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AAPI NEWS BULLETIN Accelerating Agriculture Productivity Improvement (AAPI) Volume

A project supported by USAID in collaboration with DAE Notes from Chief of Party, AAPI

Inside this issue:

The Honorable Agriculture Minister and the Secretary, MoA Visit GHG Lab


A Dynamic Briquette Producer Sustains UDP/FDP Technology in Gopalganj


Building Farmers’ Confidence


AAPI Events in March 2014


AAPI News Bulletin is a monthly publication of the AAPI project.

Boro transplantation is in full swing, and all seems to be going well. As we push farther into the remote corners of the districts, we are finding some useful allies in the small fertilizer retail shops who are linking with the briquette producers to have the Guti fertilizer products, both urea and nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK), available and close to the point of demand. The Bangladesh Fertilizer Association (BFA) is a willing partner in seeing this network develop among its members, and we are thankful to have their support. On February 9, we were honored to provide a tour of our Green House Gas

February 28, 2014

(GHG) Emissions Laboratory at Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) to the honorable minister of agriculture, Matia Chowdhury, MP. Other important guests attending were Mr. Zahid Hassan Rassel, MP; Dr. SM Nazmul Islam, secretary, Ministry of Agriculture (MoA); the executive chairman of the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC); the directorsgeneral of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) and BRRI and other senior scientists of BRRI. Our chief operating officer, John H. Allgood from IFDC headquarters also attended along with Dr. Upendra Singh, principal scientist at IFDC.

Subscriptions are free. International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) is a Public International Organization (PIO) based in Alabama, USA. IFDC focuses on increasing and sustaining agricultural productivity in developing countries. Managing Editor: Ishrat Jahan Resident Representative IFDC Bangladesh Eurasia Division and Project Coordinator, AAPI Design and Layout: Syed Afzal Hossain Data Management Unit, AAPI Honorable Minister of Agriculture, Matia Chowdhury MP (extreme right) visited AAPIGHG Laboratory at BRRI, Gazipur on February 9, 2014.

The views expressed in this bulletin do not necessarily reflect views of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) or the United States Government

AAPI NEWS BULLETIN AAPI News Bulletin Contact Persons: Ishrat Jahan Grahame D. Hunter Address: Dhaka Office: Road No. 62, House No. 4B, Apt-B2 Gulshan - 2, Dhaka -1212 Bangladesh Tel: 880-2-9894288 880-2-8817391 Fax: 880-2-8826109 Website: Barisal Office: “Zohora” 834 (New) Police Line Road, Barisal Tel: 0431-2176566 Jessore Office: Jagorani Chakra Foundation (JCF) Building 46 Mujib Sarak Jessore 7400 Tel: 0421-60986 AAPI Management: Ishrat Jahan, Project Coordinator; Grahame D. Hunter, Chief of Party; Md. Mofizul Islam, Sr. Agriculture Specialist; Dr. Shaharuk Ahmed, Md. Fozlul Haque, Md. Iqbal Hoque, Agriculture Specialists; Dr. Badirul Islam, Farming System Specialist; Abul Hossain Mollah, Dr. AKM Farhad Training Specialists; Dr. Md. Abdul Mazid Mia, Mainul Ahsan, Soil Scientists; Md. Nurul Islam, Market/Business Development Specialist; Ram Proshad Ghosh, Mechanical Engineer; Dr. Abdul Wohab, Agriculture Engineer; M. Hemayetul Islam, Sr. Chemical Engineer; Sonia Kutubuddin, Activity Coordinator; Rubina Islam, Gender Specialist; Syed Afzal Mahmood Hossain, Senior Data Management Specialist; AFM Saleh Chowdhury, Chief Accountant; Bishnu Rup Chowdhury, Administrative and Procurement Officer

