There is a relation of positive dependence between agriculture and industry. The agricultural production is mainly used as industrial raw materials. Agricultural activities are the primitive profession of our country. So it is impossible to do overall welfare of common people without agricultural development. SSS considers agriculture as one of the most representative sector. That is why, SSS has been working spontaneously for more than 24 years for the development of agriculture as well as the welfare of common people.
Goal and Policy
Main objective of SSS agriculture extension program is to make farmers financially solvent by providing them with necessary financial support, technology and training and ensure genuine food-nutrition production through the development of organic methods. With a view to alleviating the existing problems in agriculture and its modernization, SSS implements activities based on the following policies:
- Keeping target people engaged in agriculture by providing them with financial support;
- Modernizing agricultural sector by providing necessary training and transferring updated technology and methods;
- Ensuring the prevalence and implementation of integrated organic pesticides and composts;
- Emphasizing the cultivation of nutritious fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants;
- Making farmers habituated to environment-friendly and disaster-tolerant agriculture;
- Providing support to the farmers for the production and marketing of genuine food-nutrition; and
- Creating employment, empowering the vulnerable and gaining self-sufficiency in food by accelerating agricultural activities and production.
Implemented Programs and Projects
SSS has been implementing a number of agriculture-based activities for livelihood development of the target people. It has adopted some initiatives in order to make agriculture sector, the main means of living for target people, modern and up-to-date. Central goal of these initiatives is to overcome all obstacles on the way of agriculture and ultimately increase production and make it dynamic. Main activities of the program are as follows:
Agricultural Credit Activities: SSS leads agricultural credit activities under its credit program. The target people in the working get credits for their agriculture-based projects and sub-projects. The credit is mainly provided under Buniad, Jagaran and Agrasar credit programs. The farmers are getting opportunities of collateral-free credits that makes it easier for them to collect agricultural equipments and high yielding seeds, adopt technology and ultimately expand the agricultural activities. As a result, the acceleration of development have been more dynamic with increased production and capacity.
The credit is generally provided for crops and vegetable production, nursery and forestation and cultivation of perennial crops like banana, papaya, plum, lemon etc.
Sufalan Credit Activities: Sufalan credit program has been designed keeping it suitable to seasonal agricultural activities. Any group member who is included in the main credit program of SSS can receive the credit. Receiving credit before crop plantation or launching the IGA and repayment opportunity after crop production are mentionable characteristics of the program. The credit amount fixes at Tk. 15,000 to Tk. 25,000. But there is opportunity to receive credit up to Tk. 5,00,000 when needed under realistic demand of the borrower and the approval of the authority. The repayment duration is three to six months.
KGF Credit Activities: KGF (Kuwait Goodwill Fund for promotion of food security in Islamic Countries) program was launched in July 2015. The program runs solely under the superintendence of PKSF. Farmers directly involved in agriculture under the respected branches are the target people. The main objectives of the program are to increase family income of the target people by providing them with financial and technical supports, reduce the rate of loss and increase food security.
It is to be mentioned here that, SSS follows the policies of Sufalan credit program for credit disbursement under the project.
Training and Technology Transfer Activities: In order to overcome knowledge related limitations of the farmers and increase agricultural capabilities and production, SSS has been implementing training and technology transfer activities. Under the activities, SSS arranges trainings and workshops based on necessity and nature of activities. Apart from that, improved and environment-friendly technologies are provided to the farmers. Especially, pheromone trap, vermi-compost production, integrated organic pesticide methods, poison-free vegetable and food production in organic way, vegetable and fruit cultivation in homestead and wastelands and so on are always introduced to the farmers.
Support to other agriculture related programs and projects: Some programs and projects of SSS are not directly related to agriculture extension program but they have important involvement in agriculture. They are: ENRICH program and Nation-building through Eradicating Malnutrition (NEM) program. The agricultural activities of these programs or projects runs under direct support of agriculture extension program.
Analysis of Result and Achievements
The agriculture extension program of SSS has played a supportive role in bringing expected enrichment in the lives of target people. During 2016-17, SSS disbursed Tk. 292.82 crore among 1,10,742 group members in agricultural sector. The average credit recovery rate is 99.76 per cent.
During 2016-17, Tk. 19.20 crore was disbursed as general credit, Tk. 287.29 crore as Sufalan credit and Tk. 30.22 crore was disbursed as Agrasar credit under the agricultural sector. On the other hand, 12,800 were general borrowers, 1,08,731 Sufalan and 9,211 were entrepreneurs among the agricultural beneficiaries.
During 2016-17, 625 group members attended 35 trainings and workshops. Besides, 1,196 farmers received 34,671 different kinds of vegetable plants and 571 farmers were provided with 12,488 fruit plants. 599 vermi-compost plants were set up and 507 pheromone traps were distributed during the reporting period.