit card. Farmers have up to 6 months before their first payment on the card is due, helping to address one of the major challenges Bangladeshi farmers face: lack of capital for investing in farm activities. Thanks to this initiative, over 3,200 smallholder farmers can now easily borrow funds to purchase supplies, like improved seeds and quality fertilizers, at low interest rates.

With more than half of the population engaged in agriculture, Bangladeshi farmers need resources to feed a population that now exceeds 160 million. The country holds enormous potential to further increase sustainable agricultural production, and thanks to the government’s continued commitment to agriculture development, Bangladeshi farmers are learning how to maximize agriculture production, gaining access to quality seed varieties, and boosting and diversifying their incomes.  

 

August 3, 2017
Mia Kelly/CSISA-MIAbdur Rahman with his power tiller operated seeder .

Abdur Rahman, a farmer in the Jessore District in Bangladesh, has always looked for ways to improve the efficiency of his farm.

He recently attended an event organized by a Feed the Future project where he met representatives of leading farm machinery manufacturers and importers, and quickly saw an opportunity to improve his own farming. He was highly impressed by one particular machine – the power tiller operated seeder (PTOS) – which he could attach to a small tractor to simultaneously till, plant, and fertilize his crops in lines with greater precision and energy efficiency. This was a big change from simply using his tractor to plough fields.

“I can now save over BDT 5,400 (US$70) per season by tilling, seeding, and fertilizing all 1.07 hectares of land with my PTOS machine at the same time,” Rahman said.

After purchasing the machine, he also began increasing his income by tilling, seeding, and fertilizing other farmers’ fields on an affordable fee-for-service basis.

That’s exactly the kind of impact the Feed the Future project that hosted the event is designed to have. Building on the International Maize and Wheat Center’s long history of research in agricultural mechanization, the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia, Mechanization and Irrigation (CSISA-MI) project provides operational training on fuel-efficient and climate-smart tools such as axial flow pumps, the PTOS and multi-crop reaper-harvesters. The project also partners with a number of private-sector machinery importers, manufacturers, and dealers, and works to strengthen value chains for machinery sales and rural entrepreneurs.

These efforts are bearing fruit. Since 2013, sales of machines for smallholder agriculture have grown dramatically, with more than 70,000 farmers using machinery on over 30,000 hectares in areas where Feed the Future works in Bangladesh.

 “The government encourages and supports the private sector investment in delivering appropriate machines, according to farmers’ needs and choices,” said Begum Matia Chowdhury, Bangladesh’s Minister of Agriculture.

Local manufacturers have also expressed interest in supporting smallholders.

“We are going to manufacture machines in Bangladesh according to local need, in addition to importing others,” said Subrata Ranjan Das, chief business officer of ACI Motors Ltd., one of the companies partnering with the project. “This investment is crucial to shift our present paradigm to the next, regarding mechanization.”

For farmers like Rahman, that is also an investment in his livelihood as a farmer and in his future.

The USAID-funded Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia, Mechanization and Irrigation (CSISA-MI) is a Feed the Future project led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in partnership with International Development Enterprises. CSISA-MI began in 2013 and focuses on transforming smallholder agriculture in southern Bangladesh by spreading research results on a large scale through agricultural business development and strategic support in value chains. CSISA-MI is a complementary USAID investment supporting the overall CSISA program in South Asia.

August 3, 2017
Amer FayadFarmers in Nepal prepare seedling trays using coconut pith and the beneficial fungus trichoderma.

Bangladesh and Nepal are so close they could touch, if not for the small sliver of India between them. The three countries share more than proximity: Thanks to the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management, they also share technologies and research that help them grow better food and increase agricultural productivity. 

For many years, agriculture has made huge advances because of research, helping farmers and food producers boost yields, produce more nutritious and safe food, and keep up with agricultural demand. Through 24 U.S. university-led Feed the Future Innovation Labs, Feed the Future supports research that combats emerging threats.

