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FARMING SYSTEMS RESEARCH AND
DEVELOPMENT IN BANGLADESH
ASSESSMENT OF PROGRESS, STRATEGIES AND
Dr. E. Gilbert (Team Leader)
Dr. M. Zainul Abedin
Dr. Mohammad H. Mondal
Prof. M. Ferdous Alam
National Coordinated FSRD Programme
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council
The current review of FSRD programmes was undertaken by a team of 4 consultants over a
period of 6 weeks at the request of the Coordination Unit of National Coordinated Farming
Systems Research and Development Programme of BARC. From 25 May to June, 2001, the
Review Team held discussions with representatives of FSRD teams and a range of
stakeholders including extension service provides. The team visited 12 out of 17 FSRD sites
and reviewed activities of FSRD. On June 6-7, the team participated in a workshop at BARC
attended by representatives of FSRD teams. The last day of the workshop reviewed working
group discussion and presentation on areas of concern for FSRD, specially a) methodology
b) linkages, c) impacts, d) human resources management and development e) and
sustainability. The results of the workshop and the information received from other sources
have served the basis for the preparation of this report. The purpose of this report is to review
the results of FSRD and make recommendations in respect of the areas mentioned above.
Special attention is given on the issue of organizational and financial sustainability in view of
the expiry of the ARMP by the end of December, 2001. A summary of the major concerns as
perceived by the Review Team is discussed below:
One of the contributions of FSRD was the transformation of top-down on-farm research to a
bottom-up system oriented technology generation and transfer process. About 80-90% of on-
farm trials are now planned at FSRD sites by the site working teams. Research and
extension review workshop with extension officials have enriched bottom-up planning
process. FSRD has also successfully introduced multidisciplinary research at the site level.
Researchers could now look at interactions among components and flow of resources from
one component to another. Efforts are also being made to more adequately address the
environment, gender and marketing issues more than is currently the case. However, the
review team noted that there is need for improvement in innovation, adaptation and use of
tools and methods. Weakness in methodology, particularly in farmers' participation has
constrained transformations of FSRD from supply-driven mode to demand-drive mode to
adequately address the problems of marginal and small farmers including the women. It was
noted with concern that tools and methods currently used by FSRD were not very helpful in
capturing the demands of the resource poor farmers and the women. In some old and new
sites, not enough attention was given to empowering farmers to assume greater responsibility
for trials and development activities. Farmers participation was found to be on individual
basis, rather than as a group or community. Experience farm different countries suggest that
community participation at different stages of research and technology transfer provides
better results. It was further noted that FSRD teams was more concerned with short term
solution to farmers' problems rather than long-term national strategy.
One of the basic principles of FSRD is problem solving. It was noted that the quality of
problems and their analysis was not satisfactory. This was particularly evident from reports
presented to the review team at workshop at BARC. None of the reports included statements
on what problems in FSRD teams were trying'to solve for the farmers. FSRD teams agreed
that farmer innovations play key role in agriculture development. However, little or no
evidence was noticed to the effect that FSRD scientists were paying attention to farmer
innovations and indigenous technical knowledge (I TK).
Review Team feels that the current upstream linkage between FSRD and the participating
institutes, donors and policy makers has been very weak. The linkage that exists within the
institutes and between the institutes through exchange of information and field visits has
been very informal. The weak linkages that exist with these organizations could be accounted
for by a) the interaction between FSRD scientists and commodity researchers has not been
adequate, b) there has been no clear-cut understanding of the responsibilities of each other's
positions, c) NARS institutes are dispersed over several ministries that make the linkage
between institutes very difficult and d) appreciation of leaders about the need of FSRD
research in research planning and prioritization has not been adequate so far.
The present linkage could be made more effective through the a) improvement of the
efficiency of on-station/divisional scientists by promoting close coordination between
technologies generation process and farmers' needs through reviews, fields visits, training, b)
FSRD programmes should be regarded as complementary but not competitive to on-
station/divisional research, c) regular monitoring of FSRD research by a team of on-station
scientists headed by Director (Research) of ARIs, d) commodity researchers with background
preferably in agronomy, horticulture, plant breeding and soil science could occasionally be
transferred to FSRD and vice versa, e) presentation of the impacts of FSRD technologies
along with future thrusts to administrators, policy makers and donor agencies on a regular
basis and g) National Committee like NATCC that is composed of Director Generals of ARIs
and DAE and Directors of BAURES (BAU), FRI should be reviewed and reorganized to make
it more effective in terms of participation and functions
Downstream linkages were discussed with FSRD teams and representatives of service
providers at each of the sites visited. While there is general appreciation for the value the
range of technologies and methods, the dominant perception is that linkages are much less
effective than they should be. Research and extension are represented in the set of
committees at the national, regional, district and than levels, but the regular participation of
agencies other than DAE is largely limited to the national and regional (ATC) levels and the
general assessment from all sides is that committee meetings are not effective in serving the
National Agricultural Extension Policy (NAEP) requires the participation of the private sector
in the provision of the agricultural services and calls for cooperation between public and
private sector agencies. Various arrangements and pronouncements regarding research
extension linkages feature in most agricultural project documents and in the reports and
recommendations of review missions2. In spite of all this, linkages remain generally weak.
Information about technologies and methods certainly does flow between research, including
the FSRD programmes, and service providers, but a set of productive relationships involving
a regular two way flow of information between FSRD and service providers do not appear to
exist for most FSRD programmes.
The review team has identified positive impacts on i) generation and transfer of technology, ii)
employment creation, iii) gender dimension, iv) intensity of land use, v) generation of income
and saving, vi) development of agribusiness.
Improved Jute T. Aman-wheat pattern developed by FSRD was found to be many times
productive than the traditional one. The pattern provide marginal rate of return (MRR) to the
extent of 600 to 800%. Maize-Aman-Potato is an excellent improved alternative to B. Aus T.
Aman -Potato pattern and the farmers are practising it replacing the traditional technology.
Likewise, the broiler technology has been making use of the idle physical labour of the
women and youth. Substantial portion of the labour potential used to remain idle prior to the
introduction of FSRD project simply because of the lack of technology. Many lands were
lying fallow. Notable improvement in the eriiployment situation has been made for the
womenfolk, landless and small farmers due to the project intervention. The homestead
production technology provided excellent opportunity to raise vegetables, rear poultry birds,
grow fruit trees, culture fish in ponds and raise livestock units for the women. This has
reduced the women's dependence on outsiders. While talking to female groups, many
expressed satisfaction saying that they were now, to a great extent, self-supported and self-
Perhaps the greatest contribution of the FSRDP is the utilization of land resources. The
development of location-specific technologies has influenced the utilization of land to a great
extent. The vast land of the Barind areas in Rajshahi used to remain fallow prior to the
introduction of the project. Afforestation by different fruit and tree species has made grey
Barind green. New areas have been brought under crops like chickpeas, maize, mustard and
mungbean. Some 10,000 ha of land is reported to be now under chickpea cultivation in
Barind areas. The dykes of the ponds are being used for growing vegetables, water of the
ponds is used for fish culture and the space above the ponds is used for raising poultry birds
(ducks or layers).
Incomes of most of the participants at FSRD sites have increased significantly. Participants
with little resource endowments (landless, small, medium farmers) gained the highest from
the FSRD intervention. Landless in particular gained mostly from non-crop interventions like
poultry-duck and fish. For example from Dhalia-Randia and Kamolbhog sites of the FSES
intervention of the BAU, highest incremental income was received by landless farmers (242%
in Dhalia-Randia and 260% in Kamolbhog site). Of the components, livestock provided the
highest incremental income (790% followed by 278% from the homestead, 244% from the
fisheries and 228% from crops). Mr. Abu Ishak of Palima, Tangail site, earned significantly
more from his different components of whole farm unit. Prior to the intervention (1998-99), he
used to earn Tk. 2,410 from homestead vegetable component and Tk. 5,058 from livestock.
His income from these two components after the intervention (1999-2000) increased to Tk.
4,849 and Tk. 12,300 respectively.
The FSRDP has created opportunities not only for on-farm employment but also for off-farm
employment. Generation of many technologies have created avenues for agribusiness. The
rapid spread for Pangus culture has created tremendous demand for feed in the Pangas
growing areas. Since Pangas are cultured in ponds and the technology is spreading fast,
demand for Pangas feed has expanded very fast all over Bangladesh. In Valuka and Trishal
areas, some traders have already started business for the ingredients required for fish feed.
A huge number of traders in these areas are dealing with business related to poultry feed. A
good number of hatcheries have emerged to supply the fingerlings (for example hatchery in
(Baghabari). This also holds for supply of chicks.
For Organizational Sustainability, the team suggests several options. First option is to
improve the current structures (OFR/FSR Division) at Crop research ARIs and establishment
of similar structures in the other ARIs where such structures do not exist. This will require
improving functional linkages between this Division and other research Divisions so that the
FSRD structures are viewed as member of one team of the ARIs. The second option is to
adopt FSR as an approach to research throughout the entire programmes and implement
FSRD by forming problem oriented interdisciplinary teams. This however poses risk of not
adequately addressing the farmers' problems and not integrating, at farm level, the
technologies of various ARIs. The third option is to establish a separate ARI for farming
systems research and development. While this can create a dedicated and specialized group
of FSRD scientists, it can also create problem of functional linkages among the ARIs and the
FSRD group. Of the three options, BARC/ARts should adopt the first option in which FSR
divisions of ARIs will provide the core group of FSRD scientists.
Since most of the staff have been shifted to the revenue budget, the cropping systems work
seems likely to continue at the ARIs responsible for crop research, notably BARI, BRRI, BSRI
and BJRI. However, FSRD staff at the three non-crop institutes responsible for fisheries,
forestry and livestock are supported by ARMP with no immediate assurance of support
beyond December 2001. Similarly, support for BAU FSES from the contract research portion
of ARMP will also conclude at that time. Assuming that progress can be made in formally
establishing the posts of FSRD staff in all institutes and BAU, the problem of operational
funding remains a critical concern. PCP might serve as a basis for seeking additional funding
from major donors including the World Bank. On the basis of informal discussions with
various donors, the review team feels that there is a basis for seriously exploring funding for
research from donors on this basis. A new project is however unlikely simply to provide major
funding directly to GOB/BARC for research as in the past. Nor is such funding likely to
adequately cover all the operational needs of the ARIs and the FSRD programme. There
must be a serious plan for financial sustainability, involving the diversification of funding
sources to include domestic sources other than GOB. Efforts must be made to secure at least
some support through contracts with development service providers. FSRD teams have
received modest support via contracts with service providers, including the Grameen Krishi
Foundation and MOUs have been signed with a number of other service providers that could
lead to additional contractual arrangements.
The first number of each recommendation indicates the chapter in which it is discussed while
the second number shows their order within that chapter.
Recommendations 4.1: All FSRD scientists should be trained on how to conduct impact
study. Uniform methods and formats should be applied for such impact study to show the
changes/benefits due to project intervention. Benchmark information on key parameters
before project intervention and current data after project intervention on transferable
technologies should be properly maintained by.all OFRD teams for impact assessment.
Recommendations 5.1: Research priority setting and planning processes should be
modified such that FSRD perspectives and results can be systematically and routinely taken
into account in the selection and design of projects as well as the criteria for assessing of
results of specific experiments. The design and implementation of all on- farm tests of
technologies should routinely incorporate a systems perspective.
Recommendations 5.2: Planning and implementation of problem- solving research activities
needs to be carried out through multidisciplinary team of researchers drawn from OFR and
OSR of ARIs.
Recommendations 5.3: Regular monitoring of FSRD research activities should be
undertaken by a team of on-station scientists headed by Director (Research) of ARIs. It is
also essential that on-station researchers having background preferably in agronomy,
horticulture plant breeding and soil science be occasionally transferred to FSRD programme
and vice versa.
Recommendations 5.4: All development activities in which FSRD teams are involved should
be carried out in cooperation with development service providers. As a general rule, the
development service providers should take the lead in all development activities FSRD
should play supporting roles through the technical information, training and advisory
assistance in such activities. Except in exceptional circumstances and at the direct request of
a service provider, FSRD teams should not take primary responsibility for on-farm
Recommendations 6.1: Ownership of problem definition, planning, implementation and
evaluation be handed over to farmer communities under the leadership of the farmers, and
the researchers and service providers play the role of facilitators and advisors, share their
knowledge, ideas and expertise with the farmers.
Recommendations 6.2: Skills of FSRD scientists and their partners in the ARIs and service
providers should be upgraded through training courses enabling them to deal with the
complex nature of demands for tools and methods. Research review workshops should
review lessons learnt from application of various tools and methods at different stages of the
technology generation and transfer. BARC should provide the leadership in this respect.
Recommendations 6.3: Each FSRD site team should establish dialogue with the respective
farmer communities including women, to prepare the list of priority problems of the different
farmer groups. Solution to these problems should become the specific objectives of the
FSRD site. The community and the FSRD team then should decide how each of these
problems can be solved through research and development activities, which eventually
becomes the FSRD teams workplan.
Recommendations 6.4: It is essential that FSRD allocates time and resources to document,
understand and utilize Indigenous Technical Knowledge (I TK) and farmer innovations.
Recommendations 8.1: GOB and the parent institutions should incorporate suitable FSRD
capacities into their core organizational structures of the ARIs. The Review Team strongly
endorses the efforts by the BAU Vice Chancellor and administration to formally incorporate
FSES into the University.
Recommendations 8.2: It is recommended that service incentives in the form of advance
increments within salary scale, annual awards, merit certificate, etc. be introduced for the
scientists working in FSRD programme. The proposed incentives should however, be
provided after proper evaluation of performance of scientists.
