Agriculture is the basis of our economy. Different GO-NGOs have been taking initiatives to expand and modernize this largely important sector. The fundamental step in development is to bring about an agricultural and family-based improvement in each family through making the best alternative use of both natural and family assets. Since its inception, SSS has been working to drive poor and marginal families towards sustainable development.
Agriculture based beneficiary families of SSS get services related to agriculture technology, training and practical education, environment friendly organic technology, integrated cultivation technology and other diversified financial services from SSS on a regular basis. Appropriate modern technology and practical education has been playing a significant role in increasing agricultural production in the working area. Farmers are now able to take financial facilities and improve their livelihood quality investing them in agricultural sector. At the same time, it results in the creation of new innovative opportunities and employment.
Objectives of Agriculture Program
- Increasing productivity of agricultural commodities by providing the farmers with latest agriculture technology and information;
- Increasing awareness about agriculture ecology friendly and organic-way cultivation among farmers;
- Inspiring farmers in integrated cultivation and diversified agricultural production;
- Expanding vegetable and fruit cultivation among the beneficiaries in order to form nourished families;
- Creating agriculture entrepreneurs by encouraging beneficiaries in commercial vegetable and flower cultivation;
- Making farmers capable and skilled by providing financial, practical education and technology based training;
- Enhancing food security by increasing production, preserving agriculture commodities and assisting in marketing them;
- Keeping farmers active in production through the supply of climate change and disaster friendly agriculture technology;
- Increasing income by ensuring skillful use of all production friendly assets and resources;
- Creating employment making the best use of opportunities in agriculture and enhancing investment; and
- Increasing land fertility, alleviating poverty, improving life-style quality and ensuring empowerment.
Agriculture Sector Seasonal Microcredit (AMC)
SSS started to implement agricultural sector microcredit with a view to providing beneficiary farmers with services to purchase different components related to cultivation like fertilizer, high yielding seeds, pesticides, agriculture tools and meeting other related expenses. The program was started in the later part of 2006. The agriculture credit program expanded over the entire working area of SSS with financial support from PKSF, PRIME Bank and own fund of the organization.
The overriding objectives of the project are to enhance agricultural production through providing credit and technical support to farmers, improve their standard of living and ensure internal security of food and creating agriculture entrepreneurs.
The distinguished characteristic of the program is that farmers under the program can take credits in different season from Tk. 12,000 to 25,000. But entrepreneurs can receive credit up to Tk. 200,000 maximum under the program. The annual service charge is 25 percent (on declining method). Although natural disasters create risk in agriculture, the program is gaining immense popularity. Borrowers refund money at a time after harvesting or selling their crops.
In 2015-2016, a total of 50,145 beneficiaries received Tk. 131.89 crore as credit under the Agriculture Sector Seasonal Microcredit. The agri-production and livelihood of the beneficiaries have improved for implementing this kind of activities. The facility of one-time repayment has attracted borrowers.