Often, this important work spans borders.

In 1998, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management began working in Bangladesh and expanded its work to India and Nepal in 2005. While the Innovation Lab no longer has projects in India, the innovations it developed there are now helping address agricultural challenges in neighboring countries.

“Crop pests and diseases don’t care about borders,” said Muni Muniappan, director of the Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab. “So we also share technologies across borders.”

One of the biggest successes to come out of this three-country partnership is the use of trichoderma, a fungus that fights diseases, promotes plant growth, and is safe to handle. Researchers from the Innovation Lab previously worked with Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in India, which had been producing and selling trichoderma to farmers. Once researchers learned about its benefits, they began promoting its production and use in Bangladesh and Nepal.

Trichoderma has been a godsend in treating fungal diseases in developing countries,” Muniappan said. “It is easy and cheap to produce, very effective against pests, and in addition to helping farmers regain their livelihood, it has created a new source of income.”

In India, the commercial production of trichoderma was so successful that Tamil Nadu Agricultural University built a new plant pathology building out of the money it made from the sale of the fungus. It is also an asset to vendors. In Nepal, entrepreneurs are making a living selling the fungus, based in part on trainings they received through the Innovation Lab. And in Bangladesh, trichoderma is mixed with compost and applied in the field to combat soilborne diseases of vegetable crops. 

Another technology developed in India and implemented successfully in Bangladesh and Nepal is the use of coconut dust to help raise seedlings. Coconut dust, previously considered a waste material, provides an ideal medium in which to grow healthy, young seedlings until they’re ready to be transplanted. Producing the seedling trays creates jobs, especially for women. They often earn valuable extra income doing this work, which they can invest in their families.

The Innovation Lab has disseminated other technological innovations and approaches throughout the three countries, like grafting vegetable shoots, using pheromone traps, and making bio-pesticides. To help rural farmers access and understand these tools and improved practices, the Innovation Lab is not only working through the usual channels of extension agents, NGOs, and development projects, but also by helping local, small-scale industries produce and market the recommended products to those that need them most.

Continuing their work to connect researchers from across the world, the Innovation Lab facilitates the transfer of vital technologies by organizing travel opportunities for Bangladeshi and Nepali farmers, scientists, and entrepreneurs to visit Indian universities and bio-pesticide companies. They also arrange for Indian scientists to visit Bangladesh and Nepal to host scientific workshops to share knowledge.

In 2016, five representatives from Bangladesh’s leading agribusiness firms traveled to India to visit nurseries, attend university lectures, and see a bio-fertilizer lab.

The connections made between India, Bangladesh and Nepal have led to increased crop production, a reduction in health and environmental damage, and an economic benefit to local farmers and agri-business entrepreneurs. They are also a valuable opportunity for developing countries to profit and learn from one another.

February 22, 2017

Through Feed the Future, the mSTAR Project is capitalizing on the popularity of mobile financial services to strengthen the agricultural sector and improve farmers' economic resilience.

June 30, 2016
Saikat Mojumder/CIMMYTMosammat Lima Begum and her axial flow pump.

At 24, Mosammat Lima Begum, who lives in a village in Barisal District in Bangladesh, is devoted to her family’s security and well-being. She’s also an accomplished agro-entrepreneur, respected by many for her initiative and business acumen. 

A year ago, Begum’s husband found work in Oman and emigrated there to earn more income for the family. His departure made Begum wonder, what could she do to generate more income so that their family didn’t have to rely on remittances? She found her answer while attending a demonstration of an axial flow pump. 

Begum had some familiarity with water pumps. Her husband, who farmed, had owned one when they got married. But the axial flow pump was new to her. At the event, run by the Feed the Future Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia-Mechanization and Irrigation (CSISA-MI) program, Begum learned that the axial flow pump is an inexpensive surface-water irrigation technology. It can reduce irrigation costs by up to 50 percent at low lifts (situations that don’t require a lot of pump power because the water source is not too much lower than the agricultural fields). 

