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Community-based Organizations in RFLDC, Noakhali: Towards Sustainability of the Agricultural Extension System

Aug 17, 2014


Dr. Harvey Demaine Presented a Presentation at Promotional Workshop on Strengthening CBO network, June 20, 2013 at White Hall Party Center, Noakhali

  • Prepared by Harvey Demaine, DanidaAdvisor
  • Project Location: 20 Upazilas of GreaterNoakhali (Noakhali-9,Feni-6 & Lakshmipur-5)& Mirsarai, Sandwip andFatikchari Upazilas fromChittagong DistrictProject Period: 6.75 YearsOctober 1, 2006 toJune 30, 2013)Project cost: DPP RDPP-IITotal : 771 million BDT 985 millionDANIDA : 700 million BDT 881 millionGOB : 71 million BDT 104 millionProject Summary
  • Objectives and Outputs Immediate Objective: Improved and sustainable productivity of and returns fromfisheries and livestock systems of resource-poorhouseholds[As we shall see, over the last two years therehas been a shift from a focus on productivityto returns]
  • Outputs 1. Effective support to resource poor households throughdecentralized, integrated and demand-driven extensionprovision (through Farmer Field School approach) 2. CBOs and Farmers Associations formed and enabled toarticulate their demands to local private and public serviceproviders 3. Linkages with the private sector improved to enablefarmers to access quality inputs and markets 4. Local government institutions enabled to address theexpressed demands of the local community in relation tofisheries and livestock development 5. Capacity of District and Upazila level offices of DOF andDLS to deliver public goods enhanced
  • Development of CBOs in RFLDC Emergence of CBOs in the improved extensionstrategy dates from Greater Noakhali AquacultureExtension Project (GNAEP) in 2003 Initially Resource Learning Centers to maintain flowof information on aquaculture technology to farmers Quickly realized these were unsustainable; widenedto supply of quality and timely agricultural inputswhich offered an income stream Commission from sales of prawn post-larvae andprofits from feed
  • Core Element in Sustainable Extension Strategy Actually emergence of CBOs were seen as the coreelement in an alternative and sustainable extensionstrategy GNAEP had sought to promote aquaculture throughcontracting NGOs for training and credit Identified that NGOs did not address the poor (rather themore credit-worthy) and were dependent on provision ofProject operational costs Tendency to downscale or disappear at the end of theProject (sunset project) Capacity-building of farmers own organizations seen asmore sustainable
  • Improved Livelihoods of Resource- poor Farmers(through increased productivity of and returns from fisheries and livestock systems)Farmer Field Schools (demand-driven extension)Service- provision throughCommunity-based OrganizationsTechnical Support and QualityInput Supply through UpazilaFisheries and Livestock OfficesSupply of Quality Inputs and MarketOpportunities through (mainly local)Private AgribusinessSocio-political Supportand Financial Resourcesfrom Union Parishad viaBlock GrantRFLDC Technical Assistance TeamFigure 1: Original RFLDC Extension Model
  • CBOs Typical Services Provision of seed and young stock (fish, prawn, fry/PL,fingerlings/juveniles; DOC, DOD / ducklings, Kids,Lambs) Breeding services (bucks/bulls, artificial insemination) Vaccination services (through Poultry Workers andCommunity Livestock Workers) Feed provision (concentrates, local feed ingredients,fodder cuttings) Facilities for Hire (pumps, nets) Support to Community-based (Dogi) Aquaculture Bulking of produce for collective marketing Production credit via Block Grant
  • Figure 2: Distribution of Services Provided by CBOs (up to end2012)
  • Development of CBOs is Painstaking Organizational Capacity Building Regular (Biennial) Elections to Executive Committees Regular Annual General and Planning Meetings attended by highpercentage of general members Annual Development Plans, increasingly based upon own resources Steady improvement in Financial Management, as demonstrated bypositive FAPAD and EOD Audit reports Building cadre skilled in Financial Management through ParticipatoryLearning Approach (Resource Persons Accounting) Movement towards Sustainability Increasing membership, especially of women members of FFS, mainlyrelated to produce marketing Increasing annual earnings supporting own staff, based upon widening ofactivities from input supply to marketing Development of Human Rights Committees Strong linkages between grass-roots level CBOs and 7 District CBOAssociations