Recommendations 8.3: The skills of the researchers and their extension counterparts
should continue to be enhanced through formal and informal means. Particular attention
needs to be given to areas like social analysis, problem analysis and priority setting, gender
analysis, PRA tools and methods, managing risk and uncertainty and leadership. Similarly,
Scientific Assistants should be trained particularly on PAR tools and methods, data collection
methods. BARC may emphasize on facilitating lessons learnt from application of various
tools and methods, by FSRD teams in working with farmer communities, problem definition,
design of interventions, testing, planning, review and evaluation and
Recommendation 8.4: The review of service rules, performance assessments and staff
incentives of BARC/ARIs should specifically address the need to improve linkages and
partnership arrangements with a range of service providers.
Recommendations 9.1: BARC should appoint a social scientist at the National Coordination
Unit to facilitate incorporation of social science perspective at stages of the research process
by the FSRD scientists
Recommendations 9.2: BARC/institutes should establish OFR/FSR divisions in which the
divisions will provide the core group of FSRD researchers and those from other
divisions/disciplines/centers of the ARIs will participate as team members of the FSRD site.
Similarly, OFR scientists may also participate in relevant OSR activities.
Recommendations 9.3: BARC/ARIs/BAU should actively explore providing assistance to
GO projects, NGOs and private sector agencies on a contract basis. Progressively, all FSRD
development activities should be supported on this basis.
Recommendations 9.4: For financial sustainability GOB/BARC/ARIs/BAU should provide
modest core operational budget support to the FSRD programmes in addition to regularizing
the positions of the FSRD staff. The core FSRD research activities should become a regular
feature of the operating budgets of the respective organizations.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents
4. Overview of Impacts
5. Review of FSRD Programmes
5.1 Structure and BARC/ARIs4
5.2 Upstream Linkages
5.3 Downstream Linkages
6. Review of Methodologies
7. Future Strategies: Scope and Directions
8. Human Resource Management and Development
9. Prospects for Sustainability
10. Next Steps
A. Terms of Reference
C. List of Persons Contacted
D. Case Studies of Impacts
AEZ Agro-ecological Zones
ARIs Agricultural Research Institutes
ARMP Agricultural Research and Management Project
ATC Agricultural Technical Committee
BARC Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council
BARI Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute
BAU Bangladesh Agricultural University
BFRI Bangladesh Forest Research Institute
BINA Bangladesh Institute of Unclear Agriculture
BJRI Bangladesh Jute Research Institute
BLRI Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute
BRRI Bangladesh Rice Research Institute
BSRI Bangladesh Sugarcane Research Institute
BWDB Bangladesh Water Development Board
CSRP Cropping Systems Research Project
DAE Department of Agricultural Extension
DLS Department of Livestock Services
DOF Department of Fisheries
FRI Fisheries Research Institute
FSESP Farming Systems and Environment Studies Project
FSRDP Farming Systems Research and Development Programme
GIS Geographic Information System
GKF Grameen Krishi Foundation
GO Government Organization
GOB Government of Bangladesh
HYV High Yielding Variety
ICLARM International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management
ICRISAT International Crop Research Institute for Semi-arid Tropics
IRRI Intimating Rice Research Institute
ITK Indigenous Technical Knowledge
MOA Ministry of Agriculture
NAEP New Agricultural Extension Policy.
NARS National Agricultural Research Systems
NATCC National Agricultural Technical Coordination Committee
NCFSRDP National Coordinated Farming Systems Research and Development Programme
NGO Non-government Organization
OFRD On-farm Research Division
OSR On-station Research
PCP Project Concept Paper
PRA Participatory Rural Appraisal
SAR Staff Appraisal Report
SRDI Soil Resources Development Institute
STP Space Transplanting
TOR Terms of Reference
The current review of Farming Systems Research and Development (FSRD) programmes in
Bangladesh is carried out by a team of consultants over a 4 week period at the request of the
National Farming Systems Research and Development Coordination Unit (NFSRDCU) of the
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC)1. The Terms of Reference (TOR) for the
review focuses on performance and impacts (see Annex A). Discussions early on with
stakeholders made it clear that the future was a priority concern. Support from the ARMP
ends in December 2001 and at this point there are no firm arrangements for the continuation
of FSRD activities under BARC and BAU after that date. Accordingly, the team has devoted
attention mainly to issues of institutional, organization and particularly financial sustainability.
The purpose of this report is to present the findings and recommendations of the review
team. The structure of the summary report broadly conforms to the list of topics in the TOR.
Special attention is given to the issue of sustainability (institutional, organization and
financial) in view of a possible hiatus of funding for FSRD operations following the conclusion
2. APPROACH UTILIZED FOR THE REVIEW
The Review Team used a combination of methods in performing its tasks, which included
review of secondary informations, field visits, discussions with farmers in the field, FSRD and
other key researchers, key extension officials, NGO representatives, senior managers, policy
makers and donor representatives.
Between May 25th and June 17th, team members held discussions with representatives of
FSRD teams and a range of stakeholders. The Team also visited 12 of the 17 FSRD sites
supported under ARMP and reviewed portions of the considerable documentation on FSRD
activities. Some of these visits were made jointly with members of the World Bank
supervision mission for ARMP. On June 6 and 7, the team participated in a workshop at
BARC attended by representatives from all FSRD teams during which there were
presentations on the activities and plans of each site. The second day of the workshop
involved working group discussions and presentations on areas of concern for FSRD,
including I) methodology; ii) linkages; iii) impacts; iv) human resource management and
development; v) resource allocations; and vi) sustainability. The results of the workshop as
well as information from other sources have served as important sources of information for
the preparation of this report.
Rigorous assessment to quantify impact of such a huge project like FSRD was not possible
to be done using formal methods and procedures due primarily to shortage of time. Data
limitations also posed serious constraints in doing better work within the time available.
Within these limitations, the Team tried to capture as much information as possible.
'Members of the Review Team include Dr. Elon Gilbert (agricultural economist and team leader), Dr. M. Zainul Abedin
(agronomist and farming systems specialist), Dr. Mohamed H. Mondal (research management specialist), and Prof. M.
Ferdous Alam (impact assessment specialist).
Farming in Bangladesh is an integrated production system comprising crops, livestock,
fisheries and agro-forestry. Farmers in this country produce diversified products to meet
household needs. Most farmers also pursue non- farm activities to supplement their needs.
Evolution of Systems Research in Bangladesh
Although formal agricultural research in Bangladesh began in 1906, on-farm research was
initiated in 1957 with fertilizer trials mainly to encourage farmers to use fertilizers. On-farm
research on wheat was initiated in 1973 to select location specific varieties. Systems
research started in 1974 with trials on cropping patterns and component technologies,
involving rice and sugarcane. In 1979, a National Coordinated Cropping Systems Research
Project (CSRP) was initiated by Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) with the
participation of several national agricultural research institutes, Bangladesh Agricultural
University (BAU) and Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB). The agricultural
research institutes included Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), Bangladesh
Jute Research Institute (BJRI) and Bangladesh Sugarcane Research Institute (BSRI). The
project could develop several cropping patterns and component technologies with high
productivity and profitability.
Beginning in the 1970s, there was a growing awareness of the lack of relevance of
agricultural research to the needs of the major clients of the research system the resource
poor farmers. Failure to involve the farmers in the research process led to two types of
inefficiencies; (a) an imbalance between the supply of and the demand for technology, and
(b) exclusion of an important source of innovations- the farmer themselves. This led to a
strong emphasis on farming systems and on-farm research during the decade of the 1980s.
The major contribution of this development was to provide methods for diagnosing farmers'
problems, setting research priorities to address those problems and screening potential
technologies for their relevance to small-scale farmers' circumstances. Addressing these
issues, a National Coordinated Farming Systems Research Project was initiated in 1985 that
was renamed as National Coordinated Farming Systems Research and Development
Programme (NCFSRDP) in 1989. In this programme, 'development' component was included
mainly to expedite technology transfer process that covered activities such as technology
demonstration, field day, farmers' training, etc. to be conducted by extension service
providers like DAE, NGO etc.
After 1993, the FSRD programme suffered a serious setback due mainly to fund constraint.
During this time, a working group with two local and two expatriate consultants reviewed the
programme and recommended funding continuation. The World Bank Supervision Mission
during the preparation of the Agricultural Research Management Project (ARMP) also
stressed the need for the systems approach in agricultural research and development. And
accordingly, the National Coordinated Farming Systems Research and Development
Programme was accepted as an important component of ARMP with the World Bank funding.
The programme is being implemented in 17 FSRD sites under the Coordination of BARC
since 1996. While BARI has been operating in nine sites; BRRI, BJRI, BSRI, BLRI, FRI, BFRI
have been implementing the programme in one site each. Besides the NARS institutes,
Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) is operating 2 sites with project title "Studies on
Integrated Farming (SIF)" with funding from Contract Research Project component of ARMP.
BAU started functioning from January 1999. In BARC a full time unit, consisting of a National
Coordinator and a multidisciplinary team will coordinate the programme. At the ARI sites, a
multidisciplinary group of a Site Coordinator and one scientist from each of the participating
institutes will operate the programme. For the ARIs in which FSRD is not well developed (e.g.
BLRI and FRI), participation in FSRD will consist of joint initiatives with BARI, BRRI and other
ARIs where system linkages are important.
ARMP is funding the NCFSRP Unit within BARC and 17 FSRD sites, managed by the seven
participating ARIs. The Project provides for staff training, technical assistance, vehicles, a few
new staff, office and field equipment and operational costs of research and diagnostic
surveys in farmers' fields. Recruitment of few additional staff was also supported, particularly
in the ARIs in which adequate core staff to conduct FSRD work was not available. The
additional staff are justified in view of the important interactions among crops, livestock and
fisheries and in view of the current weaknesses in how such interactions are studied within
the Bangladesh NARS.
In majority of the FSRD sites, technologies included year-round homestead vegetable
production, growing intercrops with sugarcane in STP technique, cropping systems, raising
improved poultry/duck breeds in scavenging method, rice + fish culture and fish culture in
seasonal ponds, ditches. Farmers have started to adopt these technologies in and around the
FSRD sites. Different extension agencies and NGO have as well been pursuing these
technologies for further dissemination to their larger extrapolation areas.
4. OVERVIEW OF IMPACTS OF FSRDP
Basically, impact assessment can be of one-shot ex ante or ex post type. It can be also in the
nature of continuous monitoring of the progress, called impact monitoring or impact tracking.
Ex ante assessment is forward looking in which the investors or the financiers want to see the
future as to what will happen as a result of the project or intervention. It serves more as
project selection criterion. Ex post assessment, on the other hand, deals with what has really
happened due to the project or intervention, and is done ideally after intervention period is
over. Impact monitoring or impact tracking is a technique for studying the ongoing
performance of project activities and should be done by the project personnel in order to see
if the project is moving as per ex ante direction. The FSRDP in its current position is
amenable to ex post type assessment.
Methodology used in this Study:
There are a number of approaches for studying ex post type impact assessment right from
physical observation, experience sharing, target-control comparison (such as comparing
performance of two farms: one is following the intervention and the other is not), before-after
comparison (benchmark as opposed to current situation and economic surplus and
econometric methods. Index number approach is also used to study the rates of return.
Unlike mono crop or enterprise assessment, the impact of the FSRDP is expected to have
several dimensions that need to be addressed during assessment. Some of these are easily
measurable but many are not, some quickly become obvious while others take longer, and
some have a direct impact while others have an indirect impact (see, Norman et al., 1997). In
order to address all these dimensions of the FSRDP type intervention, a particular method or
approach is not adequate. The approach used here is in fact an ex post review of the effect of
intervention rather than quantitative indicators because of the fact that quantitative indicator
cannot be made for many parameters and second, qualitative or descriptive reading better
describes the matter. Nevertheless, quantitative assessments have been used wherever
found appropriate. In addition, impact investigations have been supplemented by case
studies. The team has made use of combinations of approaches such as observations from
site visits, personal interview with participants, discussion with other stakeholders, PRA type
group discussions, before-after comparison, target-control and data of secondary sources
(made available from the FSRD site offices, coordination unit at the BARC and On-farm
Research and Development (OFRD) site reports presented during workshop of 6-7 June
2001). Norman et al. 1997 also followed a similar approach to address the impact of the
FSES project of the BAU. Hossain et al (2001) assessed the changes in the livelihood system
of the people in the flood prone echo system in Bangladesh by comparing the benchmark
data of 1987 with a set of data collected in 2001 using structured questionnaire. The
approach adopted by Nagy and Alam (2000) cannot be applied to assess impact of the
FSRDP mainly because of the data constraint, perhaps the greatest limitation not only for
model application but also for the kind of approaches the team has made for the present
Due to limitation of time, vastness of the FSRDP and lack of required data, structured
questionnaire could not be administered to examine the changes in the livelihood and
socioeconomic parameters of the beneficiaries. However, alternative methods were applied
to highlight changes.
The FSRD scientists have also been trying to highlight impact as part of monitoring the
progress of their activities. Not all but many reports presented in the workshops have in fact
highlighted impact although approaches of study differed. Changes in the number of
participators and merit of technologies (physical and economic), farmer's opinion on the
acceptability of technologies, introduction of new crops/ technologies, before-after
comparison of the results of activities etc. were criteria for impact monitoring. While this is
indicative of the progress, it has not been done for periods prior to ARMP. These impact
highlight exercises were done by scientists of few OFRD sites and perhaps done quickly as
part of the requirement for submitting reports ii the workshops for the evaluation and review
team. The presentation of impact highlight differed considerably among the submitted reports
indicating differential capabilities of the scientists to handle impact monitoring.
