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Dhaka Tribune

Govt embarks on $10m climate-smart livelihood project

  • 16,000 hectares lands under stress conditions to be brought under climate resilient farm practices  

Update : 22 Feb 2024, 11:07 PM

The government has embarked on a $10 million special program to bring 16,000 hectares of farmlands in some of the country’s climate-stressed pockets under climate resilient agricultural practices.

Under the “Building Climate Resilient Livelihoods” (BCRL) project, over the next five years the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) will train 32,000 farmers on adaptation; provide machineries, farm equipment, and stress-tolerant seeds to 19,000 vulnerable farmers; establish 150 rainwater catchment structures and 300 women-led vermicompost pits and 100 community seed banks. 

Officials told Dhaka Tribune on Thursday that the DAE would also develop and disseminate crop advisory and agro-met information to 27,200 farmers twice a week for wheat, maize, mangoes, watermelons, dragon fruits and cashew nuts and develop the capacity of agricultural entrepreneurs and micro SMEs. 

The Department of Environment (DoE), also a partner in BCRL project along with the DAE and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), will prepare a strategy document on innovative financial instruments, develop investment models, enhance the capacity of national stakeholders on climate risk assessment and prioritization of adaptation measures in agricultural sectors, and gender-sensitive agricultural value chains. 

An FAO statement said that the BCRL project was formally kicked off through an inception workshop held in the city on Thursday. 

A $10 million-budget project aims to strengthen resilience for impacts of climate change with improved livelihoods and reduced vulnerability in three selected areas of climate vulnerable areas such as High Barind Tract (HBT), water logging-prone and saline-prone areas, and Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh.  

According to DAE Deputy Project Director Mohammad Lokman Hossain Mazumder, the targeted upazilas where 16,000 hectares of lands will be brought under climate resilient agricultural practices are: Barind Tract upazilas - Nachole, Godagari, and Bholahat; waterlogged and saline-prone upazilas - Paikgachha, Dumuria, and Batiaghata and Chittagong Hill Tracts upazilas - Manikchhari, Khagrachari sadar, and Kawkhali.

The BCRL project will be implemented with technical assistance from the FAO where the DAE and the DoE are the implementing agencies. Under this project, the FAO will support the DAE for Bangladesh’s transition to a climate resilient and nature positive production system, consistent with national development goals and adhering to best practice social and environmental safeguards.

The DoE will be supported in developing an innovative financial instrument, investment models, and inter-sectoral planning and investment prioritization framework. The overall objective of the BCRL project is to improve the resilience of vulnerable people, and ecosystems to climate change, improve livelihoods through increased value addition in the agricultural food systems of Bangladesh and enhance national capacity for integrated adaptation.

At Thursday’s inception workshop, DAE Director General Badal Chandra Biswas, said: “The project will promote integrated adaptation in Bangladesh’s climate hotspots to reduce climate risks and loss and damage. For instance, the project will support approximately 30,000 farmers and 120,000 household members through improved seeds, machineries, rainwater catchment structure, vermi-compost pits, community seed banks, agro-met advisories, and capacity building grant for farmers’ organizations.”

Dr Dicky Simorangkir, Team Leader, Environment, Forest and Climate Change Unit, FAO Bangladesh, said on the occasion that the FAO has the capacity to provide technical assistance to foster climate resilient development in Bangladesh and it is in a position to mobilize more climate finance from various multilateral funding sources in the future.

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