A three member consisted of Ms. Erica Keogh and Brighton Mvumi of GRM Zimbabwe and Ms. Rozandi Elizabeth Louw from Swisscontact South Africa visited the interventions carried out by Katalyst in Rangpur and Bogra during 2-5 April 2011.
The team visited Mithapukur Upazilla of Rangpur to meet the beneficiaries of the intervention under the Improving Local Government Services (ILGS) program. They had discussions with the leaders of the BMO and with some beneficiaries who have benefited from the private and the public sector collaborations. During the discussion, the leaders of the BMO and the beneficiaries explained how for the first time the public services are reaching the farmers in the village which was not very regular earlier.
They also spoke about the Public Private Initiative introduced by Katalyst in the region and explained that it has assisted in getting services from the government service providers, which was difficult for the government alone to provide.
Later the team also visited the contract farming and profitable cropping pattern interventions in Maize sector in Dhunat upazila, Bogra. The beneficiaries shared how maize contract farming has ensured a better income for them and also a constant supply of inputs for farming. Under the profitable cropping pattern intervention, the beneficiaries highlighted that they no longer need to keep the land fallow for a period of time, they can now utilize it for cultivating maize. The farmers further added that this practice has ensured jobs for them during a period where previously, they were jobless.
The team was very happy to see the innovative interventions of Katalyst and their progress and expressed that the visit and this experience would help them in designing interventions in their respective projects in South Africa and Zimbabwe.