The study examined impact focussing mainly at the experience of the field visits to the OFRD
(for BAU, FSES) locations. Impacts outside the extrapolation areas could in most cases not
be identified because neither data are available nor the team could visit the extrapolation
areas. Following Gilbert et al (1994), three kinds of impact can also be visualized for the
FSRDP. These are i) invisible impacts such as avoidance of negatives (pests, disease,
drought, low fertility), ii) Obscured changes such as returns to labour, resource reallocations,
consumption, income, natural resources, environment, employment, empowerment, skill
development; and iii) Easily perceived changes such as area, yield, production, markets,
prices, gender participation, innovations and technology use. In view of these indicators, the
team has identified positive impacts on
generation and transfer of technology,
social and economic empowerment,
intensity of land use,
generation of income and saving,
acquisition of assets,
nutrition, health and sanitation,
development of agribusiness, and
The following paragraphs briefly describe the impacts on each of the areas noted above.
Generation and Spread of Technology
The FSRD technologies are being practised in 17 sites of 16 districts of Bangladesh covering
15 agro-ecological zones. Technologies developed and transferred so far comprise 48 for
cropping systems, 36 for component technology and 5 for integrated systems (Table 1). A
good number of other matured technologies are in the pipeline awaiting for transfer.
Impact of FSRDP includes the generation, adaptation and validation of a number of location
or AEZ-specific crop based technologies and other non-crop technologies which are many
times productive than traditional technologies. All of these technologies promise either
comparative advantage over previous ones or are net additions to fit the local conditions and
utilize the unused potentials of the resources.
The generated technologies are of two types: an improved technology as a replacement of
the traditional ones and second, a completely new technology to utilize the opportunities of
resources such as land, labour and so on. For example, jute-T.Aman- wheat pattern has
traditional method as well as an improved method, but the improved method is many times
productive than the traditional one. The improved method of jute, T.Aman and wheat provides
marginal rate of return (MRR) to the extent of 600 to 800 percent. The change in the cropping
pattern in Pabna from B.Aus-T.Aman-Potato to Maize-T.Aman-Potato is an excellent
improved alternative and the farmers are practising it replacing the traditional technology. The
improved pattern: Maize-T.aman-potato over B.aus-T.aman-potato and B.aus-T.aman-wheat
for Chittagong and Pabna locations is very promising. The improved pattern is capable of
providing 270 to 40% marginal rates of return. Similarly, single row planting and double row
planting of sugarcane with intercropping are highly promising in terms of economic rates of
return as compared to sole sugarcane cultivation (Table ). In almost all the extrapolation
areas, this improved sugarcane cultivation with intercropping is practised. Likewise, the
broiler technology has been making use of the idle physical labour of the women and youth.
About 60% of the farm families the team visited had this broiler production technology. The
mungbean is being practised by abut 60% of the farmers of Lebukhali of Patuakhali.
Chickpeas coverage in Barind areas is about 10,000 hectare. The development of AEZ-
specific technologies has made it possible to utilize those land resources, which were
otherwise left fallow. Our experience is that the spread of many technologies is confined
mostly in the working sites of the OFRD and that farmers have not accepted all of the
alternative technologies presented to them. They picked up the most profitable ones that
created no problem of marketing the product.
Employment Generation in the rural areas
Involvement with homestead based technologies increased women and youth's employment
substantially. Measuring the employment effect of the FSRDP is difficult due to attribution
problem as creation of employment opportunities is a function of many interventions both
from within and outside FSRDP. However, our guess for the male counterparts is that their
employment defined in terms of hours engaged in economic activities had increased on an
average by 25 to 30 percent. Per unit output for the labour has also increased due to the
introduction of yield augmenting technology.
FSRDP has created considerable employment opportunities for the participants. The
contribution of the FSRDP in developing various cropping patterns has provided with the
opportunities of year round employment. Cropping intensities in the FSRD sites has
increased considerably which means that farmers are gainfully employed for more time on
the farm as compared to the past. Substantial portion of the labour potential remained idle
prior to the introduction of FSRDP simply because of the lack of technology. Many lands were
lying fallow. In reply to question on employment opportunities, each and every participant
responded very happily that they were much better off. Notable improvement in the
employment situation has been made for the womenfolk, landless and small farmers. The
homestead production sub-component provided excellent opportunity to raise vegetables,
rare poultry birds, grow fruit trees, culture fish .in ponds and raise livestock units. Since rural
women of Bangladesh society usually do not go for work outside home they can now utilize
their full physical potential in these home-based economic activities.
Development of opportunities for agribusiness has generated additional work opportunities
around a good number of technologies. Adoption of tomatoes around Barind FSRD site,
marketing of vegetables and poultry products around almost all of the FSRD sites, spraying
of mango trees against mango hopper, etc. has created opportunities for business and
Gender and Empowerment
Frequent counseling and visits to the women participants by the FSRD personnel and training
imparted to them for the technologies have resulted in the socio-economic empowerment,
improved adoption of new practices and better conversation abilities. Their involvement in
IGAs has been diversified. With the achievement of earning income from economic activities,
social empowerment of the women as well as relationship among the family members and in
laws have been improved.
Participation of womenfolk in the homestead based technologies such as vegetables
gardening, poultry rearing (broiler or layer or duck rearing), beef fattening, fish culture and
raising fruit trees has been very considerable. Homestead gardens have provided work
opportunities to not only housewives but also to other female members of the household
covered by the FSRD sites. The team noticed wonderful participation of housewives and
other female members in almost all the houses. This has reduced the women's dependence
on outsiders (such as working as maid servants with neighbours). While talking to female
groups, many expressed satisfaction saying that they were now, to a great extent, self-
supported and self-dependent. One notable feature, the team members noticed, with many of
the women was their ability to non-hesitated conversion with the outsiders. They were asked
about how they had learnt so many things and in reply, they said that these were the
contributions of the FSRD personnel of the site. Some remarked "I have become smarter now
as compared to the past." This certainly reflects a kind of empowerment. Conjugal
relationship in the family has been improved significantly due to the income generation ability
of the housewives. Poor husbands lacked employment opportunity prior to the FSRD
technologies. Income was meagre and it was difficult for them to feed the family members.
Wives also were not having work opportunities. They were completely dependent on
husband's income. This dependence had often resulted in forcing wives to bring dowry
(monetary and non-monetary) from parents, the threat for of divorce, and physical torture by
husband, and in-laws. Three women reported that they became the victim of physical tortures
by the husbands sometimes in the past when they were not capable of earning. A great
majority of the women interviewed individually or in groups said that their relationships with
husbands and in-laws have been dramatically improved following achieving the ability to earn
income. Husbands no longer treat them as a burden in the family rather counts them
favourably. Many women reported that they were consulted while making any decision for
Intensity of Land Use
More intensive land use has been taken place in the intervention sites. Some technologies
like sugarcane inter cropping are also practised in limited scale in extrapolation areas.
Cropping intensities in all the FSRD sites are higher than non-FSRD sites. It is certainly
higher than period before FSRD intervention.
Perhaps the greatest contribution of the FSRDP is on the utilization of land resources. The
development of location-specific technologies has influenced the utilization of the surface
land to a great extent. The vast land of the Barind areas in Rajshahi remained fallow prior to
the introduction of FSRDP. Similarly, technologies in the coastal areas (such as Patuakhali)
were traditional in many situations. That pattern of land utilization has now been changed
dramatically. Afforestation by different fruit and tree species has made grey Barind green.
Huge areas have been brought under improved crop production. New areas have been
brought under crops like chickpeas, watermelon, maize, mustard, mungbean and rice.
Although farmers did not succeed to grow watermelon for last two years, some succeeded
this year. More areas under watermelon would be brought next year, the farmers added.
Some 10,000 hectares of land is reported to be now under chickpea cultivation in Barind
areas, which is essentially the contribution of FSRDP. Deficient vegetable areas in Barind
and other areas have been made surplus. Homesteads of the FSRD sites have been used
intensively using the surface land as well as space above the surface. Some seven micro
niches are being utilized for raising crops and practising other technologies. Either new crops
or improved methods of cultivation or both have been introduced. The dykes of the ponds is
being used for growing vegetables, water of the ponds is used for fish culture and the space
above the ponds is used for raising poultry birds (ducks or layers). Utilization of homestead (3
bighas) and adjacent areas (4 bighas) of Mr. Mozaharul Islam in Garadaha site, Sirajganj can
be an example of intensive utilization of land. He had dairy unit, poultry unit, integrated
poultry-fish unit, vegetables unit (of about 25 different types), unit for jamboo/napier grass,
forestry unit (timber trees), fruit trees, rice cultivation units and nurseries for different trees.
The team noticed vegetable is being raised as a crop in the field in most of the FSRD sites
and it is now one of the components in the cropping patterns. Homesteads are seen to have
been growing a number of vegetable. As high as 25-30 different types of vegetables were
seen to have been practising in one plot using sorjan technique in Patuakhali. Areas deficient
previously in vegetables are not only now self sufficient, a good portion of them is entering
into the market. Intercropping of Palwal and cabbage has been a highly profitable practice
and farmers of Karimganj have demonstrated its successful adoption. The practice expanded
considerably in the vicinity. Sugarcane intercropping in Ishurdi and its multiplication in other
sites are other examples of intensive land use.
Income and Asset Generation
FSRDP has provided the beneficiaries with new ideas and new technologies, which in turn
helped them, raise income significantly. Landless and poor marginal farmers gain more out of
non-crop intervention as they have little scope-to take advantage of crop based intervention.
Larger farms on the other hand gain more from both crop and non-crop intervention by virtue
of their higher resource endowment. In addition, the increased income has provided
opportunity to improve livelihood and socio-economic condition. Opportunities for renovation
of house, addition of small household assets, buying of land, addition of tube well and
sanitary latrines are the result of increased income. The savings at hand is another significant
dimension of the FSRD intervention.
Incomes of most of the participants at FSRD sites have increased significantly. Participants
with little resource endowments (landless, small, medium farmers) gained the highest from
the FSRD intervention. Landless in particular gained mostly from non-crop interventions like
poultry-duck and vegetables. Examples can be cited from Dhalia-Randai and Kamolbhog
sites of the FSES intervention of the BAU in which highest incremental income was received
by landless farmers (for example, 260% in Dhalia-Randai and 260% in Kamolbhog site) (see,
Table 2?). As far as the contribution of the different sub-sectors is concerned, livestock sub
system provided the highest incremental income (793%), followed by 278% from the
homestead 244% from the fisheries sub system. Crop sub-system provided the least
incremental income (228%) (Table 3). The continuity of income earning from the homestead
farming is a big help for the family, many said. Previously they used to get some cash upon
harvesting the traditional crops only. They often had to borrow from neighbours sometimes at
usurious terms and conditions. Now through better management practices, they can sell
some vegetables, broilers, fish, eggs and meet immediate cash need. Many participants,
especially women participants, acknowledged the contribution of the FSRD scientists working
at the sites and expressed gratefulness. Some other examples of increased income due to
FSRD intervention are as follows.
Mr. Abu Ishak of Palima, Tangail OFRD site, earned significantly more in his different
components of whole farm unit. Prior to the intervention (1998-99) he used to earn Tk. 2410
from homestead sub-sector and Tk. 5058 from livestock sub-sector. His income from these
two sub-sectors after the intervention (1999-2000) has increased to Tk4849 and Tk12300
respectively. In each of the other sub-sectors (fisheries, fruit tree and broiler), he is receiving
incremental income. His total income was increased by 20.46% due to one-year intervention.
He is expecting more income this year. The sugarcane (for making gur and sugar both) inter
cropping has provided incremental income as well as incremental yield for the main crop.
Mrs. Nurunnahar, a very poor and landless woman of Chabbisnagar, once extended her
hand to the FSRD personnel for some monetary help for covering her roof top. Instead of
monetary help the FSRD scientists gave her some technologies for homestead space
utilization. In one year time, she could cover her roof top with straw, expanded the
homestead gardens, added a fish component in her small pond, and introduced broiler
farming in her varandha. She looks very happy now.
Farmers in Kapasia used to receive a gross margin of Tk. 160,000 per hectare from sole
sugarcane (for making gur) under traditional method, while inter cropped sugarcane (with
potato and lalshak as 1st and 2nd inter crop) provided him with gross return worth Tk 214,000
under FSRD technology. Similar incremental incomes are now frequently received from rice
fish integration in many areas. Chewing sugarcane cultivation in Kapasia has increased the
income of the adopters to a great extent as compared to precious variety cultivated.
Development of Agribusiness
FSRDP has made and is making significant contribution to the development of agribusiness
by creating service opportunities for rural people and by creating markets for disposal of
surplus vegetables and agro-products.
The FSRDP has created opportunities not only for on-farm employment but also for off-farm
employment. Generation of many technologies have created avenues for agribusiness. For
example, considerable responses are received for the demand of spray machines required
for controlling hopper in mango tree. Having realized the miraculous result of spray, demand
for spray machine has gone up and people in mango growing areas (and to some extent litchi
growing areas) are contacting the OFRD people as to how to procure the same. Some
entrepreneurs might come forward to manufacture the spray machines and can create some
employment opportunity. Already a group of people is working as service providers in these
areas. The rapid spread of Pangas culture has created tremendous demand for feed in the
Pangas growing areas. Since Pangas are cultured in ponds and the technology is spreading
fast, demand for Pangas feed has expanded very fast all over Bangladesh. There is a great
potential for development of small scale feed industry using local resources. In fact the team
met with three farmers who make their required feed for Pangas. Many people are making
use of local ingredients to prepare feed. In Valuka and Trishal areas some traders have
already started business for the ingredients required for fish feed. Similarly, use of local
ingredients has been started for preparing feed for poultry. A huge number of traders are
dealing with business related to poultry feed. A good number of hatcheries have been
emerged to supply the fingerlings (for example hatchery in Bagabari, is supplying fingerling,
the demand for which is created due to FSRD intervention). This also holds for supply of
chicks. Considerable progress has been taken place regarding marketing of agri-products like
vegetables, eggs, broilers and fish and so on. Development of markets and marketing
channels and the emergence of market intermediaries are the results of increased production
and availability of these agro-products in which FSRDP made a significant contribution.
