Katalyst works towards promoting the balanced use of fertilizers to enable farmers to have better yields with lower production costs, leading to more income.
In order to achieve this, Katalyst assisted the Soil Resource Development Institute (SRDI) to develop the Fertilizer Recommendation Software (FRS).
So far, the recommendations of FRS have been disseminated through Grameen Phone Community Information Centres (GPCICs) and Banglalink’s 7676 helpline.
Realizing the importance of FRS, the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), the largest agricultural extension agency in Bangladesh, held a consultation workshop to discuss how it can be used by DAE extension officers to provide fertilizer recommendations to farmers. Mr. Hasanul Haq, Director General (DG) of DAE chaired the meeting on 20 February 2012 at the DAE conference room, where high level representatives from SRDI, AIS (Agriculture Information Service), BARC (Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council), BARI (Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute) and BFA (Bangladesh Fertilizer Association) were present. The participants appreciated the initiatives of SRDI to develop and expand the use of FRS and expressed their desire to support this initiative. Mr. Haq of DAE concluded the workshop with the commitment that DAE will convey the benefits of FRS to the farmers to increase their yield.
Katalyst believes that the DAE’s participation will bring a wider network of farmers under the coverage of FRS and farmers will benefit from using FRS through national extension channels. As a result, farmers will improve their production techniques and benefit from better yields and higher income opportunities.