A four member team comprising of government officials visited Katalyst’s interventions in the southern (Jessor, Khulna, Bagerhat) and northern part (Bogra, Syedpur, Rangpur) of Bangladesh from 22-28 April 2011 April. The visit was a part of evaluation from the government to see the impact of the project.
The team consisted of Mr. Kamal Krishna Bhattacharyya, Joint Secretary, (Team Leader) and Mr. ASM Shakil Akhter, Senior Assistant Chief, MoC, Mr. Suprio Kumar Kundu, Deputy Secretary, ERD and Mr. Abdul Latif, Assistant Chief of Planning Commission. They were accompanied by Mr. Emdadul Haque, Director, External Relations, Katalyst.
The team met with Sub Assistant Agriculture Officers (SAAO) who was trained by Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) with Katalyst support on jute retting techniques in Monirampur Upazila of Jessore. They talked with the members of the Upazila based Business Membership Organization (UZBMO) samity at Bagharpara to get an idea about the private and public sector partnerships under the Improving Local Government Services (ILGS) program.
In Chitolmari, Bagerhat they met prawn depot owner to get idea how technical and input assistance to prawn farmers are helping both the farmers as well as the enterprises. The team also visited the prawn growing clusters and spoke with the farmers and met the hatchery owner/technician and discussed the Post Larvae (PL) production and its usage in Bangladesh. At a Grameenphone Community Information Centre (GP-CIC) they met the operator, GP and Soil Resource Development Institute (SRDI) officials to discuss issues such as operations, revenue, client base, customer services and farmers’ benefits.
On 26 April, they visited Katalyst’s Maize interventions in Dhunat upazila, Bogra to know about contract farming and profitable cropping pattern. The beneficiaries explained how contract farming of maize has ensured a better income and a constant supply of inputs for them. Finally, in Syedpur on 27 April, the officials visited vegetable activities, where they met with the farmers and service providers and got to know more about the vegetable value chain of the sector.
The GoB officials reiterated that the project interventions are complementary to the efforts of GoB and contribute to the positive impact of the growing economy of Bangladesh.