IFDC Bangladesh Project Recognized by Chicago Council on Global Affairs in 2012 Progress Report

May 17, 2012 – MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala., USA – The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a prominent international affairs organization, recently recognized IFDC’s Accelerating Agriculture Productivity Improvement (AAPI) project in its “2012 Progress Report on U.S. Leadership in Global Agricultural Development.” The report examines changes since 2009 within the U.S. government that support agricultural development and determines their efficacy in the field.

The Council’s 2012 report focuses on Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Ghana, assessing overall agricultural development activities and giving ratings of outstanding, good, satisfactory or unsatisfactory to relevant government departments, agencies and individuals. U.S. agricultural development actions received an “outstanding” rating from the Council this year. USAID and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) were also evaluated as “outstanding,” and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was evaluated as “good.”

According to the report, the USAID-funded AAPI project (2010-2015), which IFDC is implementing in Bangladesh, emphasizes responsible application of good fertilizer, use of high-quality seeds, improvement in water-management practices in rice cultivation and promotes one of the project’s central technological innovations, fertilizer deep placement (FDP), which reduces nitrogen runoff and increases crop yields.

“Most farmers in Bangladesh spread urea (the most common nitrogen-based fertilizer) directly into the floodwater of lowland rice, a practice that wastes two out of every three bags of urea and pollutes surface water with runoff,” according to the report. “The FDP method improves yields and reduces pollution by inserting urea briquettes into the rice root zone, which reduces fertilizer use by 40 percent and increases crop yields by about 25 to 40 percent.”

IFDC promoted and spread information about FDP and the principles of AAPI by working with the Bangladesh Ministry of Agriculture and its Department of Agricultural Extension. From 2009 to 2011, areas using FDP increased from 36,000 hectares (ha) to 277,000 ha.

“AAPI estimates that 1,800 newly established private entrepreneur supply points will afford farmers access to FDP products and that the project will benefit 3.5 million farmers,” according to the report.

The Council concludes that AAPI will likely grow to significant scale and that it has financially benefited the government of Bangladesh, citing improved fertilizer efficiency that will save an estimated $84 million during the life of the project.

According to the report, the U.S. has achieved strong overall improvement in agricultural development activity in Bangladesh, but continued improvement will depend on sustained government funding and continuing leadership at mission and embassy levels.

Based in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, USA, IFDC is a public international organization, governed by an international board of directors with representation from developed and developing countries. The nonprofit Center, with over 700 employees in more than 35 countries in Africa and Eurasia, is supported by various bilateral and multilateral aid agencies, private foundations and national governments.

IFDC focuses on increasing and sustaining food security and agricultural productivity in developing countries through the development and transfer of effective and environmentally sound crop nutrient technology and agribusiness expertise.

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IFDC Contact:
Courtney Greene
cgreene@ifdc.org
256/381-6600 ext. 332

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