In December 2015, Begum gained access to an axial flow pump and to training on its use through CSISA-MI. Then, during the January-to-April 2016 boro rice season, she started a business providing irrigation services to her neighbors. She now irrigates more than 28 hectares of land with the pump—and since there are 400 hectares of farmland in her village, there’s plenty of opportunity for business to grow. In just 1 year, Begum increased her income by $397. The money went a long way to help her purchase a new tiller, repair her home, and buy ducklings to rear.  

“The farmers who take irrigation services from me are quite happy,” she began, “because this year their paddy fields are getting as much water as they need, and the soil isn’t drying up.” Since the soil has enough moisture, the rice seedlings are growing better than before. “The roots have stretched well, and the bunches look pretty thick. It implies that there is a potential for better production this season if the fields are nurtured and fertilized properly.”

Begum’s business success has attracted the attention of other service providers and farmers, who now are also interested in purchasing axial flow pumps. At least 15 farmers in Begum’s village have expressed their intentions to purchase one for the next boro rice season. Following Begum’s lead, four service providers have already purchased the pump from local dealers who manufacture it and have partnered with CSISA-MI to test, target and disseminate efficient irrigation technology.

Begum’s cousin, Mohammad Shah Alam Bepari, helps operate her axial pump. He supports her interest in purchasing a second one next year. “Our fuel costs have significantly reduced,” he explained. Begum expressed her optimism about the future, saying, “As I have a plan to buy another axial flow pump next year, I wrote a letter to my husband to return back home. We will have enough money then to run the family together.”

January 28, 2016
Moana TechnologiesA shrimp farmer examines black tiger shrimp in Bangladesh.

World shrimp production tops six million metric tons each year, and demand for this shellfish is still growing. In many developing countries, this trend translates into jobs and income from shrimp farming. Bangladesh, a Feed the Future focus country, produces and exports nearly 70,000 tons of shrimp each year, amounting to more than half a billion U.S. dollars and employing more than 1.2 million people.

The news hasn’t all been good, however. Most of Bangladesh’s exported shrimp comes from 300,000 small aquaculture farms that rely on hatchery-produced wild broodstock—a group of mature individuals used in aquaculture for breeding purposes—for their supply of post larvae. Wild broodstock is risky because it is often infected with pathogens such as the highly lethal and contagious white spot syndrome virus, which can wipe out a shrimp population within a few days.

Hawaiian biotechnology company Moana Technologies spent more than a decade developing a solution to this problem by breeding a new line of disease-free black tiger shrimp. This shrimp line has key advantages over shrimp from wild-broodstock post larvae. First, it grows faster, allowing farmers to produce at least two crops per year. Second, it boasts a much higher survival rate of 80 percent, which means farmers can stock less of the new line. Third, the disease-free shrimp falls into a larger size category and, thus, command a higher price.

In 2014, Moana received funding from Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation, a USAID program that develops public-private partnerships to commercialize agricultural technologies for smallholder farmers. With the funding, Moana was able to transfer its shrimp breeding technology to Bangladesh through a Bangladeshi shrimp hatchery, MKA Hatchery. Unlike other hatcheries, MKA was owned by Main Uddin Ahmad, a former fighter pilot in the Bangladeshi Air Force, who saw the potential for a new way of doing business. Ahmad brought a passion to help the smallholder farmers of his country and invested personal finances to upgrade his facilities.

In collaboration with USAID’s Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition project, and using the funding from Partnering for Innovation, Moana began working with MKA Hatchery to transfer its shrimp breeding technology to Bangladesh, identifying a successful shipment approach after some trial and error. Partnering for Innovation also contributed additional technical assistance funds so Moana experts could train the MKA staff in proper broodstock feeding and reproduction techniques.

During the 2015 shrimp season, MKA has successfully raised and sold 25 million disease-free shrimp post larvae, increasing the productivity and incomes of several large-scale and more than 500 smallholder shrimp farmers. With Moana’s expertise and funding from USAID’s Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition project, MKA’s goal, in collaboration with three other private shrimp hatcheries, is to produce 500,000 million post larvae this year.