Skill development of different categories of stakeholders has been enormous whose potential
has not yet been fully utilized. Once utilization of full potential of the skill development is
taken place (may take some time), adoption of FSRD technologies would be faster and the
country would receive the benefits of FSRDP.
Development of skill through training is a significant contribution of the FSRDP. A huge
number of scientists of the NARS and farmers have been imparted training of different
duration. The effect of training to the farmers has direct reflection to their performances in
field. As part of entrepreneurship development, the BAU Farming System and Environmental
Studies (FSES) imparted a 7-day training to some 18 farmers. Two such farmers of
Bahadurpur, Karimganj Mr. Ebadul Hoque and Mr. Ruhul Amin, have made tremendous
progress. Talking to these people and visiting their farm and non-farm activities, the team is
convinced that they are really performing excellent. They are so skilled that sometime they
experiment with technologies to adjust with local condition or to look for higher yield. Mr.
Ruhul Amin tried the summer tomato and he did not find it worthy to grow. He said that
crippling of leaves affect the plant and fruit. He wanted to see if giving a shade on top of the
summer tomato makes any difference. He tried borboti (longbean) as a shade crop for
tomato. What happened was that tomato did not give good result but he received a bumper
harvest for longbean. Mr. Ebadur was awarded Bangabandhu gold medal for his performance
in farming systems arena. Another obvious impact of skill development is the poor women's
participation and good performance in homestead based integrated farming.
The impact of training and demonstration is also obvious from farmers' participation and
performance in the total farming systems. Substantial impact on skill development has taken
place due to field days, farmers training, staff training, motivational tours for farmers,
research station visits, group meetings, workshops of FSRDP and site working group
meetings. The personnel with MS, Ph.D. and Post-doc training is another dimension of skill
development. In addition, distribution of 1.3 million copies of different booklets and leaflets on
different technologies to DAE and other development or promotional agencies has, beyond
doubt, created positive impact towards the spread of FSRD technologies.
Impact on Organizations
Organizational linkages of the FSRDP have been improved in terms of attending meeting and
workshops. Actual links, however, does not appear to be very conducive as field level
participation of many of the personnel involved in the working committee is poor. More
practical links is needed to expedite the transfer of technologies.
There are good impacts at the organizational or institutional level from their involvement with
the FSRDP. Linkages of the NARS institutions and BAU with institution like DAE have
improved working relationship and DAE is also doing the some extensions of the FSRD
technologies. Some NGOs (GKF, Dipshikha) have also been involved in the dissemination of
FSRD technologies. Participation of different officers (DLS, DAE, DOF) in the working
committee has also positive impact on the working environment of the OFRD. Involvement
with training, workshop, field day and demonstration related to FSRD activities has also
improved working relationship. FSES, BAU while withdrawing from Kazirshimla, Trishal had
created a 'Fasal Samity' so that it could take care of the practices left. The team visited
Kazirshimla and found that the 'Fasal Samity' is almost defunct. It is no longer working. Some
of the technologies are lost due to withdrawal.
FSRDP experience and contributions have influenced at least DAE in using FSR approach in
its activities. Several DAE Projects, e.g. ASIRP, ADIP, TCTTI, SFFP, SPPS, Nutrition Project,
etc. have adopted FSR and whole farm participatory approaches. Many of the DAE projects
are transferring FSRD technologies. To help DAE in implementing the FSR approach, DAE
have employed several BARI OFRD scientists as consultants. Similarly, RDRS, an NGO
have employed a former FSR scientist in its rural development work. The Programme Officer
of InterCooperation, a Swiss Foundation, involved in Sustainable Livelihood Project,
mentioned that skills developed and vision about the systems perspective developed while
he was with OFRD has greatly helped him develop and influence the agenda of the Project.
The Team believes that FSRDP has made positive impact on environment.
In addition to the visible impacts described in the previous sections, the FSRDP has created
several invisible impacts, too. The negative externalities due to insect- pest, drought, soil
fertility, and environmental degradation are some of aspects that have been considered while
generating technologies. As a result, varieties resistant to these problems have been
evolved. The natural benefit to growing afforestation by the FSRD intervention will be obvious
in the long run if not immediately observed. The research on fertilizer trial as well as
introduction of Sesbania rostrata are very much contributing to the enrichment of soil health.
Participants are benefited in different ways. Sesbania rostrata adds nitrogen to soil, is used
as fuel and the practice has created agribusiness opportunities. Farmers in Barind area
believe that already some beneficial effects such as more rainfall, early rainfall, and reduction
of high temperature have taken place (however, we do not have solid evidence to establish
so). Preservation and recycling of kitchen waste, manures, crop residues, animal wastes,
poultry litter and cow dung in crop production do not only save money for farmers but also
improve soil fertility and moisture conservation thereby reducing environmental pollution.
*FSRDP should have its internal monitoring mechanism to be done by the properly
maintained OFRD scientists. In order to do this, all scientists of the programme
should be trained on how to conduct impact study. Uniform methods and formats
should be applied for impact studies to facilitate comparability of results.
Benchmark information on key indicators and up-to-date data on progress of
adoption of technologies should be properly maintained in all OFRD sites. The
national coordination unit should also maintain a compilation of data for the sites.
The authority may wish to launch a detailed study on impact assessment of the
*All FSRD scientists should be trained on how to conduct impact study. Uniform
methods and formats should be applied for such impact study to show the
changeslbenefits due to project intervention. Benchmark information on key
parameters before project intervention and current data after project intervention on
transferable technologies should be properly maintained by all OFRD teams for
Table 1. Cropping Intensities of the Different farming System research Sites
FSRD Sites Cropping Intensities
Atpara Noakhali 166
Laxmipur, Chandipur, Rajshahi 143
Goyeshpur, Pabna 234
Ishan, Gopalpur 196
Lebukhali and Kalapara, Patuakhali 230
Table 2: Incremental Gross Margin Realised due to FSES Intervention in two sites of Valuka.
Types Gross margin before Gross margin after Incremental gross
of intervention intervention margin (%)
Dhalia- Kamolbhog Dhalia- Kamolbhog Dhalia- Kamolbhog
Randai Randai Randai
Landles 4423 15264 10718 39714 242 260
Small 24313 23212 49167 46520 202 200
Medium 29737 77981 47655 150078 160 192
Large 57925 247644 77010 355527 133 143
All farm 19813 91025 36194 145056 183 159
Source: BAU (undated). Studies on Integrated Farming: Report 2000-2001. BAU,
Mymensingh, presented at the workshop held in BARC, 6-7 June, 2001.
Table 3 : Incremental Gross Margin Realizes due to different types of Intervention in Valuka.
Sub-system Gross margin Incremental gross
Before After margin
Homestead 8590 23905 278
Livestock 9360 74244 793
Fisheries 6350 15520 244
Crops 38270 87299 278
Source: Annual Report, Chabbisnagar FSRD site, 1999-2000. On-farm Research Division,
BARI, Barind Station.
Table 4. Marginal Rate of Return (MRR) of Improved Jute-T.Aman-Wheat Cropping System
Over the Traditional System
Pattern Traditional Improved Marginal
Change MRR (%)
Total Total Total Total Total Total
cost revenue cost revenue cost revenue
(Tk) (Tk) (Tk) (Tk) (Tk) (Tk
Jute 15261 35518 1727 48293 2018 12775 633
T. Aman 7625 17417 8522 23986 897 6569 723
Wheat 4834 13886 5235 17075 401 3209 800
Average 2802 4235 5322 7232 720 2992 416
Source: MRR computed from Improved Production
5. REVIEW OF FSRD STRATEGIES
Introduction: To save space suggest an intro covering all of section 5 (Review and
Assessment of FSRD Strategies/Directions)
1. What are linkages for FSRD and why are they important?
2. Purpose and Scope of this section
Diagram and discussion showing position of FSRD in relation to other agencies/clients and
critical linkage mechanisms, both up and downstream should be something in the existing
literature, but diagram should be made Bangladesh specific.
5.1 Structure of ARIs and Core Activities:
Formal agricultural research in Bangladesh is conducted by the members of the NARS and
the two agricultural universities, BAU and BSMRAU. The NARS in Bangladesh is headed by
BARC with comprehensive authority to plan, support, coordinate, implement and evaluate
agricultural research activities in Bangladesh. Research activities within the NARS are
planned and implemented by 10 member ARIs. Table 5 provides the names of the ARIs and
their core activities.
Table 5. Members of NARS in Bangladesh and their core activities
Name of the ARI Core responsibility Unit responsible for FSRD
Bangladesh Rice Research Basic, applied and adaptive Rice Farming Systems
Institute (BRRI) research on rice Division (RFSD)
Bangladesh Jute Research Basic, applied and adaptive On-Farm Research Division
Institute (BJRI) research on Jute (OFRD)
Bangladesh Sugarcane Research Basic, applied and adaptive Agronomy and Farming
Institute (BSRI) research on sugarcane Systems Research Division
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Basic, applied and adaptive On-Farm Research Division
Institute (BARI) research on crops other than (OFRD)
rice, jute and sugarcane
Bangladesh Livestock Research Basic, applied and adaptive Systems Research Division
Institute (BLRI) research on cattle, goat,
sheep, buffalo, poultry and
Bangladesh Fisheries Research Marine and freshwater No structure
Institute (FRI) fisheries research
Bangladesh Forest Research Applied and adaptive research No structure
Institute (BFRI) on forestry and agroforestry
Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Application of nuclear Not involved in FSRD
Agriculture (BINA) technology in agriculture
Bangladesh Tea Research Applied and adaptive research Not involved in FSRD
Institute (BTRI) on Tea
Soil Resources Development Soil survey and soil Provides assistance to other
Institute (SRDI) classification ARIs
BRRI. BJRI, BARI, BLRI, FRI and BFRI are directly involved in the National Coordinated
Farming Systems Programme. Apart from the ARIs, BAU also is a member of the FSRD
Programme. Appropriate functional mechanism between FSRD Units/ Divisions/
programmes of an ARI with other researchers are essential for the success of technology
generation and utilization by farmers. Similarly, linkages with national and international
research agencies are also very important.
5.2 Upstream Linkage
Traditional disciplinary/commodity is primarily conducted on research stations under the
conditions of the stations. The FSRD team is, on the other hand, deals with farmers'
problems, makes plans to address the problems and also has a responsibility to adapt the
technologies developed by the on-station scientists. Therefore, FSRD does not obviate the
need for commodity/disciplinary research. It should rather be regarded/recognized as
complementary to commodity /disciplinary research.
5.2.1 Purposes of Upstream Linkage
Upstream Linkages are the ones that are normally established with in research institutes,
between other research organizations, donor agencies and policy makers. The purposes of
such linkage may be outlined as follows;
to seek the experience and knowledge of on-station/disciplinary researchers for
feeding into the downstream FSRD programmes.
to transmit feedback on farmers' problems to the scientists of research
division/stations of the institutes and thereby assist in planning and priority setting
of the research of ARIs.
to involve the administrators, planners, donor agencies with the FSRD activities/
to adapt and disseminate the technologies developed by disciplinary/station
scientists to farmers' environments.
5.2.2 Current arrangements for upstream linkages
Analysis of the upstream linkages indicates that the current linkage between FSRD and the
participating institutes, donors and policy makers has still been very weak. The linkage that
exists within the institutes and between the institutes through exchange of information,
contracts research projects and field visits has been very informal. Linkage was somewhat
better with donors and policy makers in 1980s and early 1990s when there was E and R and
Agricultural Research projects funded by World Bank and USAID respectively. The weak
linkages that exist with these organizations could be accounted for by the following:
The interaction between FSRD scientists and commodity researchers has not been
There has been no clear-cut understanding of the responsibilities of each other's
NARS institutes are dispersed over several ministries that make the linkage
between institutes very difficult.
Appreciation of leaders (research managers/research director) about the need of
FSRD research in research planning and prioritization has not been adequate so
Institutional mechanisms as mentioned in NAEP and other officials documents are
not functioning satisfactorily due to inadequate monitoring and support from policy
5.2.4 How to make the upstream linkages more effective
The present linkage could be made more effective through the following ways;
Planning and implementation of problem-solving research activities needs to be
done through interdisciplinary teams of researchers drawn from OFR and OSR.
This is particularly important for BARI and BRRI.
Improvement of the efficiency of on-station/divisional scientists by promoting close
coordination between technologies generation process and farmers' needs through
reviews, fields visits, training.
FSRD programmes should be regarded as complementary but not competitive to
on-station/divisional research. This could be achieved through developing more
appreciation/respect for each other's work. Mere change of structure (positions in
organization) will not be enough to bring about such changes.
Research agenda of NARS institutes should be oriented based on farmers'
feedback transmitted through FSRD.
Regular monitoring of FSRD research by a team of on-station scientists headed by
Director (Research) of ARIs .
Introduction of scientists' evaluation systems that could reward them for their better
performance (number of technologies generated, adopted and technologies that
created impacts etc).
Defining clearly the responsibilities of the positions of all concerned scientists. The
research administrators in consultation with the concerned scientists could do this.
Commodity researchers with background preferably in agronomy, horticulture,
plant breeding and soil science could occasionally be transferred to FSRD and vice
Presentation of the impacts of FSRD technologies along with future thrusts to
administrators, policy makers and donor agencies on a regular basis.
National Committee like NATCC that is composed of Director Generals of ARIs
and DAE and Directors of BAURES (BAU), FRI should be reviewed and the
reorganized to make it more effective in terms of participation and functions .
TTMU at BARC be given responsibility, from national level, to monitor and
backstop functioning of the Extension-Research-Farmer linkage mechanisms as
provided in NAEP and other official documents.
* Planning and implementation of problem- solving research activities needs to be
carried out through multidisciplinary team of researchers drawn from OFR and OSR
* Regular monitoring of FSRD research activities should be undertaken by a team of
on-station scientists headed by Director (Research) of ARIs. It is also essential that
on-station researchers having background preferably in agronomy, horticulture
plant breeding and soil science be occasionally transferred to FSRD programme
and vice versa.
