Climate resilience technology - Sac Bag
Bangladesh experiences weather conditions that range from heavy downpours, to droughts, and annual storms. Incidents of flash floods and landslides in Sylhet and Moulvibazar, in the northeast of the country, are increasing. Suchana beneficiaries struggle to cope with these shocks, as the majority of vegetables and crop fields are highly vulnerable to periodic and prolonged rainwater flooding.
Suchana initiatives help beneficiary households (BHH) to become more resilient against shocks, to recover earlier, face less economic risk, and live safer lives. These initiatives include climate-smart production technologies, such as water-tolerant seeds, seasonal adjustments to cropping, village savings and loan associations (VSLAs), and social protection schemes.
Parvin Begum, 18, lives with her parents, three brothers, and one sister in Dhanpur village, Osmanpur union, Sylhet. Before being introduced to Suchana, Parvin and her family produced crops for their daily consumption. Parvin’s parents were unable to support their child’s education past the fifth grade due to financial constraints. Every day life was tough, and there were limited opportunities to generate more income through farming. Due to an increasing frequency of extreme events, farmers in Sylhet suffer from delays in planting, and an increase in pest and disease infestations. This damages crops, and leads to delayed yields, which in turn limits a homestead’s potential for nutrition and income-earning outcomes.
In 2018, in order to promote resilience, Suchana provided training to help citizens to acquire new skills in horticulture production, and food and nutrition security among farmers. Farmers and household members received training that helped them carry out sustainable, year-round, and diversified vegetable production methods. Parvin was excited to be involved and joined as a demo farmer. “I joined Suchana because I wanted to have knowledge on agricultural activities like cultivating vegetables, and fish farming,” Parvin explains.
Suchana gave training and input support to beneficiaries in:
“I hope this is just the starting point of me being a demo farmer with Suchana. I hope that through Suchana, I will gain more skills and knowledge, and continue with the project.”
Parvin Begum, 18
Farmers and demo farmers like Parvin learned how to cultivate a wide variety of different crops, and to implement more efficient working practices. Since Parvin began her training, she has started to grow vegetables using different climate-smart technologies, such as sac gardens and raised pits.
Parvin has diversified her farming activities to include fish and poultry as well. “So far, I have cleared my land for fish and vegetable production. I have also built a fence around the land and constructed 80 sac bags as well as growing different types of vegetables such as bitter gourd, sponge gourd, long beans, and okra.” Trained households like Parvin’s now act as role models for the rest of the community, encouraging others to replicate similar climate change-resilient vegetable production methods. More than 94,000 households now practice climate-resilient livelihood options introduced by Suchana.
These agricultural techniques are resistant to the effects of climate change and have made food production sustainable. Vegetables can now be grown year-round as a result of adopting climate-smart technology in the summer, and drip irrigation systems in the winter. Parvin can even grow vegetables in periods of drought, which increases the quantity and range of food products she can harvest. Not only has her family been able to meet their protein intake, they are able to harvest fish from ponds throughout the year, too. Parvin and her family harvested 400 kg of vegetables across the last summer and winter seasons by incorporating different climate resilience technologies. She also produced 72 kg of fish, valued at BDT 18,500. Parvin and her family consume this produce, which increases their overall nutrition intake. She sells the extra produce and earns around BDT 6,500 each month.
Parvin has already learned a number of skills through Suchana as a demo farmer, and earns BDT 3,000 per month from her homestead. She is currently 1 year into her 3-year project cycle with Suchana, and looks forward to further improving her skillsets, and the eventual growth of her community. Parvin is now very hopeful about the future.
House CWN (A) 35, Road 43, Gulshan 2, Dhaka 1212