Agriculture extension service is no longer a sole responsibility of public organisations. The role of traders, retailers, public extension officials, lead-farmers, other market system actors play important roles in giving extension services to all farmers to cultivate and market their produce. Realising this fact, Katalyst introduced Public Private Initiatives (PPI) in 294 upazillas of Bangladesh through its Local Agribusiness Network (LAN) interventions. This network has served more than 500,000 farmers, increasing annual average income of farmers by BDT 13,000 per year
The LAN network consists of farmer groups, trader associations and public extension services at the upazila level, providing capacity development supports to both the male and female farmers. Instead of engaging new resources by public sector, the initiative promotes effective and efficient use of existing resources by public and private sector to serve farmer extension needs. While addressing the regular extension needs, officials can also utilise the LAN network in addressing emergency situations such as pest attack, bird flue, flash flood etc.
The practices of PPI has been recognised by society for Bangladesh Agriculture Extension Network (BAEN), which is a network of public and private sector agriculture actors in their Annual General Meeting held on 18 November 2017 at Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council (BARC) auditorium. Other development agencies, DGs of extension services, private companies, research officials and academia were present during the event.
G.B. Banjara, General Manager, Swisscontact-Katalyst accepted the certificate of recognition from Kbd. Md. Hamidur Rahman, president of BAEN.