5.3 Downstream Linkages
The extent and effectiveness of downstream linkages, including the relationships with farmers
and the range of public and private agricultural service providers, largely determine the
impacts of FSRD activities upon agricultural production and the livelihood of clients. The "D"
of FSRD was added to give formal recognition to the importance of placed upon ensuring that
technologies and methods that are the focus FSRD trials actually reach farmers.
Development activities, as they are referred to, include demonstrations, field days, training,
publications and a range of advisory services to service providers. Development activities at
the FSRD sites are an integral of the core FSRD approach, as reviewed above in section 5.1.
The direct contacts between FSRD programmes and farmers are necessarily largely limited
to farm families living in and around the FSRD sites. Further, the development activities in the
core FSRD programmes were never intended to be substitute for linkage arrangements with
DAE and other downstream service providers. This section focuses on the set of
relationships between FSRD programmes and service providers, including DAE and the
range of public and private agricultural development agencies.
5.3.1 General Assessment Downstream linkages were discussed with FSRD programme
staff and representatives of service providers at each of the sites visited. In addition, review
team members met with senior staff of DAE, DLS and a number of projects and NGOs. While
there is general appreciation for the value the range of technologies and methods which
FSRD programmes have been associated with, the dominant perception is that linkages are
much less effective than they should be. Research and extension are represented in the set
of committees at the national, regional, district and than levels (see box), but the regular
participation of agencies other than DAE is largely limited to the national and regional (ATC)
levels and the general assessment from all sides is that these committee meetings are not
effective in serving the linkage requirements.
There are a number of examples of long standing and effective linkage arrangements
between FSRD programmes and service providers, including the Grameen Krishi Foundation
(in the case of BARI OFRD) and Dipshikha (in the case of BAU FSES) which serve as
models and illustrate the considerable potential that exists (see box on GKF-BARI link).
However, these arrangements continue to be the exception rather than the rule.
At the policy level, there is the clear requirement in the National Agricultural Extension Policy
that GOB agencies responsible for research and extension should develop strong and
effective linkages. This policy statement welcomes the participation of the private sector in
the provision of the agricultural services and calls for cooperation between public and private
sector agencies. With specific reference to FSRD, a directive from the NATCC and letters
from the Secretaries responsible for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Forestry basically
require GOB extension services to work closely with FSRD programmes in the ARIs. Various
arrangements and pronouncements regarding research extension linkages feature in most
agricultural project documents and in the reports and recommendations of review missions2.
In spite of all this, linkages remain generally weak. Information about technologies and
methods certainly does flow between research, including the FSRD programmes, and service
providers, but a set of productive relationships involving a regular two way flow of information
between FSRD and service providers and collaborative actions do not appear to exist for
most FSRD programmes, particularly as one moves out of the immediate confines of the
FSRD sites. Why not?
The underlying reasons for the unsatisfactory state of downstream linkages for FSRD
programmes in particular are many and varied and a complete analysis is beyond the scope
of this review3. Weak linkages between research and downstream service providers are not
unique to Bangladesh in 2001. A lack of effective cooperation has hampered agricultural
development efforts for decades both here and in virtually any developing country one might
name. It is endemic to the developing world and beyond.
Given the pervasive and long standing character of weak linkages between research and
service providers, it seems advisable to look for the answers in the more basic elements of
organizational behavior and human nature than in the shortcomings of specific policies,
programmes and projects. Linkages take time and often considerable interpersonal skill to
successfully establish and sustain. Collaborative arrangements might be mandated from
above. However, if such arrangements are perceived as being difficult or otherwise contrary
to the self interests of those most directly involved (often the FSRD teams and field staff of
service providers), they are unlikely to become fully functional. Organizations prefer to
internalize as many functions as they are able, rather than depend on others. The FSRD
approach itself has sought to internalize a limited development capacity. While
understandable, the development efforts of individual FSRD teams are clearly no substitute
for effective cooperative arrangements with those public and private organizations for whom
development is the primary responsibility. To the extent that the development activities of
FSRD teams are carried out in isolation from service providers or at the expense of a range
of collaborative efforts, they may be counter productive.
Recommendation: All development activities in which FSRD teams are involved should
be carried out in cooperation with development service providers. As a general rule,
the development service providers should take the lead in all development activities in
which FSRD staff participate. FSRD staff should play supporting roles through the
provision of information, training and advisory assistance in such activities. Except in
exceptional circumstances and at the direct request of a service provider, FSRD teams
should not take primary responsibility for on farm demonstrations.
Collaborative or linkage arrangements place demands on the time of middle and lower level
staff of organizations with little or no additional compensation for their efforts. Formal
agreements between senior officers in different organizations may fail to take the concerns of
field staff into account. Conversely, close personal relations can frequently overcome the
2 See in particular the discussion of linkages in 1997 external evaluation of FSES (Norman, et al, 1997).
3 The attention given to downstream linkages is an outgrowth of the review of impacts, strategy and directions. Linkages
are not explicitly mentioned in the TOR for the review.
absence of formal arrangements and lead to very effective, albeit informal, collaboration in
Studies of collaborative and linkage arrangements suggest that there must be a reasonable
convergence of working styles and objectives for organizations to want to work with one
another (Alsop et al, 1999). The fact that FSRD and agricultural service providers clearly
need each other is an important necessary condition, but not a sufficient one.
Recommendation: Priority attention should be given to more or less formal
arrangements between FSRD programmes and a range of downstream service
providers that define and activate sets of activities and responsibilities that are to be
implemented in a coordinated fashion. In order to reinforce the demand driven
character of these arrangements, they should as much as possible be supported and
directed by the development service providers and farmer groups with FSRD staff
providing services on contract to these agencies.
Suggestion: A Partnership Desk might be established within BARC and charged with
specific responsibility to facilitate partnership arrangements between ARIs, FSRD
teams and service providers. Alternatively, the existing Partnership Unit in DAE might
serve BARC as well, provided the mandate of the Unit can be extended to encompass
ARIs as well as non-crop extension services.
6. REVIEW OF METHODOLOGY
6.1 Success of research largely depends on use of appropriate tools and methods.
Systems research in Bangladesh was started in the mid 70's by Rice Cropping
Systems Division of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, basically following an IRRI-
developed methodology suggested by Zandstra et al. (1981). In 1979, Bangladesh
Agricultural Research Council (BARC) introduced a National Coordinated Cropping
Systems Research (CSR) Programme. These initiatives followed a 6-step
methodological framework: site selection, site description and diagnosis, planning,
testing and evaluation, multilocation testing and dissemination. In 1984, BARC
introduced the National Coordinated Farming Systems Programme (NCFSRP) which
followed a methodological framework similar to the cropping systems research while
looking at the whole production and consumption system, instead of crops alone.
6.2 The core methodological approach (as articulated in Chowdhury et al, 1993) remains
sound and is being practiced at nearly all the sites visited. This is possibly not
functioning well at BFRI. FSRD practitioners of different ARIs are following
methodological framework and guidelines published by BARC. Over time,
methodological changes have transformed to make systems research problem solving,
farmer participatory, and interdisciplinary. Major changes have taken place particularly
in the more important diagnostic phase of the research process. At the beginning of
systems research, formal benchmark surveys were conducted to describe the site and
identify farmer problems as part of cropping systems research during the 70's and
early 80's. This was found not very useful as results were often available after 2-3
years. Some kind of Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) was introduced when Farming
Systems Research (FSR) replaced CSR. RRA was eventually replaced by
Participatory Rural Assessment (PRA). The Review Team noted that PRA was
conducted by all of the FSRD sites. This has largely contributed to involve farmers
right from the start in extending, enriching and validating the portfolio of
experimentation and emerging issues. It was noted with satisfaction that FSRD
activities blend biological aspects with social and economic perspectives. While
cropping systems research mainly focused on biological productivity of the crop
components, FSRD works now encompass productivity, profitability, market, social
and gender aspects of crops, livestock, fisheries, soil management and agroforestry
technologies. FSRD research method is enabling researchers to see farmers'
problems and role of a technology in"solving a problem with a vision beyond the
boundaries of his or her discipline/commodity.
6.3 One of the contributions of FSRD was transforming a traditional 'top-down' on-farm
research' (mostly as replication of on-station research) to a kind of 'bottom-up'
systems oriented technology generation and transfer process. An estimated 80-90% of
on-farm trials are now planned at FSR sites by the site working teams. Research and
Extension Review Workshops and consultations with extension officials are enriching
4 In only one instance was there a possible serious deviation from core FSRD methodological principles. In the case of the
FSRD site in Bundurban operated by the Bangladesh Forestry Research Institute, a rather complex technological package
was being tested on farm with farmers, despite an apparent lack of convergence with existing systems and farmer
preferences. While major system changes should certainly be considered, the package appeared to have little chance of
being widely accepted, even in seriously modified forms.
the agenda of this bottom-up planning process. FSRD has also successfully
introduced interdisciplinary research at the site level. Most sites have researchers from
crop, livestock, fisheries and socio-economics. Such team work has enabled
researchers to conduct research activities in a holistic approach. Researchers are
looking at the interactions among components and flow of resources from one
component to the other. A wide range of themes are being addressed through such
interdisciplinary team work. The Review Mission also noted that FSRD activities are
addressing problems of the various farm categories. Generation of technologies for
different agro-ecological zones remained a key issue in the methodology. Over period
of time, agro-ecological characterisation of research sites and their extrapolation area
has greatly improved. BARC's GIS programme and SRDI has always played key role
in this respect.
6.4 However, the Review Team observed that there is need for improvements in
innovation, adaptation and use of tools and methods. Weaknesses in the
methodology, particularly in the nature of farmer participation, have constrained
progress towards transforming the FSRD from a 'supply-driven' mode to a truly
'demand-driven mode' to adequately address the problems of the marginal and small
farmers, including women. Even though, farmers and researchers are working more
closely than ever, much of the methods used appeared to be ritualistic in nature. It
was noted with particular concern that tools and methods currently used by the
researchers are not very helpful in capturing the demands of the resource-poor
farmers and the women. In some current and former sites, some statements by
farmers suggested that not enough attention had been given to empowering farmers to
assume greater responsibilities for trials and development activities. There was not
much evidence of farmers opinions on technology choice being incorporated in the trial
and development plans. Technologies are identified based on what researchers want
to try or test on farmers field or at best, what the researchers would like the farmers to
test, not what the farmers would like to try from a range of options to solve one or
more of their problems. Researchers are testing technologies to see which
technologies will benefit farmers while It is necessary to allow farmers to test
technologies so that they know how they will benefit from which technologies. In many
instances, farmer participation was induced by the free material inputs provided in lieu
6.5 Further, farmer participation was found to be on individual basis, rather than as a
group or community. NAEP and many research and extension documents have
reiterated use of community approach time and again. Experiences from Bangladesh
and elsewhere suggest that community participation, as opposed to a number of
individual farmers, at different stages of the research and technology transfer process
provides better outputs. A paradigm shift and reversal of thinking process is,
therefore, necessary to adopt a community participatory approach and to hand over
the ownership of the research process to the client/target group.
* Ownership of problem definition, planning, implementation and evaluation be
handed over to farmer communities, under the leadership of the farmers, and that
researchers and service providers play role of facilitators and as advisors, share
their knowledge, ideas and expertise with the farmers.
*Providing free inputs to attract farmer participation need to be stopped. Provision
of critical inputs essential for performance of a technology may be allowed with
strong justification for doing so with provision of repayment.
6.6 The broadening range of concerns of policy makers and donor agencies are providing
new methodological challenges for FSRD. Efforts are being made to more adequately
address environmental and gender concerns as well as incorporate consideration of
market conditions more systematically than is currently the case. Attention has shifted
from food production to poverty reduction and sustainable livelihood systems (Ref
Ashley and Carney, 1999). The capacities of the FSRD teams to deal with these
issues vary considerably. A few teams (notably, the two operated by BAU) are capable
of expanding the subject matter scope..of their work to address non-farm livelihood
topics, such as health, but others are struggling to cover the basic crop and non crop
components. Clearly, FSRD as well as variants of FPR, does provide a range of
methodological options among which individual organizations can choose according to
their capacities and objectives. This applies to the complete range of agricultural
service providers and farmer groups, as well as BARC, ARIs and BAU.
6.7 Tools and methods currently used by FSRD practitioners restricts FSRD teams to look
at immediate solutions to farmer problems. Given the dynamic nature of agricultural
development and national economy, it is necessary that FSRD teams and farmers
remain ready to deal with the future and their research activities remain tuned to the
long term national strategy as outlined in the "National Agricultural Policy" and
"Bangladesh NARS 2020 A Vision for Agricultural Research Strong active
partnership between FSRD teams and On-Station research groups will play critical
role in this respect.
6.8 These considerations could make the practice of FSRD an even more complex and
demanding exercise than it already is and the FSRD programmes are trying to find
ways of streamlining the methodological approaches as well as provide additional
training in specific areas in order to better reconcile capacities with the demands being
made upon the FSRD teams.
Recommendation: Skills of FSRD scientists and their partners in the ARIs and service
providers should be upgraded through training courses enabling them to deal with the
complex nature of demands for tools and methods. Research review workshops
should review lessons learnt from application of various tools and methods at various
stages of the technology generation and transfer. BARC should provide the leadership
in this respect.
6.9 One of the basic principles of FSRD is that it is problem-solving. It was noted that
quality of analyses of the problems and their causes, and priority setting were not
satisfactory, which contributed to apparent mis-match between the farmers' problems
and the trial programme. The PRAs conducted by FSRD teams at different sites had
good amount of information except the ultimate output, the analysis of problems, their
causes and priorities as set by the farmers. On-farm trials, therefore, are becoming a
set of activities independent of existence of demands for technologies to solve one or
more of problems. This was also evident from the reports presented to the Review
Team during the workshop at BARC during 6-7 June, 2001. None of the reports
included statements on what problems the FSRD teams were attempting to solve with
the farmers. This needs to be addressed by FSRD leadership so that quality and
relevance of the FSRD work are improved.
