Agriculture, particularly grain production, is the major driving force of the Bangladesh economy. Rice is the country’s staple food and accounts for about 77 percent of the total cropped area. Farmers in some areas have had success with crop diversification to maize and vegetable production. Maize has been particularly important as a livestock feed.
Despite its crucial role in Bangladesh, the agricultural sector is under-performing; actual yields remain at 50 percent of their potential. Soil nutrient levels of phosphorus and potassium as well as secondary nutrients and micronutrients are being depleted. Improved soil nutrient management, supported by irrigation, increased use of fertilizer technologies and quality seed, is a key component of the Bangladesh government’s strategy to improve yields on a sustainable basis.
To achieve sustainable crop yield growth through soil health and fertility management, the Katalyst I worked to:
- Promote correct fertilizer management practices.
- Ensure availability of all types of fertilizers at the farm level for balanced fertilizer application.
- Facilitate a market-friendly regulatory framework.
IFDC’s role in the Katalyst I project (2010-2011) was to provide services and expertise to improve market development in the Bangladesh fertilizer sector. The project focused on increasing the yields of rice, maize, jute, vegetable and potato crops through effective, efficient and correct use of fertilizer and other agro-inputs.
Katalyst I was implemented under the Bangladesh Ministry of Commerce by Swisscontact and the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GIZ) International Services. The project was jointly funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and Embassies of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The project originally planned to close in September 2011, but it was extended through June 2012 to establish a Market Information System (MIS) that will strengthen the Bangladesh Fertilizer Association (BFA). That work continues as Katalyst II.
Updated May 2012
KATALYST Develops Private Sector Markets in Bangladesh (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 35, No.3)