With USAID funding, Moana’s partnership with MKA Hatchery is changing the shrimp industry in Bangladesh and making it possible for the country’s smallholder shrimp farmers to make a better living. The attitude of hatcheries is changing, and the Government of Bangladesh has the grounds to be stricter on supply of infected post larvae because, now, there is an alternative. As Ahmad says, “Innovation has to move fast. When progress was hard and failure was possible, Feed the Future helped us go from zero to hero.”

July 28, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C.—President Obama today announced that Feed the Future, his signature global hunger and food security initiative, is delivering on his promise to reduce hunger and malnutrition through agricultural development. New data demonstrate that, thanks in part to Feed the Future and other U.S. Government efforts, stunting rates have declined in Ethiopia, Ghana, and parts of Kenya by between 9 and 33 percent in recent years, while areas in Uganda have seen a 16 percent drop in poverty.

During a tour of Ethiopian food processor Faffa Foods as part of his fourth presidential visit to Africa, President Obama highlighted progress across the continent made through Feed the Future. As part of its comprehensive approach, the multi-agency initiative supports food processors like Faffa Foods with technical assistance through a jointly funded public-private partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Partners in Food Solutions, a non-profit consortium of multinational companies that works to help smallholder farmers.

 "The number of hungry people in the world has dropped by 100 million in the last decade, in large part due to coordinated efforts around the world to eradicate hunger and end extreme poverty," said USAID's Acting Administrator Alfonso Lenhardt. "But there is much work left to do. Today, 795 million people still suffer from hunger and malnutrition, conditions that can drive instability and turmoil and continue the vicious cycle of poverty. Through Feed the Future, governments, civil society, development partners, and the private sector will continue to work together to ensure everyone has the nutritious food they need to lead healthy and productive lives"

During a press conference in Kenya on Saturday, President Obama said of the initiative: "[I]f you look at our Feed the Future program...we've got millions of farmers across this continent who, as we speak, have benefitted from increased yields, increased incomes, greater access to small loans that are making them more productive, greater access to market, linking up with technology in ways that assure that they get a fair price -- all of which, since Africa is still disproportionately rural, is increasing incomes and spurring growth and building a middle class in the entire continent...it is a model that's working and then has been supplemented with private sector investments that is further advancing the development of a more productive agricultural sector across the African continent."

In 2014 Feed the Future and other U.S. Government programs reached nearly 9 million children in Africa with nutrition interventions, and helped nearly 2.5 million smallholder farmers gain access to new tools or technologies such as high-yielding seeds, fertilizer application, soil conservation and water management. The 2015 Feed the Future progress report results summary, released today, includes analysis of data trends from recent years and emphasizes how these results are contributing to broader impacts and long-term outcomes -- such as downward trends in both poverty and stunting:

  • In Ethiopia, there was a 9 percent reduction in stunting nationally between 2011 and 2014.
  • Ghana experienced a 33 percent decline in stunting nationally between 2008 and 2014.
  • Kenya saw a more than 25 percent reduction in stunting in the areas of the former Eastern and Nyanza provinces, where Feed the Future programs have been concentrated, from 2009 to 2014.
  • In Uganda, data show a 16 percent decrease in poverty in rural areas, including where Feed the Future works, between 2009-2010 to 2012-2013. National poverty levels also declined from 24.5 percent in 2009-2010 to 19.7 percent in 2012-2013.

At the tour today, President Obama met Gifty, an Ethiopian smallholder farmer who is now able to support her family with the help of Feed the Future. Gifty is one of millions of smallholders who illustrate the story behind Feed the Future's impact. The 2015 Feed the Future progress report contains the stories of several other farmers and food producers, and also previews additional impact data from across Feed the Future focus countries in Asia and Latin America, demonstrating that in countries supported by Feed the Future and other large-scale U.S. Government efforts, local capacity to support food security, agricultural productivity and good nutrition continue to grow stronger. 

Globally, in FY2014 alone, Feed the Future investments:

  • Reached nearly 19 million households via assistance or training, and helped nearly 7 million farmers gain access to improved tools or technologies such as high-yielding seeds, fertilizer application, soil conservation and water management;
  • Trained nearly 1.5 million people in child health and nutrition, and reached more than 12 million children with nutrition interventions; and
  • Helped Feed the Future-supported farmers experience more than half a billion dollars in new agricultural sales, which directly impacts farmer incomes.

During today's visit, President Obama also announced several exciting new food security commitments:

  • A $140 million Feed the Future package of investments to support partnerships to produce, market and utilize climate-resilient seeds -- including maize, legumes, rice, and wheat -- to smallholder farmers in 11 African countries. This will help smallholders sustainably increase productivity and is expected to benefit more than 11 million households across Africa over the next three years.
  • An additional $2 million commitment from USAID, matched by partner DuPont Pioneer, to reach 100,000 Ethiopian farmers by 2018 with new high-yield seed technologies and technical assistance.
  • Plans for a commitment of over $150 million in additional funding for Resilience in the Sahel-Enhanced (RISE), a program helping 1.9 million of the most vulnerable people in the Sahel break the cycle of crisis, escape chronic poverty, and reduce the need for humanitarian assistance. This will bring the total commitment to RISE to approximately $290 million over 5 years.

These efforts should help ensure that more and more individual smallholder farmers will continue to contribute to - and benefit from - participation in the global economy.

The 2015 Feed the Future progress report results summary and Africa chapter are available now, with full chapters of results from Feed the Future focus countries in Asia and Latin America to be released later this year athttp://feedthefuture.gov/progress2015. 

This release originally appeared on the USAID website. 

April 30, 2015
SHIKHAIn remote villages of Bangladesh, a Feed the Future campaign is promoting good nutrition among people without access to traditional media.

Bangladesh has made great strides in expanding its power distribution network, but only 60 percent of the country has access to electricity and less than one third of households in rural areas are connected to the grid. Many of these areas are thus beyond the reach of traditional media like television or radio,  so reaching people living in rural Bangladesh with basic information about health and nutrition is a challenge.

In order to reach these communities with key information about improving family nutrition, four Feed the Future implementing partners are working together to carry out a mobile media campaign to improve nutrition in remote villages across southern Bangladesh. Using portable large screen video messages along with interactive demonstrations and quiz games, these Feed the Future projects are educating rural families on proper nutrition and hygiene, as well as teaching them how to grow homestead gardens and improve the yield of fish, such as tilapia, that are raised in household ponds.

Members of the media outreach team travel to secluded areas by automobile and boats to share information through interactive sessions in villages. They teach families a variety of new practices, from using low-cost, hands-free “tippy tap” devices to wash their hands, to using higher quality fingerlings (young fish) to cultivate tilapia. The outreach teams also educate villagers about the importance of proper nutrition for pregnant women, exclusive breastfeeding for infants under six months of age and complementary feeding techniques to help small children grow up to be healthy adults.

So far, the “media dark” campaign – so named because it promotes media in the “dark” parts of the country without electricity – has reached more than half a million individuals in 1,500 villages. Bangladesh print and electronic media have also taken interest in this innovative approach, attending several village outreach events and providing extensive coverage of the program. 

Over a three-year period, this rural social and behavior change communications campaign will conduct 8,600 shows in villages that are either fully or partially unconnected to electricity.

By working together and combining resources, Feed the Future partners are harnessing their expertise to achieve a common goal and provide critical information to help some of the most vulnerable people in Bangladesh have a chance to lead healthy and productive lives. 

With funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development under the Feed the Future initiative, this media campaign is implemented by SHIKHA through the combined efforts of the Aquaculture for Income & Nutrition, Strengthening Partnerships, Results and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING), and CIP-Horticulture projects in Bangladesh.

