A 6-member donor team from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) visited Jessore and Khulna during 19-20 May 2010 to see Katalyt’s activities in Public Private Initiative, ICT and Prawn sector.
In Jessore, the team met with the president and secretary of the Membership Based Organization (BMO) and several farmers under the Improving Local Government Services (ILGS) component of the project. The team had detailed discussion with the farmers and was interested to know how the formation of the Public Private Initiatives (PPIs) has brought positive changes in their daily work.
They also visited a beneficiary, who received training on Bio- Security measures in poultry farm under BMO as well as the Additional Director (AD) of the Department of Livestock in Jessore. The AD mentioned that, the BMO has helped them to reach out to more farmers and he further stressed the importance of having such organizations in other areas.
In the afternoon, the team visited a Grameenphone Community Information Centre (GP-CIC) and discussed a wide range of issues with them ranging from operations, revenue, client base, customer services and farmers’ benefits. They logged into the information site www.ruralinfobd.com to see the availability of information and it’s relevance to the farmers. The team also joined a courtyard meeting to observe the “e-Krishok” campaign through which till date around 14,000 farmers have been reached from 100 GP-CICs across the country. An interactive session was also organized with the editor and senior reporters of a local news paper in Jessore called “Gramer Kagoj”. Katalyst supported in building the capacity of the journalists and helped them introduce a business page targeting SMEs. In the meeting, the editor and reporters shared their plan, challenges and opportunities in business journalism at district level with the donors.
In Khulna, the team met with Moksed Ali, a prawn depot owner to learn how technical and input assistance to prawn farmers are helping both the farmers as well as the enterprises. The team was also taken to the prawn growing clusters where they spoke with the farmers and met the hatchery owner/technician and discussed the Post Larvae (PL) production and usage in Bangladesh.
The team was accompanied by the Directors of Industry and Rural Service Group and Service Group, sector teams and co-facilitators.