UN agency support to improve smallholder farmers’ agricultural production and access to markets in Bangladesh

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UN agency support to improve smallholder farmers’ agricultural production and access to markets in Bangladesh

Fishermen sell their produce at a village market in Bakergonj, Bangladesh. ©IFAD/G.M.B.Akash

Dhaka, 24 August, 2016 – The Government of Bangladesh and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have signed a financial agreement to increase incomes and reduce extreme poverty and hunger for more than one million poor farming households in Bangladesh by increasing agricultural production and improving access to markets.

IFAD will provide US$23.86 million as a highly concessional loan to fund the $214 million Second National Agricultural Technology Programme (NATP-II). The project will also be funded by the World Bank ($176 million) and USAID  ($7.4 million). NATP-II will cover 57 of the country's 64 districts and span a broad range of agroecological zones across Bangladesh. 

The financial agreement was signed by Mohammad Mejbahuddin, Senior Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Planning, Government of Bangladesh and Hubert Boirard, Country Programme Manager for Bangladesh, IFAD.

“In Bangladesh, poverty in rural areas is still three times higher than in urban areas. Under the new programme, farming households will benefit directly or indirectly from extension services, hands-on training and on-farm demonstrations of climate-smart technologies and applied research,”  said Boirard.

The programme will also strengthen the capacity of the National Agriculture Research System (NARS) to generate and disseminate agricultural technologies aimed at increasing farm productivity and reducing post-harvest losses; promote farmer groups and producer organizations and link them to existing markets; provide support for the sustainable development of inland fish farms; and ensure that a significant proportion of direct beneficiaries are women.

Since 1978, IFAD has invested a total of $717.2 million in 31 projects in Bangladesh benefitting more than 10 million households.

Press release No.: IFAD/49/2016

IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided about US$17.7 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached some 459 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub.