Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Network (BAEN) (www.baenbd.org) in close collaboration with the Agricultural Extension South Asia (AESA) Network (www.aesanetwork.org) is implementing the Last Mile Programme (LMP) supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Bangladesh. Promoting value chain orientation and public private partnerships in extension and advisory services (EAS) is an important activity under the LMP.
Commercializing small farm agriculture by making it more business oriented is an important policy consideration to make agriculture more attractive and protable in the Bangladesh context. Small-scale farmers need services that enable them to make informed decisions and facilitate their access to quality inputs, post-harvest facilities and more protable markets. This would mean that EAS should become more business and market oriented by supporting farmers to become agripreneurs and organising small scale farmers’ collectives for managing group enterprises. Access to this broad scope of services is generally facilitated by pluralistic EAS providers from the public and private sectors, producer organisations and civil-society organisations. However, very little is known about the performance of these business oriented EAS in the Bangladesh context
Call for Good Practices
This joint call by BAEN and AESA for good practices aims to document and share different approaches in business oriented EAS in Bangladesh. Several initiatives in Bangladesh have been providing this type of broader support to smallholder farmers, rural entrepreneurs and other actors in the value chain. The support spans across technological, business oriented, post production and marketing related aspects as well as catering to legal, regulatory and certification aspects.