FAO-EU Food Facility Project
FAO Bangladesh has initiated Food Facility Project support to assist the landless, marginal and small farmers of severely SIDR and AILA affected 12 districts of South Western parts of the country to enhance the food security for promote the life and livelihoods of the marginalized farmers in impoverished coastal area (GCP/BGD/043/EC) under the financial supported by European Union. The Project has been jointly implemented by the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) of Agriculture Ministry, Department of Fisheries and Department of livestock under the ministry of Fisheries and Livestock and respective different NGOs lead by FAO. SDA is the designated implementing NGO partner of this project at Bauphal and Dashmina Upazilla under Patuakhali district.
FFS Group members have been selected by I strictly maintaining the criteria of project guideline as the project beneficiary. The landless, poor, marginal and small farmers those are directly engaged with agricultural production and affected by the SIDR and AILA are the preconditions of beneficiary selection. At the beginning of the project a series of formal and informal meeting and sharing session has been organized with the different stakeholders in the district, Upazilla and Union level. DC, ADC, Upazila Chairman, Vice chairman, UNO, DAE, DLS, DOF, UP chairman, member and civil society representatives were the target audience in this regard.
Directly inputs distribution is the most important provision of this project. It has been carried out through the provision of inputs support, the project has been distributed 53 items of inputs among the beneficiary such as: improved seeds, fertilizers, fruit trees saplings, agricultural machineries, livestock, poultry and animal food supply along with animal sheds, improved fishing boats and aquaculture inputs among the group members. According to the LOA SDA has distributed the inputs as per ensuring the quality and quantity among the beneficiaries timely. Beneficiaries HHs are very happy by receiving this type of inputs in reality. It was their beyond imaginary issues. All the beneficiaries HHs (8040) have been directly benefited by the inputs as well as the neighboring farmers are indirectly benefited by the machinery inputs. It is noted that all the inputs have been supplied by the centrally hired vendor by FAO-EUFFP. So, the quality of supplied inputs is same as other parts of the project area relatively. These inputs have increased their HHs income which helps them to reduce their poverty level resulting to improve their food security and nutritional status. Inputs distribution creates the light of hopes in the area
Capacity building is one of the most elements of this project., In this regard two types of interventions have been taken by the project such as; Professional capacity building as well as human based capacity development of beneficiaries. Considering the issue, different training courses have been designed and organized for the beneficiaries’ by the project.
Community mobilization (CM) was an effective tool of this project. CM played a vital role in different stage of the project for smoothly implementation. All types of professionals of the community, LEB, govt. officials and local administration played important role in beneficiary selection, inputs distribution and so on. Even Mr. ASM Firoj, the honorable local MP and Whip of National Parliament was present as the chief guest with great joy and zeal in the inputs distribution ceremony at Bauphal Upazilla while the DC of Patuakhali was present as the chief guest in the inputs distribution ceremony at Dashmina Upazilla. They appreciated with pleasure for such type of works and supports in the area. Different departments of GoB such as, DAE, DLS and DoF etc have been providing a lot of people oriented services. But due to the lack of proper information the service seekers are not getting appropriate services from those departments. Hopefully by the community mobilization direct interaction has been promoted among the different stakeholders and levels. As a result the situation has been changed positively and the people became more aware. The service seekers feel interest to communicate with the respective section according to their requirements in the area.
One of the major causes and key points of poverty is the lack of knowledge, information and the lack of links with the different service providers. Considering the facts this project intervened to profession based skill development of farmers by providing training on different trades by assessing the needs of the community. Improvement of lives and livelihoods was the specific target of the project. The project adopted a good number of initiatives for the future sustainability. Integration of trade based Input support, provide technical knowledge and capacity development is the key factor of sustainability. The best utilization of land and other resources considering the time, labor and cost, capacity building for institutional sustainability, strengthening the unity of farmers, removal of communication gaps in between the service providers and service seekers will help to enhance the Income generation of farmers and that was the target of the project
Project duration was very short and it was the principal limitation of this project. It is clear to different stakeholders that the demand of service providing duration to be stayed for further more time in the field of such type of project.