  • Outstanding Features of CBOs Several CBOs run exclusively by women Support to community aquaculture development in about 130 dogisand over 100 settlement villages, including women prawn PLnursers; Provision of livestock vaccination services through network ofPoultry Workers, Community Livestock Workers and LivestockService Centres; Development of major net-making industry in Lakshmipur Districtinvolving over 2,000 landless women; Development of CBO network in Chittagong Hills, marketing localproduce through Feni CBO Association (recent purchase of truck); Marketing Networks with local branding (Khamar in Lakshmipur,Polli in Feni)
  • From Input Supply to Marketing Initial focus of CBO (IG) activities was input supply andservices (like Vaccination) From 2010, RFLDC realization that farmers engaged in FFSwere beginning to increase production to the degree thatmany were beginning to consider marketing surplus Started to change curriculum towards Integrated FarmManagement FFS with greater market orientation Perceived that CBOs could also assist in produce marketingwhich could widen their income generation and thereforeincrease their sustainability Also addressed problem of strengthening links between FFand CBOs Development of strategy of Producer and Marketing Groups
  • Farmer Field SchoolLearning Process (ArtificialStudy Plot)Field Laboratories(Informal Research)ASPS II Adaptive Research,BAU,CVASU, BLRI, NGOsProducer andMarketingGroupCommunity-basedOrganizationsLocal PrivateAgribusinessCBOAssociationsandAdvancedCBOsRegional,National andInternationalMarket ActorsInputs / MarketsFinance (ContractFarming)Inputs, Services, ProductionCredit in Kind (via Block Grant?);Market Identification andProduce CollectionResearch Co-operation (On-Farm Trials)FFS Members focusing onconsumptionAccess to QualityInput Supplies andMarkets of Freshand ProcessedProduceCBOs complementLocal Agribusinessto DistributeInputs and CollectProductsLocalFacilitatorsand ResourcePersonsWinrock /KatalystiDEFigure 3: RFLDC Revised Strategic Framework
  • CBOAssociationsCommunity-based OrganizationsProducer and Marketing GroupsLocal AgentsResource Persons,including as TrainersCoreProducersFigure 4: Relationships in the Market Chain
  • Capacity Building of CBOs as Agribusiness Over the past two years, RFLDC has tried to build capacity ofCBOs as small agribusiness Training of CBO Executive Committee members under BangladeshAgribusiness Development Project (BADP) Training of RFLDCs own TA staff in Agribusiness Developmentby Innovision (Markets for the Poor (M4P) Approach) RFLDC trying to promote Business Plans in CBOs Review of Process of PMG (Lot of emphasis in 2011) Searching for links to national and regional markets butneeded support Search since late 2011 for a partner to deepen marketorientation; now working with International DevelopmentEnterprises to Deepen Market Integration
  • Identification of Commodities (Value Chains) Maybe three possible origins: From FFS focus: fish, prawn, fingerlings/juveniles, eggs,ducks, pullets, milk and milk products, vegetables (gourds,pumpkins, etc), possibly soya bean, peanut, okra From Field Laboratory (specific programme in hills): sugarcane, musk melon Traditional local commodities (not part of FFS/FL process,but based upon local skills): coconut products, date palmjuice, turmeric, ginger, country bean seed, brooms, nets,topi, mats
  • Phasing Out of RFLDC For various reasons, Danida has decided to change its strategy of support tothe Agricultural Sector in BangladeshThis involves a phasing out of RFLDC atend June 2013 Disappointed, but confident that network of CBO (Farmers Organizations) inthe region will facilitate continuing service development to resource-poorfarmers, especially in input supply and marketing However, we want to ensure that GOB and non-government (including privatesector) service providers are aware of the CBO Network in each District sothat they can use it as a resource for extension activities in whatever sector Hopefully mutually beneficial, wider contacts will also benefit the CBOnetwork. Only two days ago, we were discussing in the hills how the CBO network,established mainly for extension purposes might be used for education, familyplanning and water and sanitation services This workshop called for this region and as you will see we have also prepareddocumentation which will help to facilitate contacts in the form of CBO ProfileBooks
  • Outputs 1. Effective support to resource poor households throughdecentralized, integrated and demand-driven extensionprovision (through Farmer