Recommendation: Each FSRD site team establishes dialogue with the respective
farmer communities, including women, to prepare the list of priority problems of the
different farmer groups. Solution to these problems should become the specific
objectives of the FSRD site. The community and the FSRD team then should decide on
how each of these problems could be solved through research and development
activities, which eventually becomes the FSRD teams work plan. Annual/seasonal
progress should be reported against progress made towards solution of each of the
problems, not on individual activities on piecemeal basis.
Recommendation: Each research activity to solve a particular problem should be
planned and implemented by an interdisciplinary team of researchers drawn from OFR
and OSR, and if available an extension worker.
6.10 Research managers and FSRD practitioners agreed that farmer innovations play
critical role in agricultural development. During mid and late '80s, documentation of
farmer innovations and extrapolation of such innovations received attention of the
FSRD practitioners in Bangladesh, particularly of BARI. Little or no evidence was
found to the effect that FSRD scientists are giving attention to farmer innovations and
indigenous technical knowledge (ITK).
Recommendation: FSRD should allocate time and resources to document, understand
and utilize Indigenous Technical Knowledge (ITK) and farmer innovations.
6.11 Though the core methodological framework applies to a wide range of circumstances,
application of these basic principles requires adjustments to address the specific
circumstances. As the need to address complex issues is growing, it is necessary that
FSRD practitioners conduct research on FSR methodologies. Given the availability of
qualified personnel, the leadership of doing this may be entrusted to BAU FSES group.
7. FUTURE STRATEGIES: SCOPE AND DIRECTION
7.1 Agricultural research in Bangladesh is conducted by 10 Agricultural Research
Institutes (ARIs), as members of the national agricultural research system (NARS) and
BAU. Each of these institutes have their mandate to deal with their respective
commodity. FSRD work is conducted by BAU and ARIs like BARI, BRRI, BJRI, BSRI,
FRI, BFRI, BLRI. BARC provides the leadership through the National FSRD
7.2 Successes and impacts described in the earlier sections have clearly demonstrated
that the ARIs and BAU, through their FSRD work, have made considerable
achievement in dealing with the farmer's needs and in providing opportunities to
exploit their farm resources better. It was notable that to a large extent, FSRD
remained responsive to the changes in the circumstances. This was evident from the
fact that FSR work of the ARIs at the beginning was looking mainly into performance
of crops with some work on livestock and fisheries. Currently, FSRD teams are looking
into interactions of these components and are looking into complex and diverse needs
of the farmers. Through integration of crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries activities,
the ARI for rice (i.e. BRRI) is working viith vegetables, fish and livestock; the ARI for
livestock (i.e. BLRI) is testing polyculture of fish, integrated poultry fish culture and
vegetables; the ARIs for fisheries is integrating rice and fish, and poultry and fish
culture, and so on.
7.3 Until recently, research initiatives were primarily aiming at improving productivity and
income of the subsistence farmers. On-going work indicate that there has been some
shift towards commercialization of small scale, subsistence farming. Commercial
cultivation of cabbages, tomatoes, papaya, and rearing of poultry as business is being
explored by small and marginal farmers, and womerf through FSRD initiatives.
However, there is need to speed up this orientation for a wide range of circumstances
and developments since the beginning of systems research.
7.4 Globalisation, liberalization of trade, withdrawal of subsidies from inputs, liberalization
of input marketing, etc. has put the small-scale Bangladeshi farmers in a unique
situation where survival is dependent on efficiency. These changes have also opened
up opportunities to the farmers for competing with others in the domestic as well as
7.5 Over the years, access to market of farmers even in the rural areas has significantly
improved due to improved road network and availability of telecommunication through
Grameen Phone. Increasingly, farmers are producing for the national market more
than his home consumption or immediate market.
7.6 Attainment of self- sufficiency in cereals has changed the focus of agricultural
development both at the national level and at farm family level. Farmers are becoming
more concerned about economic gains and crop specialization. Policy makers are
putting emphasis on better living standards, nutrition, income generation, value
addition through agro-processing, women and environment.
7.7 It is therefore, necessary that FSRD teams emphasizes on commercialization even of
subsistence farming improving access to nutritional crops even by the landless and
marginal farmers, enhancing the purchasing power, etc. Diversification of production
portfolio is one option while intensification could also help farmers in specialising on
certain commodities to increase efficiency and quality. Development of agribusiness,
along side production enhancement, has become a matter of great importance so that
the farmers can dispose of their products profitably. Introduction of high value crops,
livestock and/or fisheries technology, intensification of integrated development of
homestead production programme, etc deserve immediate attention. Work to add
value to farm products through agro-processing can provide additional opportunity for
income generation and profit maximisation particularly to women, landless and
marginal farm families.
7.8 However, there should be limit on the extent to which the FSRD teams diversify its
portfolio of activities. There should be a limit to which FSRD teams can handle so that
high quality results are obtained. This will be dependent on needs of the farmers,
existence of opportunities for development, size of the FSRD team and the skills and
resources they have. They should establish the priority for their own work. A set of
criteria need to be developed. Researchers need to spend more time with farmers and
their family members to collect social and economic perspectives of the performance
of the technologies. This is almost absent currently.
7.9 Sharing of responsibilities with partners is needed particularly with respect to
development related work. Active partnership with DAE, NGOs and farmer groups are
essential elements. The issue has been discussed at length in the section 5.3.1.
8. HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
Attraction and retention of scientific staff by ARIs remains an important obstacle in continuity
of work and in improving the quality of outputs. Since inception of Systems Research, a
significant part of the staff were supported by temporary project staff. These staff were
always on the look out for permanent positions whether in the research system or elsewhere.
As a result, continuity of work always suffered.
8.1 Training Course and Workshops Conducted
FSRD programme at BARC organized seven training courses on "Farming Systems
Research and Development Methodology" of 12 days duration. Personnel from NARS
Institutes and BAU Agencies participated in each training course. Upazila level of officers
(Agriculture, Fishery and Livestock) and NGO representatives who are the members of FSRD
site working group also participated in this training course. Two Groups of 20 scientists from
NARS institutes participated in a 9-week training course on "Adaptive Research and
Agribusiness in Farming Systems Development" held in Los Banos, Philippines. Course
included 1-week field visit to Thailand. Besides, a study tour with 20 scientists of FSRD was
conducted on "Farming Systems Research and Development" to visit India and Thailand for
about 2 weeks. Seven Workshops were as well organized to review the progress of FSRD
activities in which scientists from FSRD site, concerned scientists of NARS institutes and
personnel from extension agencies participated. Five FSRD scientists from BARI, BSRI,
BARC and BAU presented papers in the 15th International Symposium of Association for
Farming Systems Research held in Pretoria, South Africa from 29 Nov-Dec.1998. One
scientist from FSRD, BARC also attended the 3rd International Crop Science Congress held
in Germany from 17-22 August 2000.
Review Team was also informed that before 1997, a number of scientist of different NARS
institutes received training in Cropping /Farming Systems Research with funding from World
Bank, USAID and Ford Foundation projects. Review of the training courses indicate that no
women scientist of FSRD programme participated in either the short term training or study
tour, while a substantial number of their male counterparts attended such training. Like wise,
none of the scientific assistants and other field staff received any training under the
8.2 Manpower position:
Current manpower position of different sites of FSRD is presented in table 1 below:
Table 6. shows that there is virtually no crop scientist in the sites of non crop FRI and BFRI.
Similarly, in some of the sites of the crop research institutes, there is no fisheries scientist
and livestock scientist. It was further reported to the Review Team that 2-3 posts of scientist,
on the average, remain vacant in each site due to frequent turnover of manpower. Posts of
agricultural economics are lying vacant in some sites as. Well discussion with the FSRD
scientists reveal that only livestock and fisheries scientists put in 100 %, crop scientist 50-70
% of their time to the programme while others spend 20-30 % of their time.
8.3 Analysis of Human Resources
Review of human resources management indicate that FSRD scientists of BARI, BRRI, BJRI
and BSRI are relatively secure by being in the core structures, while others of the 3 non-crop
institutes (BLRI, FRI and BFRI) and BAU are on the temporary pay roll of ARMP. Because of
the temporary nature of their jobs, the scientists specially those with livestock and fisheries
background have left the programme for better opportunities elsewhere similar problem was
noticed also with the scientists of core structures of several ARIs notably BARI and BRRI. It is
further observed that a considerable member of scientists experienced in cropping farming
systems research have been working as consultants in some private firms on lien from ARIs
or left the programme altogether for better opportunities outside the country. During their visit
to FSRD sites, the Reviewed Team noticed that the scientists working in most of the FSRD
sites are young with little or no experience in farming system concepts, research and
The Review Team strongly feels that the problem of manpower in FSRD sites could be better
addressed by (a) incorporating the temporary scientists and staff of concerned
Table 6: Manpower position at FSRD Site
Scientists and Staff Total
SI. Institute FSRD site Crop Livest Fishe Socio- Forestry/o Field
N ion ock ries Econ. others Staff
1 BARI Atkapalia, Noakhali 2 1 X X X 5 8
2 Chabbishnagar, Rajshahi 2 1 1 X X 5 9
3 Golapgonj, Sylhet 2 1 X 1 X 6 10
4 Goyespur, Pabna 3 1 X 1 X 14 18
5 Ishangopalpur, Faridpur 3 1 X X X 6 10
6 Lebukhali, Patuakhali 4 1 X X X 5 10
7 Narikeli, Jamalpur 4 1 X 1 2 7 15
8 Palima, Tangail 3 1 1 X X 5 10
9 Syedpur, Rangpur 4 1 1 X X 10 16
10 BJRI Baratia, Dhaka 4 1 1 3 X 2 11
11 BSRI Charmirkamari, Ishurdi 2 1 1 1 X 2 7
12 BRRI Dasshunarayanpur 5 1 1 1 X 4 12
13 BLRI Garadah, Sirajgonj 1 1 1 1 X 2 6
14 FRI Monohorpur, Jessore X 1 1 1 X 2 5
15 BFRI Sualok, Bandarban X 1 x 2 5 6 14
16 BAU Dhalia-Randia, 3 2 1 1 1** 4 12
Source: Coordination Unit, FSRD programme, BARC, 2001.
ARIs and BAU into the core structure of their parent organizations, (b) deploying senior and
experienced personnel at the FSRD sites and (c) introducing incentives in the form of
advance increments within the salary scale, annual awards, merit certificates, etc. About 4-6
advanced increments could as well be provided for the scientists for improving their degrees
e.g. Ph.D. The incentives proposed should however be provided only after proper evaluation
of their research performance. Step, suggested above will not be sufficient to make full use of
the personnel. What is needed for this purpose is to make provision for fund for operational
expenses. A long term sustainable arrangement would, however, be to introduce on-the-job
(in situ) upgradation of own's positions based on periodic evaluation of performances. The
arrangement, it may he noted, will have little or no financial implications.
Recommendation: It is necessary that service incentives in the form of advance
increments within salary scale, annual awards, merit certificates, etc. are
introduced for the scientists working in FSRD programme. The proposed
incentives should, however, be provided after proper evaluation of performances
While considerable progress has been made in formally incorporating the FSRD staff into the
core structures of their parent organizations in the crop research institutions, this process
remains incomplete, notably at BAU and the three non crop institutes. After years of delay,
the team feels that the moment of truth has arrived and that GOB and the organizations
directly involved should now decide whether they wish FSRD to continue in some form as a
The supervision mission has received assurances that serious efforts are being made by
BAU, BARC and the concerned ARIs, but it is not clear that they will be successful in time.
Clearly, a simple extension of the contracts of the current staff at the non crop institutes will
not solve the problem as it is quite evident that it will continue to be difficult to attract and
retain staff, given the uncertainty of the duration of the programs. It is critically important for
BARC and the non crop ARIs to regularize staff positions, if there is to be any serious
prospect of future support from donors for these programs. Further delay will only serve to
continue, and possibly accelerate, the departures of the most able FSRD staff who are critical
to the future creativity and viability of the programmes.
Recommendation: GOB and the parent institutions should incorporate suitable FSRD
capacities into their core organizational structures. Decisions of regularization of staff
positions should be made as a matter of urgency.
NAEP as well as the policies of BARC stress the importance of cooperation among research
and development agencies. To make this a reality linkages and partner relations should be a
core responsibility of all senior research staff and recognition should be given for note worthy
performance in this area, on a par with research achievements. At present there a few
incentives for research staff to give special attention to this area.
Recommendation: The review of service rules, performance assessments and staff
incentives of BARC/ARIs should address the need to improve linkages and partnership
arrangements with a range of service providers. GOB, donors and the leadership of
GO and private sector partner agencies are encouraged to do the same for their
Improving the skills of FSRD staff has become a matter of concern to improve the quality and
relevance of research work. A good number of researchers and their extension counterparts
have been trained on general FSRD methodology. However, it appeared that many remained
to be trained. Further, the scope of the subject matters on which they were trained were not
broad enough to help these researchers handle complex issues and analyze farmers
problems and potential solutions. Enhancement of social science skills of each of the
researchers is vital for them to deal with the farmers and to understand them better. Likewise,
the skills of the front line technicians (Scientific Assistants) need to be upgraded.
Recommendation: The skills of the researchers and their extension counterparts
should continue to be enhanced through formal and informal means. Particular
attention be given to areas like social analysis, problem analysis and priority setting,
gender analysis, PRA tools and methods, managing risk and uncertainty and
leadership. Similarly, Scientific Assistants need to be trained particularly on PRA tools
and methods, data collection methods. BARC may emphasize on facilitating lessons
learnt from application of various tools and methods by various FSRD teams in
working with farmer communities, problem definition, design of interventions, testing,
planning, review and evaluation and extrapolation/dissemination.
