Bangladesh is a land of 160 million people. This country is advancing forward with consistent economic growth. But the boon of this growth is not equal for all regions. There are hundreds of Island (Char) in Bangladesh. Millions of people are living in these Islands. The persistent economic growth merely contributes in the life of these Islands’ people. They are suffering for malnutrition, insufficient food, education and poor health due to scanty income, frequent natural disaster like flood, drought, heavy rain etc. and service facilities from government. Meanwhile, the main income source of these Island people is agriculture. Unfortunately, hundreds acres of island are not utilized and some of them are used under trials production. Primitive farming methods do not allow them to exploit full benefits of their land. So, introduction of modern agricultural formula the Char area would bring fruitful change in their crop production and remove their sufferings.
It would increase production and income of farmers. To improve farmers’ socio-economic standard, BacBon foundation initiated e-Farming intervention in char land of Haimchar Upazila under Chandpur district since 2012. Under the intervention, the foundation provide training to farmers on modern agricultural methods and instruments use via ICT. During training they learn how to use fertilizer, instrument, pesticides etc. After training farmers received high yielding variety and instruments for cultivation. The foundation closely monitor whole phase of crop production. After harvesting, the foundation help them to provide updated information to sell their crops directly to retailers at best market price. To reduce exploitation of middlemen, who steal actual benefits of production, the foundation is committed to channeling their products directly to established industries. The foundation provide updated information to them to cultivate crops which has high market value and commercially profitability after market analysis.
BacBon Foundation is a non-profit Organization that started its journey in January, 2009. It has developed a concept of ‘e-learning’ to provide training on modern cultivation method to Char farmers via Information Communication Technology (ICT). The Foundation initially selected some farmers to provide training which are recorded in DVDs (Digital Video Disks). The training contents recorded in DVDs aimed to help the selected farmers. Training module is prepared introducing Japanese farming formula. Adroit agriculture officer and agricultural policy makers helped to developed training module. It has started providing audio-visual training to charland (island) farmers on organic farming in Haimchar Upazila under the district of Chandpur since 2012. There is a team of farmers in charland who are receiving DVD-based training for their cultivation and influencing others to adopt this technology to increase their production as well as productivity.
The e-Farming Project aims to solve the social problem like poverty in the rural island (called “Char” in Bangladesh) through ICT Innovation and Japanese modern agricultural technology. In addition, it want to contribute in national economy by increasing production in Island and bringing fallow land under cultivation.
e-Farming provides Knowledge and Training by DVD lectures from best agricultural scientists and professionals. Generally training duration is one month. Training session is conducted by jointly by district agricultural officers in the Char area and the e-Farming officers. The project intends to introduce new farming machines as well new organic farming technology.
To make a bridge among farmers, the e-Farming project formed farmers association in the area. Through the association e-farming provides to farmers training space, bank account opening help, joint purchase function and mutual learning opportunity.
The e-Farming project aims to make a market with the aforementioned association and big companies in Bangladesh and Japan. Through the market place, the big companies can sell their fertilizer, agro-machines and related things and farmers can sell their agro-products without any intervention of middlemen. At the same time, many jobs will be created and organic fertilizer business become possible market for safe food production.
If the farmer’s income seems more than twice then they will have encouragement to send their kids to school of opposite of river. Their kids can stay in school dorm that is very effective way for their kids’ education. We conducted a research and we found that if farmers’ income level is going high then their kids have possibility to get higher education. Through the project, poor people will be able to increase their standard of living. Then they will be able to understand the meaning of savings, cooperative association, knowledge and training of action. As a demonstration effects, hundreds of island farmers will follow the success story of e-farming project and farmers.
We focus on that products/crops which are crucial for farmers’ survival and commercially beneficial for farmers. The project is intended to produce all kinds of semi-organic vegetables and are planning to produce full-organic vegetables like Green and red pepper, Onion, Garlic and tomato, Cucumber and potato, Pumpkin and Soybean, all kinds of bean and Ilesha fish from Chandpur.