February 26, 2015
Joel FloydMarina Jabunnaher, third from left in white, at the first annual Bangladesh Plant Health Laboratory Networking Conference
Marina Jabunnaher is a senior monitoring and evaluation officer with the Ministry of Agriculture’s Department of Agricultural Extension in Bangladesh. A rising leader in her field, she is also the beneficiary of capacity building efforts under an agreement between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Agency for International Development in support of the Feed the Future initiative. 
 
Through this agreement, the U.S. Government is strengthening Bangladesh’s sanitary and phytosanitary capabilities, i.e. its ability to prevent and combat threats to the health of both humans and agricultural crops. Through a series of professional engagement opportunities, USDA has established strong working relations with key decision-makers in Bangladesh’s agriculture sector, including members of the Ministry of Agriculture. 
 
The program includes a gender component and aims to promote scientific and professional leadership among women like Marina, who has completed trainings and exchanges in order to develop the skills she needs to advance food security in Bangladesh. After working with U.S. subject-matter experts to build her technical expertise, she created an inspection manual with standard operating procedures that quarantine inspectors will be able to use as a reference tool at Bangladesh’s major land borders and sea ports. The manual, which will be published in 2015, will help demonstrate how to identify and treat pests and plant diseases that pose a risk to agricultural products. This reference tool will help ensure that import and exports inspection practices are aligned with international standards, increasing Bangladesh’s opportunities for agricultural trade.
 
Jabunnaher has recently been nominated as a committee member for the Bangladesh Plant Health Laboratory Networking committee, a body that is working together to develop a central web-based platform for scientists, government personnel, scholars, subject-matter experts and farmers to use for pest and plant disease identification. She continues to display strong leadership skills and hopes to inspire other women to follow in her footsteps. 
February 26, 2015
Shirin Akhter/CSISA-MIMonowara Begum purchased a seeder and fertilizer drill with support from Feed the Future.
Many women in Bangladesh are active in the agriculture sector, but they face social, cultural and economic constraints to income and food security. Limits on their working hours, rate of pay and access to equipment can hinder or obscure their contributions to agricultural growth.
 
To address this issue, the Cereal Systems Initiative of South Asia (CSISA), funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of the Feed the Future initiative, is actively engaging women farmers in Bangladesh in a project to expand access to mechanized agricultural technologies. Local groups of women farmers and individual service providers are already benefiting from equitable access to agricultural input and output markets and increasing their control over household income. 
 
One of these women is Monowara Begum, a 48-year-old local service provider in southern Bangladesh who purchased a seeder and fertilizer drill in November 2014. “In comparison to my power tiller service, the number of my clients has increased a lot since purchasing the seeder,” she says. 
 
The drill, researched and developed by CSISA, simultaneously tills, plants and fertilizes crops with greater precision than other equipment. It is marketed by local agricultural retailer and private sector partner RFL, and costs approximately $750. Monowara paid a little more than $300 in cash from her own savings; the rest was financed under RFL’s cost discount offer as part of the mechanization project’s effort to help make farm machinery more affordable and boost technology adoption across Bangladesh’s agriculture sector. 
 
Members of a local cooperative of 25 women farmers, of which Monowara is president, share the drill—and their earnings. Monowara receives 51 percent for the equipment rental and the end user receives the remaining 49 percent. 
 
To encourage and equip more women farmers to succeed, USAID trained 463 women to use agricultural machinery in just the early months of the project. In the city of Khulna, more than 100 women participated in training events between January and March 2014. Three of them are renting machinery like Monowara’s seeder and fertilizer drill as a result, serving 127 farmers, 82 of whom are women, helping them plant and maintain their fields for more bountiful harvests.
 
“The seeder and fertilizer drill are benefiting both the farmers and service providers,” Monowara says. “Besides, the machine saves two times the cultivation cost for the farmers.”

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