Recommendation: BARC should appoint a social scientist at the National Coordination
Unit to facilitate incorporation of social science perspective at stages of the research
process by the FSRD scientists
9.1 Organizational Sustainability:
Generation of technologies to solve farmer problems and provide opportunities for the future
is the core responsibility of ARIs and BARC. ARIs have been trying to achieve this through
their OSR and FSRD activities with various degree of success. Sustainability of the
successes and continuous improvement is largely dependent up on a good and functional
organizational arrangement within each of the ARIs and the NARS as whole, which include
BAU. This issue of organizational sustainability has become a matter of urgency particularly
in the non-crop ARIs after the completion of the ARMP. The questions are: how do we
ensure sustainability of FSRD type of work effectively in the NARS so that the NARS
remains responsive to demands created by farmers, integrate multi-disciplinary team work,
ensure team work between OSR and OFR, reduce redundancies, integrate at farm level
technologies generated by crops research and non-crops research institutes, and ensure
feed back to the OSR scientists?
The first option available is to improve the management of the current structures (OFR /FSR
Divisions) at Crop research ARIs and establish similar structures in the other ARIs where
such structures do not exist. This will require improving functional linkages between this
Division and other research Divisions so that the FSRD structures viewed as member of one
team of the ARIs. This will also require review of the similar tasks performed by various units
and rationalize those.
The second option is to adopt FSR as an approach to research through out the entire
programmes and implement FSRD by forming problem oriented interdisciplinary teams. This
however poses risk of not adequately addressing the farmers problems and not integrating, at
farm level, the technologies of various ARIs. This can also pose a big challenge to train huge
number of staff on FSRD approach.
The third option is to establish a separate ARI for farming systems research and
development. While this can create a dedicated and specialized group of FSRD scientists, it
can also create problem of functional linkages among the ARIs and the FSRD group.
Recommendation: BARC/Institutes should adopt the first option (Establishment of
OFR/ FSR Divisions) in which OFR / FSR Divisions will provide the core group of FSRD
researchers and those from other divisions/disciplines/centres of the ARIs will
participate as team members of the FSRD sites. Similarly, OFR scientists may also
participate in relevant OSR activities.
9.2 Financial Sustainability:
In spite of growing evidence of the considerable impacts from FSRD and research in
general, the sustainability of FSRD activities following the cessation of funding from ARMP in
Dec. 2001 is seriously in question. Most of the staff have been shifted to the revenue budget,
and the cropping systems work seems likely to continue at the ARI's responsible for crop
research, notably BARI, BRRI, BSRI, and BJRI. However, FSRD staff at the three non crop
institutes responsible for fisheries, forestry arid livestock are supported by ARMP with no
immediate assurances of support beyond December 2001. Similarly, support for BAU FSES
from the contract research portion of ARMP will also conclude at that time.
Assuming that progress can be made in formally establishing the posts of FSRD staff in all
institutes and BAU, the problem of operational funding remains a critical concern. The
Secretaries of Agriculture, and Fisheries and Livestock have directed that BARC draft a PCP
as a matter of urgency to provide support for the FSRD programmes under the ARIs and
PCP might serve as a basis for seeking additional funding from major donors, including the
World Bank. However, the process of developing and getting approval for a new project is
lengthy and the current trends in development assistance among the traditional donors gives
no assurance that support will be forthcoming. Donors are generally turning away from
supporting the investments and operating costs for large public sector agencies concerned
with agricultural research and development, but remain open to assisting measures which will
enable these agencies to become more 'demand driven'. The FSRD approach is well suited
to enable BARC/ARIs and BAU to address stakeholder concerns in this area. However,
linkages, both downstream and upstream, must function more effectively than at present to
make this a reality. On the basis of informal discussions with various donors, the Review
Team feels that there is a basis for seriously exploring funding for research from donors on
Recommendation: A PCP should be prepared focusing on ways and means to make
the NARS as a whole more demand driven and market oriented with FSRD approaches
(not limited to the current core set of FSRD activities) as a central, integrative feature.
A new project is unlikely simply to provide major funding directly to GOB/BARC for research
as in the past. Nor is such funding likely to adequately cover all the operational needs of the
ARIs and the FSRD programmes. Further, any new project should not be just another link in
a seemingly endless chain of dependency. There must be a serious plan for financial
sustainability, involving the diversification of funding sources to increasingly include domestic
sources other than GOB. Efforts must be made by the agencies involved to secure at least
some of their support through contracts with development service providers. Such
arrangements may, in fact, be a condition of future support from major donors. FSRD teams
have received modest support via contracts with service providers, including the Grameen
Krishi Foundation and MOU's have been signed with a number of other service providers that
could lead to additional formal contractual arrangements. This is an important and positive
start toward making both adaptive research and development activities more demand driven.
BARC/ARIs should move towards having all the development and advisory dimensions of the
FSRD work supported in this fashion and this appears possible for at least some of the FSRD
teams. It must appreciated that the character of the development work of the FSRD teams
will most likely change and become more varied in the process of meeting the requirements
of individual partner agencies.
Recommendation: BARC/ARIs/BAU should actively explore providing assistance to
GO projects, NGOs and private sector agencies on a contract basis. Progressively, all
FSRD development activities should be supported on this basis.
It will be more difficult to identify sources of funding for the research activities, at least in the
near term. The suspension of these research activities and a shift in focus of development
has potentially serious implications for the future flow of technologies and methods needed to
sustain the agricultural progress in the country. Thus, measures should be taken to ensure
the continuity of at least a modest portion of these activities. Support for FSRD research
should be given consideration in the allocation of available operating funds at each
organization. Each organization should make their own decisions about the importance they
wish to place on FSRD activities in the determination of their individual research portfolios.
Recommendation: GOB/BARC/ARIs/BAU should provide modest core operational
budget support to the FSRD programmes in addition to regularizing the positions of
the FSRD staff. The core FSRD research activities should become a regular feature of
the operating budgets of the respective organizations and subject to the normal
research planning and resource allocation procedures.
10. NEXT STEPS
In view of the observations and discussions above, the Team recommends the following
actions that deserve immediate action.
1. Completion of the full report on FSRD (July 7, 2001)
2. Consultations with GOB, selected projects, organizations and interested donors to ensure
continuity of FSRD activities at least through June 2002, including drafting of a PCP.
3. Decisions by Ministries and BAU on the formal incorporation of FSRD staff (June/July
4. Adjustments/clarifications on regulations governing contracting of BARC/ARI services by
private and public sector organizations to allow encourage FSRD programmes to explore
support for all development activities on a contract basis.
ANNEX A: TERMS OF REFERENCE
In Bangladesh after more than 15 years of Farming Systems Research and Development
(FSRD) activities there is increasing demand for evaluation of FSRD programme
implemented, so far. Besides, there is a need for comprehensive documentation of adoption
of FSRD technologies and their impact. In the past the programme of BARC including
Bangladesh Agricultural University component was reviewed and evaluated by both local and
expatriate experts. In general, FSRD programme was satisfactory as evaluated on various
Impact evaluation is usually conducted after a specific research and development effort is
completed. A comprehensive exercise aiming at determining the impact of the FSRD
technology in terms of increased production in greater extrapolation areas needs to be
conducted. Rate and scale of adoption are the measures of success or failure. By
determining the impacts, FSRD programme performs some social responsibilities and
assesses its contribution toward achieving national development goal. The desired results
from the use of technologies are improved incomes, higher level of living, and food security,
especially for the poorer groups of farmers.
At this stage, we are proposing to conduct a comprehensive review of FSRD programme
implemented so far, in Bangladesh and evaluation of on-going FSRD programme as is being
executed as an important component of Agriculture Research Management Project (ARMP)
with funding support from the World Bank. A 4 -member evaluation team may be formed with
mix of 2 (two) local 2 (two) expatriate experts to undertake the evaluation. The terms of
reference (TOR) of the proposed review and evaluation would be as follows:
1. To review farming systems research and development activities implemented under
various programmes under the coordination of BARC with particular emphasis on current
FSRD programme as component of ARMP. The Team would evaluate achievements and
weaknesses particularly in terms of spread of technology, farm productivity and
2. To review appropriateness of strategy/directions of FSRD programme in relation to
general weakness and strength of the programme.
3. To assess the adequacy of FSRD methodologies currently being followed and its
effectiveness, relevance etc towards attainment of goal and objectives of the programme
and provide suggestions for further improvement of methodology guidelines to enhance
4. To provide general recommendations/suggestions in view of the above indicated review
and evaluation/impact study.
ANNEX B: ITINERARY
Date Time Activities
26 May 2001 10:00 Briefing on the FSRD Programme by the National Coordinator.
27 May 2001 09:00 Meet World Bank Personnel.
10:30 Meet Executive Chairman and all concerned Member-Directors
hrs and Directors of BARC in the Conference room.
12:30 Director-General, DOF
13:30 Director-General, DLS
16:00 Director-General, DAE
28 May 2001 09:00 Depart for Rajshahi & Visit FSRD site at Chabbishnagar,
hrs Rajshahi, by Air.
17:00 Leave for Ishurdi.
29 May 2001 09:00 Visit BSRI and FSRD Sites Goyeshpur, Pabna and
hrs Charmirkamari, Ishurdi
30 May 2001 15:00 2 members leave fdr Rangpur
18:00 2 members leave for Rajshahi
31 May 2001 Continue to Work both a Rajshahi and Rangpur
1 June 2001 13:00 Depart Rangpur By Air (Two members)
16:00 Depart Rajshahi (Two members) for Baghabari
Stay at night at Baghabari Milk Vita Guest house.
2 June 2001 08:00 Visit Garadha, Sirajgonj FSRD Site (Two members)
07:30 Leave for Tangail, Stay night at Tangail (Two members)
17:30 Leave for Jessore, Visit FSRD Site Monohorpur (Two
3 June 08:30 Visit Tangail FSRD Site
08:30 Leave Jessore by Air (Two members).
15:00 Meeting with donors
4 June 2001 08:00 Visit BARI (9:30 hrs) and BRRI (14:30 hrs) HQ.
6 June 2001 09:00 Attend Workshop
7 June 2001 09:00 Meet NGO and Govt. agencies promoting FSRD technologies
hrs and also attend workshop
9 June 2001 15:00 Leave for Chittagong by Air (Two members).
11:45 Leave for Patuakhali by Air (Two members).
15:30 Meeting with Scientists at Patuakhali.
June 10, 08:00 Discussion with Scientists of BFRI and visit FSRD Site at
2001 hrs. Bandarban.
08:30 Visit FSRD Site at Patuakhali
16:00 Leave Barisal for Dhaka (Two members).
20:55 Leave Chittagong for Dhaka (Two membres).
June 11, Whole Preparation of draft report.
2001 A day
June 13, 07:30 Leave for Kapasia, visit FSRD Site
16:30 Leave for BAU, Mymensingh
June 14-15 Visit FSRD Site of BAU and meet Director General, FRI,
June 15, 17:00 Leave for Dhaka
June 18, 15:30 Debriefing on Draft Summary Report
June 21, 10:30 Meat BJRI scientists, scientists of Baratia FSRD site and
2001 hrs concerned extension agencies at BJRI HQ.
July 7, 2001 Submission of Final report
ANNEX C: PERSONS CONTACTED
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI)
On-Farm Research Division (OFRD)
Rajshahi (Barind Station):
1. Mr. Md. Abdul Salam, Senior Scientific Officer in-charge &Site Coordinator
2. Mr. Md. Selim Ahmed, Scientific Officer (Crop)
3. Mr. Md. Mahbubur Rahman, Scientific Officer (Livestock)
4. Mr. Md. Amirul Islam, Scientific Officer (Fisheries)
1. Mr. Abu Mohammed Musa
SDC Village and Farm Forestry Project
1. Mr. Farid Ahmed, Director
2. Dr. Mohammed Shahjahan
Bangladesh Sugarcane Research Institute (BSRI), Isurdi:
