Mr. Ed Hawkesworth, Country Communications Manager from the UK Government (Department for International Development), visited Katalyst’s activities in Jessore on 16 September 2014.
He was accompanied by Faroha Suhrawardy, Senior Press Officer and Farnaz Hossain, Communications Officer of British High Commission and Katalyst staff working in the Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) sector and Capitalisation, Communications & External Relations.
Mr. Ed Hawkesworth visited the prawn contract farming intervention which focuses on the female farmers who look after the prawn farms by actively participating in sample collection, feeding the prawns and weeding of the pond banks.
In Monirampur, Jessore, Mr. Ed Hawkesworth first met with Tapan Kumar, a prawn depot owner who briefed him about the importance of access to information, quality inputs, technical services and financial support to increase the productivity of the prawn farms.
Tapan also shared that he participated in a training programme on improved cultivation technique, which was facilitated by Katalyst, through Winrock International. This helped him to become a contractor and double his annual turnover, as more farmers come to him for contract farming.
Later, Mr. Ed also visited the prawn cultivation area and spoke to a group of female prawn farmers. He was pleased to learn their activities and said, ‘It was great to see how Katalyst is making a real difference to people’s lives on the ground, with help from the UK Government. Meeting the group of feamle prawn farmers was really inspirational and it was fascinating to find out how Katalyst’s intervention had given them status and brought economic opportunities to the whole community’.