Volume This month, we have articles written by our Senior Agriculture Specialists. Mr. Mofizul Islam writes about a family business in Gopalganj and how it has developed with project support. Dr. AKM Farhad describes how motivational field visits build farmers’ confidence to use fertilizer deep placement (FDP) technology. As the project continues to promote the technology, the late adopters are now our targets. These people tend to be more conservative than the innovators and early adopters and require more “seeing is believing” activities such as these field visits where they cannot only see the results in farmer fields but discuss the experience with the practice and the benefits derived. *** The Honorable Agriculture Minister and the Secretary, MoA Visit GHG Lab The honorable minister of agriculture Matia Chowdhury, MP, and Dr. SM Nazmul Islam, the secretary for the MoA, visited the AAPI GHG Laboratory at BRRI, Gazipur, on February 9, 2014. Among others, Mr. Zahid Ahsan Rassel, MP; Dr. Md. Kamal Uddin, executive chairman, BARC; the directors-general of BRRI, BARI and DAE; Mr. Jamsher Ahmed Khandker, joint secretary (research) of MoA; senior scientists of BRRI and many others attended the program. Also attending the program were Mr. John H. Allgood, chief operating officer of IFDC and Dr. Upendra Singh, principal scientist, both from IFDC headquarters, USA; Ms. Ishrat Jahan, resident representative and project coordinator of AAPI; Mr. Grahame Hunter, chief of party of AAPI, Dr. Yam Kanta Gaihre, post doctoral scientist and Dr. M. A. Satter, environment specialist of the AAPI-GHG project. 2

Ms. Ishrat Jahan briefed the minister about the background and objectives of the project. She also mentioned the capacity development of the public research institution and university with respect to research facilities and manpower development. Dr. Satter and Mr. Mofizul Islam, scientific officer, Soil Science Division, BRRI and junior scientist of the AAPI-GHG project, briefed the minister about the technical aspects of the project. The minister expressed deep satisfaction with the activities and performance of the project and her desire to continue the project. She suggested the inclusion of methane measurement and the expansion of the study on diversified cropping systems. *** A Dynamic Briquette Producer Sustains UDP/FDP Technology in Gopalganj Fertilizer dealers registered with Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) are authorized to purchase urea from BCIC factories and warehouses and sell to the farmers and retailers of a designated union of a upazila. BCIC dealers also get small allocations of Triple Super Phosphate (TSP) and Di-ammonium Phosphate (DAP) produced by BCIC and imported by Bangladesh Agricultural Corporation (BADC) and other private sector importers. Mr. Md. Mustafa Kamal is a private fertilizer dealer of Kotalipara upazila in Gopalganj district, registered with BCIC. The Agrobased Industries and Technology Development (ATDP) project of IFDC took initiative to popularize urea deep placement (UDP) technology (known locally as Guti urea) among the general farmers in the ATDP limited areas during 1995 to 2000. ATDP’s focus was mainly to create awareness and demand among the farmers. The supply side issue was addressed to a



limited extent through the BCIC dealers. Md. Mustafa Kamal was among the few entrepreneurs who first bought a briquetting machine in 1996. ATDP facilitated the briquetting machine owners with special urea allotments from BCIC through a collaborative agreement with the Government of Bangladesh. Mr. Kamal was also engaged as a briquetting machine dealer of Rajshahi Engineering Company Limited. The machines of this factory were sold at a very low cost to a few interested entrepreneurs, and Kamal kept two more briquetting machines for his shop, but discontinued his dealership with Rajshahi Engineering. Since 1998 Kamal has been running three briquetting machines. As there is no restriction on Guti urea movement, Mr. Kamal could supply Guti urea not only within Kotalipara but also in some other adjacent upazilas of Gopalganj. He recognized the potential of Guti urea business as an agricultural product since his early introduction to the technology. Later in 2008, Kamal involved himself more intensively in other agricultural product businesses, obtaining dealerships of a number of companies. However, his Guti urea business remained his passion as he could still make a profit by selling this product, especially during Boro season. Mr. Kamal’s biggest clients are his loyal agricultural product buyers. His next biggest customers are the DAE office of Kotalipara and Gopalganj Sadar upazila. The DAE buys large quantities of Guti urea for its high-yielding variety (HYV) rice demonstration plots.

Mr. Md. Mostafa Kamal and his wife Nargis Kamal in their shop.

their shop for producing Guti urea and also the raw materials required to produce NPK Guti, and they have a cost advantage over non-dealer/retailer briquette producers. The Guti urea and NPK Guti has been a complementing business of their other agricultural products. The customers’ satisfaction with Guti urea use gave them confidence to promote the product to more and more farmers. Since the 2013 A man season, the new machine bought from the AAPI project has been set aside solely for producing 2.4 gram (g) NPK Guti. Two separate machines are used solely for producing 2.7 g size Guti urea. Mr. Kamal and his wife observed that the farmers are showing more interest in the newly introduced NPK Guti. Both of them are expecting a big shift from Guti urea to NPK Guti in the near future. Mr. Kamal is prepared not to let down his customers. He and his wife are determined to cater to the NPK Guti demand as soon as they have feedback from the fields.

