Bangladesh Minister of Agriculture, Matia Chowdhury, addresses the attendees of the AAPI launching ceremony. Seated, left to right, Dennis Sharma, USAID Deputy Mission Director, Dr. Amit Roy, IFDC President and CEO, James F. Moriarty, U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh and C.Q.K. Mustaq Ahmed, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture.
March 9, 2011 – NALITABARI UPAZILA, Bangladesh, and MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. – Minister of Agriculture Matia Chowdhury, who is also a member of the Bangladesh Parliament, and U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh James F. Moriarty formally launched the “Accelerating Agricultural Productivity Improvement (AAPI)” project in the Nalitabari upazila (sub-district) of Bangladesh’s Sherpur district on March 5. AAPI is designed to strengthen and re-orient agricultural production systems in Bangladesh. The project’s goals are to improve food security and accelerate income growth in rural areas by increasing agricultural productivity on a sustainable basis.
The AAPI project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by IFDC in close collaboration with the Bangladesh Ministry of Agriculture and the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE).
The emphasis of AAPI is on improving farmers’ access to and use of fertilizer deep placement (FDP) technology to improve crop yields and incomes. In addition, AAPI will support capacity building, policy reform and micro-enterprise development, which are crucial to the sustainability of agriculture production systems. An estimated 3.5 million farmers will benefit from AAPI, and 1,800 private entrepreneur supply points will be established to provide farmers access to FDP products. The estimated saving to the government of Bangladesh, due to improved nutrient use efficiency, is US $84 million.
After opening the project’s launching workshop and meeting many area farmers, Minister Chowdhury and Ambassador Moriarty distributed four FDP briquette machines (75 percent of the cost subsidized by the project) to four entrepreneurs in Nalitabari upazila, one of 68 upazilas in the project.
Others present at the launching workshop were C.Q.K. Mustaq Ahmed, Bangladesh Ministry of Agriculture Secretary; Dr. Dennis Sharma, USAID Deputy Mission Director; Dr. Amit H. Roy, IFDC’s President and CEO; Dulal Chandra, Acting Director General of DAE; and John H. Allgood, Director of IFDC’s EurAsia Division.
According to Roy, AAPI has the potential to reach three million new farmers and transform agricultural production systems in Bangladesh.
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