1. Dr. A.M. Delwar Hossain, Director General, BSRI
2. Dr. A.B.M. Mofizul Islam, Director (Research)
3. Dr. M. Korban Ali, P.S.O. (Training and Technology Transfer)
4. Dr. Md. Khalilur Rahman, S.S.O. (Agronomy and Farming System Division and Site
5. Dr. Md. Shariful Islam, Head (Entomology)
6. Mr. Md. Mahmudunnabi, S.O., FSRD, (Fisheries)
7. Mr. Md.AshrafAli, S.O., FSRD, (Livestock)
8. Mr. Md. Jahangir Alam, Asstt. Agronomist, Agronomy & Farming System Division.
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI):
Pulses Research Centre:
1. Dr. M. Motiur Rahman (Director)
Onfarm and Research Division (OFRD)
1. Mrs. Ferdousi Islam, Senior Scientific Officer (in-charge)
2. Mr. Md. Akkas Ali, Senior Scientific Officer, OFRD & Site Coordinator, OFRD
3. Mr. M.A. Momin, Sr. Scientific Officer, OFRD (Agronomy)
4. Mr. M. Akhtar Hossain, Scientific Officer, OFRD (Agril.Economics)
5. Mr. M. Robiul Alam, Scientific Officer, OFRD (Agronomy)
6. Mr. M. Mahfuz Bazzaz, Scientific Officer, OFRD (Fisheries)
7. Mr. M. Kamruzzaman, Scientific Officer, OFRD (Livestock)
Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute (BLRI):
1. Dr. Mafizul Islam, Principle Research Officer (System Research Division)
2. Mr. Md. Ashraf Ali Biswas, Senior Scientific Officer
3. Mr. Md. Golam Kibria, Scientific Officer
4. Mr. Md. Shafiqul Islam, Scientific Officer, BARI (deputed to BLRI)
5. Md. Harunor Rashid, Scientific Officer, (Fisheries, deputed from FRI)
Lubukhali OFRD site (Patuakhali, Barisal) 9-6-01
A group discussion was held at Lebukhali
Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU), Mymensingh
1. Prof. Dr. Sultan Uddin Bhuiya -BAU
2. Prof. Dr. Shahid Ullah Talukder -BAU
3. Prof. Dr. Sherajul Islam -BAU
4. Prof. Dr. Muttaquinur Rahman -BAU
5. Prof. Dr. Somen Dewan -BAU
6. Dr. Faiz Ahmed -BAU
7. Prof. Dr. Shafiuddin Ahmed -BAU
8. Md. Abul Kashem -FSES, BAU
9. S.M. Shiraji -FSES, BAU
1 Mustaq Ahmed -FSES, BAU
1 S.K. Foujdar -FSES, BAU
1 Bimal Chandra -FSES, BAU
1 Profulla Kumar Malakar -FSES, BAU
1 Mamunur Rashid -FSES, BAU
1 Md. Abdus Siddique -DD, DAE, Mymensingh
1 Dr. Abdus Salam -CSO, BINA
1 Shahidul Islam SO, BINA
1 Md. Abdul Khaleque- ARRDO, Muktagacha
1 Munir Hossain NGO, Representative
2 Md. Abdul Khaleque Deputy Registrar, BAU
2 Md. Ebadul Haque -Farmer
2 Md. Abdul Jabbar -Farmer
2 Hasan Member -Farmer
Case Studies of some farmers participating in the
Farming System Research and Development Programme
Case 1. Fish-duck-vegetable Integration
Mr. Md. Masud, aged 26 of village: Rezanagar (Charmirkamari site), than Ishwardi, district:
Pabna is a young and enthusiastic farmer practicing Integrated duck-fish system and
sugarcane inter cropping system with potato and mung bean. He started the practice in July
2000. He had heard about this technology from the personnel involved with FSRD
programme of the Bangladesh Sugarcane Research Institute (BSRI) who generated the
technology. He has a pond of 1 acre (0.40hectare). He started integrated duck-fish farming in
his pond. He prepared the pond, created duck shelter (bamboo made) on the space above
the water of pond, stocked the pond with seven species of fish (ruhu, catla, mrigal, silver
carp, common carp, pangas and rajputi), bought duck (Jending).
From the pond he had sold fish worth Take 88,000 (@Taka 45 per kg for 1956 kg) in April
2001. Productivity of pond was 4890 kg per hectare in 10 months. His total expenditure was
Taka 12,200 (including harvesting cost). He did not require applying any feed and fertilizer.
The dropping of the duck served as fertilizer. Occasionally he had applied rice bran, which
cost Taka 200 at the most (included in the cost). This made a gross margin of Taka 75,800.
His benefit cost ratio stood at 7.21. A one Taka investment resulted in benefit to the extent of
Taka 7.21. The dyke of the pond was utilized by raising vegetables (sweet gourd, gourd. Chal
kumra and bitter gourd. He sold vegetables worth of Taka 8,000 spending only Taka 500
including the season's cost of macha).
He sold 100 of his ducks from which he received Taka 10,000. He has so far sold eggs worth
of Taka 19,000 (receiving price of Taka 2.40 per piece). He has a current stock of 100 ducks
worth another Taka 10,000 at least. He is expecting these ducks to continue laying eggs for
at least another 10 months after which he plans to sell the duck and start a new batch of
He has practised sugarcane intercropping in another of his 33 decimals land. The inter crops
are tomato, cauliflower, cabbage, and black cumin in the first batch and mung bean in the
second batch. His sale proceeds comprised Taka 19,000 (from sugarcane), Taka 2000 from
vegetables, and Taka 2531 from black cumin. His total cost was Tk. 9700 for the total
component (sugarcane: Taka 5000 +Tk.4,000 for seedling supplied from mill + vegetables:
Taka500 + mungbean: Taka200). Sale proceeds of the sugarcane intercropping were
Tk.23531. Thus he received a gross margin of Tk 13,831. The benefit cost ratio of
intercropping was 2.42.
He said that he used to practice sugarcane before following traditional method (line method)
and they never thought that intercropping could be made with sugarcane. He said he had
benefited much out of this technique. He has saved the additional income and kept in bank
and is planning to buy a new land where he will practice FSRD technology. This year he has
increased areas to 83 decimals in order to grow more sugarcane. The variety he is using this
year are ISD 26, ISD 31 and ISD 29. Replying to a question as to why so many varieties, he
replied that he wanted to know which one gives better result and he would use this
experience in the next season.
Case 2. A Young Sugarcane Intercropper
Mr. S.M. Harun-ar- Rashid, aged 26, is a master student at the Pabna Edward University
College. He is involved with sugarcane intercropping practice. He first started practicing
sugarcane intercropping on 8-12-2000 seeing other farmers' practice of the same. He
contacted the FSRD project of the BSRI and received all the technical advises for the
practice. He decided to practice the technology on an area of 0.45 acre. He planted the
sugarcane on STP (space transplanting) method with potato as the first inter crop and mung
bean as a second inter crop. The variety he chose was ISD 29 for sugarcane, cardinal for
potato and Bina mung-5 for mung bean. He followed the advises suggested by the FSRD
people. Saplings, fertilizers and pesticides were procured from the Sugar mill on credit.
Benefits he received from the practice comprises of 1300 maunds (48.75 ton) of sugarcane,
2620 kg potato and 74 kg of mung bean. The sale proceeds were Tk. 58,500 (from
sugarcane, @Tk.45 per maund), Tk.7860 (from potato), and Tk. 1850 (from mung bean).
Total sale proceeds from sugarcane, potato and mung bean was Tk. 68,210. Costs incurred
for these were Tk.8400 (for sugarcane and potato) and Tk 600 (for mung bean). Total cost
became Tk.17,400 resulting a gross margin of Tk. 50,810. The benefit- cost ratio for his
practice was 3.92 indicating that a one-taka investment in sugarcane with potato as an
intercrop results in a benefit of Tk. 3.92. His previous traditional practice used to provide him
a gross revenue of Tk 27,000 (for 600 maunds of sugarcane). Deducting his production,
harvesting and carrying cost of Tk 12,000 he could receive a gross return of Tk. Only 15,000
resulting a benefit cost ratio of Tk.2.25. Thus incremental BCR of the sugarcane intercropping
with potato over the sole sugarcane (traditional practice) was 1.67.
He commented that not only he would practice the technology in more areas, he would
motivate others to adopt similar technology and practice the same in their fields. He expects
that FSRD people will be with them for some more years and help solve problems they will
face during the practice.
Case 3. Beef fattener Mahmud
Mr. Sultan Mahmud (27) of village Charkamaria, PS: Ishwardi, Dist. Pabna, a businessman of
fertilizer and pesticides learnt about beef fatterning technology generated by FSRD, BSRI. He
became interested to practice the technology. He used to buy bulls and fatten them for three
to four months with UMS (Urea-molasses-straw) and sell them afterwords making money out
of them. On an average he sells the fattened bulls 3 times a year. Last time during the Eid-ul-
Azha period he sold 4 bulls for Tk. 62,000. The purchased price of the bulls was Tk. 24,000
and he spent Tk. 13,400 to fatten the bulls. Including all, the total cost became 37,400 and he
made a gross return of Taka 24,600. This provided him a benefit cost ratio of 1.66.
Case 4. Papaya Marketer
Mr. Md. Shahidul Islam (Chenu), aged 32 is a married young man of Charkamaria, PS:
Ishwardi, Dist: Pabna. He started papaya cultivation in 1996 on a 50 decimal land. He
received the FSRD's papaya technology in 1999. He increased the cultivation to 100
decimals this time. Since then he kept on expanding acreage under papaya cultivation: 150
decimals in 2000, and 266 decimals in 2001. In 2000, he received Tk. 130,000 taka out of
papaya selling. This sale proceeds was much lower than expected. The crop was damaged
due to excessive rain and windstorm. His total cost was Tk 80,000. Even then his gross
return was Taka 50,000. The B-C ratio was 1.62. This year he is expecting Tk 200,000 as a
sale proceeds with similar expenditure as earlier. The expected gross output would be
120,000 with a B-C ratio of at least 2.5. He does not have any problem to market the papaya.
Rather he said that he had created market for papaya. Paiker from Dhaka come to him for
papaya and they take all the trouble of picking up the papaya from the tree and trucking them
to Dhaka. He was very grateful to the FSRD people and he expects that "these brothers
should stay with us for some more years until we face problems in cultivation and leam
Case 5. A Young Broiler farmer
Sohel Biswas (27) is a young man of village: Charkamaria, PS: Isurdi, District: Pabna. He
passed Higher Secondary Certificate, after which he could not continue study due to financial
constraint. He is newly married and has 4 family members including his sister. He has a small
business. His income from the business is not enough. He was looking for means of eating.
He then came to know about the existence of nearby farming system personnel. He took
advise from them about the possibility of a unit of broiler farming. He received the necessary
training from the FSRD people. Having leart he constructed a low cost shelter for the
farming. He started the first batch of his farming with a broiler unit with 166 birds. Including
the construction of shelter he spent Tk11,600. He reared the birds for 45 days and sold worth
Tk 16,800. In the first instance he made a profit excluding the full cost of shelter. He started a
second batch after 7 days with 490 birds. He feared those birds for another 45-50 days and
sold those at TK. 54,900. In the third batch he sold worth Tk 55,120 from 530 birds covering
his expenditure of Tk 43,000. He then kept on raring broiler and cockerel. In all the
subsequent batches, he made profit except cockerel farming. He then decided to go for layer
farming. He started with 62 birds in 23-02-2000. The birds started laying eggs after being
reared for 4 months and 2 days. His per day feed cost at the laying stage is Tk. 90.00. He
has been receiving Tk. 150 to Tk. 160 everyday for last 4 months. He is expecting the birds to
lay eggs at the same rate for another 15 weeks. He spent Tk.1000 for the chicks and then
spent another Tk. 40.00 daily on an average for 4 months. His costs and returns are as
Items Costs Return
Chick cost (62 @Tk20 per bird) 1240.00 -
Chick rearing cost for 4 months (@Tk40 per day) 4800.00 -
Cost of layer birds (@Tk 85.00 for 4 months) 10200.00 19,200.00
Cost of layer birds for the rest 15 weeks (@Tk.85/day) 8925.00 16,800.00
Sale proceeds of layer birds (62 @Tk 100 per bird 6,200.00
Total 25,165.00 42,200.00
Having encouraged, he extended his layer farm and has expanded number of birds to 490
now. In addition to layer farms, he is practicing a vegetables garden. His additional benefit
includes poultry litters worth Tk 34.50 per gunny bag. He is making use of this litter in his
vegetables garden. He has so far invested Tk.31,000 for constructing shelters of the farm.
He is ambitious and is expecting to keep on expanding the size of his poultry farm. He
expressed gratefulness to FSRD people for their help and training during the preparatory
stage. He said that about 20 farms more or less of this magnitude have been developed in
this area following his practice. He believes that he has a great contribution to the
establishment and development of these farms. He does not face any difficulty to market the
broilers or eggs. But he said that recent aflatoxin propaganda damaged the market for both
egg and birds. He advises the youngsters to become self-employed following this kind of
income generating activities.
Case 6. Successful Integrated Farming
Mr. Md. Makbul Hossain Monju (aged 38) and his wife Mrs. Sufia Monju (aged 34) of village
Goyeshpur, PS and Dist: Pabna created a remarkable contribution towards demonstrating
integrated farming (one house one farm) to the villagers. Starting with a homestead garden
they have converted it to an integrated farming. Mr. Hossain bought a piece of land (242
decimals) in 1997. He started growing vegetables in one comer of his plot as a subsistence
unit for home consumption. He was, like others of the area, relying solely on traditional
practice. He once met some people of the OFRD, Pabna. The people motivated him to use
the plot scientifically following OFRD technologies. For the first time Mr. Monju listened to the
OFRD people and made a garden (20 decimals) on one corer of his plot. He followed OFRD
vegetables production technology. He then subsequently expanded the ideas in all of his
areas. Currently he has about more than 30 different types of vegetables around his
homestead garden and 20 different types of crops (pulses, crops, fruit trees, bamboo bush
and so on). He has not left an inch of his areas uncovered. In addition to crops, vegetables,
fruit trees, bamboo bush he is also practising broiler farming, dairy raising and fish culture.
That means his plot is an example of perfect integrated farming. He has made arrangement
for compost pit using cowdung, kitchen waste, chicken litter and homestead wastes from the
house. Two pits are maintained so that supply of compost can be continuous. While stock of
one pit is exhausted the other gets ready. Compost from these pits is being used in his crops.
Homestead garden provided him a net profit of Taka 786. The other net profits were
Tk.6452 from early cauliflower, Tk. 3000 from late cauliflower, Tk. 3300 from BARI Lau,
Tk.9556 from turmarine-brinjal integrated cultivation, Tk. 1023 from onion, Tk.6500 from
broiler production, Tk. 12000 from milk selling, Tk 500 from fish production, Tk.200 from ol
production, Tk. 700 from palwal (patal), Tk. 1640 from potato, Tk. 200 from Chupri alu, Tk. 223
from Chal kumra, Tk.346 from bean and Tk 2000 from pulses and other vegetables. He said
that he was the initiator of broiler farming in the area. Spread of broiler technology in Pabna
started following him, he added. His farming system has created a symbol of demonstration
in the area.
7. Story of Smart Jobahar
A young female co-operator named Jobahar, live in a hut on a piece of leased khas land. She
works often as a maidservant for the neighbours. She came to know about the vegetables
cultivation technology recommended by the QFRD of the BARI. She contacted the OFRD
people and expressed her desire to raise vegetables in her tiny homestead space. She was