A four member team from THE Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Embassy of The Kingdom of Netherlands (EKN) visited Bogra during 13-15 February 2011 to see interventions carried out by Katalyst.
The team consisted of Mr. Stephen Gamper Assistant Coordinator, Employment and Income (SDC), Ms. Mirriam Otto, Economic Affairs/Development Cooperation of EKN, Ms. Elke Koning and Ms. Monika Flueckiger. Mr. Goetze Ebbecke, the General Manager of Katalyst joined the team.
The team visited Gaibandha to meet with a Katalyst’s demo vegetable farmer. Katalyst, partnered with Lal Teer Seed Ltd. to improve farmers’ awareness on proper irrigation methods to increase yield and reduce irrigation costs. The visiting team observed how the demo farmer had applied improved irrigation technology in his vegetable fields and got increased yield. The team also visited interventions of Maize in the Char areas of Bogra. They observed the benefits of the maize contract farmers by implementing improved cropping pattern in maize cultivation. They also visited a Community Information Centre (GPCIC) in Shibgonj Upazila of Bogra. The donors observed how fast the information is reaching the farmers through the CICs compared to the traditional methods which are helping the farmers and rural entrepreneurs to do more effective and efficient farming and businesses.
The team visited a newly formed Upazila BMO in Gurudaspur Upazila in Natore and held discussions with the leaders. They visited two farmers’ groups – a fish farmer Samity which received training on pond management from Novartis and a potato growers groups who due to UZBMO-Samity linkage, have received new variety of potato seed from Agriconcern, a local private company. Regional marketing officer of Agriconcern mentioned that the company uses the UZBMO-Samity linkage to organize the farmers.
The team was very pleased with the progress of the three activities in Bogra and expressed interest to see other activities of Katalyst in other regions in the future.