MoU signed between DAE and Ag Extension Project
March 16, 2015
The “Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE)” and the “USAID Agricultural Extension Support Activity (Ag Extension Project)”, signed a MoU on Sunday, March 8, 2015 at DAE’s Conference Room in Khamarbari, Farmgate, Dhaka. The objectives of the MoU are to strengthen the existing capacity of DAE to deliver effective, innovative and value chain-based extension services, and to provide enhanced support to smallholder farmers – both men and women – in southwest Bangladesh and also to promote communication and collaboration between the two organizations.
The U.S. Government, through USAID, has provided over $6 billion in development assistance to Bangladesh since 1971. Last year, USAID provided more than $200 million to improve the lives of people in Bangladesh. USAID supports programs in Bangladesh that: promote democratic institutions and practices, expand food security and economic opportunity, improve health and education services, and increase resiliency to climate change through adaptation and low carbon development.
As one of the cornerstone activities proposed for implementation under the MoU, DAE and the Ag Extension Project will demonstrate an improved demand-driven ag extension service delivery model in four upazilas: Barisal Sadar, Faridpur Sadar, Chowgacha (Jessore) and Kalia (Narail). As part of this initiative, the project will provide support for approximately 120 Sub-Assistant Agricultural Officers (SAAOs) in these four upazilas to establish a block-level extension center equipped with basic technical resource materials, field equipment, office supplies and ICT devices. The centers will provide a base of operations at the block level for SAAOs from which farmers and other stakeholders can come to seek information and advice. Armed with smart phones and given updated training in a number of technical areas, it is hoped that the SAAOs will convert these ag extension centers into true “one-stop” information-sharing hubs for farmers, extension agents and private sector service providers.
Mr. Sunil Chandra Dhar, Director, Horticulture Wing and other senior officials of the DAE were present at the MoU signing ceremony. The Executive Director of Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM), Dr. M. Ehsanur Rahman, Anowarul Haq, Director, ERPP of CARE Bangladesh and Hasib Ahsan, Senior Program and Research Manager at mPower, along with other Ag Extension Project representatives were present at the event. At the conclusion of the event, Mr. Sunil Chandra Dhar and Mr. Shoeb Uddin Ahmed, Deputy Chief of Party of the Ag Extension Project, exchanged copies of the signed MoU.
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