Massarat Quader, Private Sector Development Adviser from UKaid (Department for International Development) visited Katalyst’s activities in prawn and jute sector in Jessore on 1 May 2011.
She visited the prawn contract farming intervention where she met with Mr. Tapan Kumar, a prawn deport owner in Monirampur. To increase productivity of prawn farms, it is important to address issues like access to information, quality inputs, technical services and financial support for prawn farmers. This intervention is addressing these issues in a sustainable manner through prawn depot owners and/or other commercial enterprises in the sector.
Tapan shared how he started and improved his business with support from Katalyst. The contract farming intervention helps the prawn value chain actors to run their businesses better with a higher profit.
Ms Massarat also met jute farmers who have been trained by Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) with Katalyst support on jute retting techniques in Tuniaghora of Jessore. Ribbon retting is cost effective as well as a time and water efficient method of retting jute. Before introducing this method, the farmers used to depend heavily on the availability of sufficient water for retting purposes which hampered the quality of jute and thus lower prices for farmers. Furthermore, inspite of being a profitable crop but without the availability of sufficient water bodies, some farmers even refrained from jute cultivation. The new retting methodiology has motivated the farmers to return to jute cultivation.
Ms Massarat described the visit as a good exposure for her to see and better understand the activities of Katalyst in Prawn and Jute sector.