With the start of the AAPI project in 2010 and with the strengthened and rapid technology promotion by the project, a larger demand for Guti urea was created. Mr. Kamal’s wife purchased another new briquetting machine to cater to the new wave of farmers. Both the husband and wife are active in operating the family business. Guti urea sales at their shop have accelerated because many new farmers were introduced to this useful technology by the new AAPI project. The family sold 220 metric tons (mt) of Guti urea in 2011, 315 mt in 2012 and 350 mt Guti urea and NPK Guti in 2013. According to them, the gradual progression of Guti urea demand has been incredible.

*** Building Farmers’ Confidence Motivational field visits and field days are two effective extension tools regularly used by the AAPI project for building farmers’ confidence in FDP technology. Promotional programs like these are conducted during the ripening or vegetative growth stage of the field crops. Selecting the farmers who attend these events is important to ensure the results are disseminated widely. Ideal site and venue selection are also important. “learning by doing” and “seeing is believing” are the core ideologies of field visits and field days.

Because of the BCIC dealership, Mr. Kamal and his wife always had enough fertilizer supply in 3



The DAE upazila agriculture officer (UAO) and the sub- assistant agriculture officers (SAAOs) of the preselected blocks are involved in the event planning for motivational field visits and crop cut field days. The visiting farmers are selected from a selected SAAO’s block to enhance technology adoption in the block in the next season. AAPI expects the SAAOs to follow up on FDP adoption by these farmers.

project are opportunities for the visiting farmers to know and appraise FDP technology first-hand. The farmers are expected to adopt the technology once they have confidence in the results and are encouraged to promote the technology to their neighboring farmers and to establish FDP blocks in their own areas.

Motivational Field Visit

The AAPI project utilizes field days to persuade target farmers to use FDP technology and generate confidence in it. Field days can be held during the vegetative stage to observe crop growth, but more commonly, they are held during harvest. Convincing results are found and presented in an ideal crop cut-field day program. Venue and site selection are also given priority in this event plan. Crop cuts are conducted in the presence of the invited farmers. The crop-cut sites need to be large enough for conducting the harvesting, threshing, cleaning and weighing, all in full view of the farmers. The crop cut results are presented in convincing and realistic ways, so that the farmers have confidence and can trust the benefits of the technology. The invitee farmers observe the differences in yields between the FDP plot and broadcasted urea plot. It is expected that a portion of the farmers present in a crop cut-field day will adopt FDP technology. AAPI encourages groups of farmers to commit to establishing FDP blocks in their areas in the following season.

Field Day

AAPI senior officers act as facilitators in the field visit programs, and their role is critical in conducting a successful program. The participating farmers are chosen from new areas where FDP technology is not practiced and are taken to an area that already has adopted FDP technology. At the start, the participant farmers are briefed about the objectives of the field visit. The facilitators also explain the roles and responsibilities of the visitors. The facilitators help to divide the visiting farmers into groups. The host farmers guide the visitor groups to the fields where the farmers examine the crops and identify the beneficial aspects of FDP technology. Farmers are required to collect samples to verify their observations from the field. In the case of visiting rice fields, special attention is given to rice yield parameters, i.e., the number of tillers, filled and unfilled grains per panicle, plant height and leaf color. The groupleader farmers are required to present the findings of the comparative observation between the FDP plots and the broadcasted urea plots.

*** AAPI Events in March 2014 In the month of March 2014, AAPI is concentrating its activities for Boro paddy and planning for A us 2014. In this month, the following activities will be carried out.   Motivational field visit for farmers .


FDP gives up to 15 percent higher yields than broadcasted urea, and this visible yield difference found between the FDP and broadcasted urea plots often has a profound impact on the farmers. The motivational field visits conducted by the AAPI


Farmer training for summer vegetable under AAPI-Walmart to continue. 2 batches of small business management training Crop cuts of winter vegetable crops both in AAPI and AAPI-Walmart Activity locations to continue. Organize AAPI staff meeting at Dhaka to discuss and finalize the A us 2014 workplan. ***


Aapi bulletin vol 36 feb2014(eng)  
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