Homestead agroforestry through improved management practices
Implementing Entity : Uttaran
Location : Satkhira
Duration : 5 Years (May 2007 to April 2012)
Budget : BDT. 14,000,000 (USD 1.00 = BDT 69.00 approx.)
Context :

Traditionally, the homestead forests in Bangladesh are highly bio-diverse. But due to over-exploitation, many associated species are threatened or endangered. Species like cane, patipata and murta, which are particularly important for the poor (especially the women) as a raw material for handicrafts. In response, grants have been made to two NGOs (Prottyashi and CODEC) in Chttagong and one NGO (Uttaran) in Satkhira with the objectives of conserving and restoring homestead biodiversity while creating alternative income generation facilities for the poor.

Objectives :
  1. Conserve homestead biodiversity.
  2. Restoration of endangered species in and around the homestead through regeneration (e.g. cane, patipata, murta etc.)
  3. Empower womenfolk to build a solid ground for conservation of seed and other propagules.
  4. Mass awareness development for biodiversity conservation.
  5. Improve livelihood of the poor people through income generation activities (IGA).
  6. Enrich the ecosystem of the locality.
Main Activities :
  1. Benchmark survey, community mobilization, group formation, species identification and selection for establishing Homestead Agroforestry.
  2. Provide training on agroforestry production system (including bamboo, cane, patipata, murta etc.) and quick growing species to support biomass production (energy plantation)".
  3. Provide improved technological packages & critical inputs.
  4. Establish and supervise the production system and its maintenance.
  5. Awareness building among the community, promotional activities for sales and distributions.
  6. Dissemination of the products produced by the participants.
Progress/Achievements (as of June 2011) :

Prottyashi works with 422 households, organized into 21 groups. It has planted 40,000 saplings of 25 species of trees in the homesteads of the project participants and along village roads. Through participatory savings, the groups have established revolving funds to support agro-forestry based income generating activities of the members. Prottyashi has contributed BDT 200,000 to one of the groups and BDT 75,000 to 15 other groups from the project to initiate the revolving funds. Through monthly meeting with each group, project staff provides training, advice and guidance on biodiversity conservation, agroforestry practices and other income generation activities to the project participants. About 77% (324 out of 422) of the project participants are now engaged in various income generating activities, vegetable cultivation being the most widely adopted (195 participants). The other IGAs include mat making from Pati pata (Schumannianthus dichotoma) (55), fruit gardening (33), poultry rearing (31), etc. One of the groups (Nijtaluk Krishi O Banaon Samity), that received a grant of BDT 200,000 from the project for its revolving fund (and also raised BDT 35,700 through weekly savings of the members @ Tk. 10-20), used the revolving fund in an innovative way. The group, involving 28 participants, bought an engine operated rice threshing machine at BDT 56,000 and gave it to one of their forest dependent participants under a higher-purchase arrangement, involving benefit sharing with the group. By December 2010, the thresher operator returned BDT 25,975 to the group fund. After one season, they bought a tractor at BDT 40,000 and in just one season the group earned BDT 5,585 from the tractor. More than 150 families of the village are being benefited from the threshing machine and the tractor. Aside from these two ventures, Niztaluk Samity gave smaller loans (interest free) to its members for a variety of other AIG activities such as agriculture, pisciculture, mat making, cow rearing or beef fattening, goat rearing and poultry rearing. The Niztaluk Samity also leased in road-side marginal lands of two roads of the village from the local Union Parishad and planted that with indigenous tree species. Moreover, every household of the village planted at least 1 or 2 saplings of indigenous species in their homesteads. The people of that village are now more aware about conservation of local biodiversity than before.

CODEC is working with 300 households in 12 villages adjacent to degraded public forest lands, facilitating their technical and organizational capacity development for local biodiversity conservation and improvement of agroforestry production in the homesteads. By 2010, the project participants planted 80,000 saplings of 75 species of trees (fruit, timber) in their homesteads as well as institutional and public lands. As fuel-wood collection from the forests by the local communities is a major factor affecting natural regeneration in the forests, CODEC promotes adoption of improved cooking stoves among the project participants. It helped the groups establish their own revolving funds to provide interest free loan to their members for agroforestry development and other income generating activities by contributing BDT 212,000 to the groups as start-up fund and encouraging them to raise funds through monthly saving deposits (@ Tk. 20-30) of the group members. By 2010, about 46% members (138 out of 300) of the 12 groups were engaged in 12 different types of AIGAs, of which fish culture (31), goat rearing (30) and small business (26 participants) were the major ones.

Uttaran is working with 1000 households in 40 groups. To raise peoples’ awareness and interest in biodiversity conservation and tree planting Uttaran undertook various programs every year, which include community meetings and observance of significant days such as International Biodiversity Day and World Environment Day with rally, discussion session, various competitive learning events for school students such as essay writing, debate, species identification and art competitions. The project has provided skill development training on various agroforestry based income generating activities (livestock rearing, poultry rearing, homesteadbased vegetable cultivation, planting and management of trees, etc.) to 350 participants. To support agroforestry based AIG activities of the project participants, Uttaran has established a revolving loan fund at the apex body of the participant groups with BDT 800,000 contributed from the project and additional funds raised by the groups through collection of weekly savings deposits (@ Tk. 10-20) from the members. Based on this facility, by 2010, 417 participants (42%) undertook various AIG activities (15 types), of which vegetable cultivation (140) was the most common. The other AIGAs include rice cultivation (67), goat rearing (46) and fish culture (35 participants). The loans from the revolving fund were interest free, but borrowers were required to plant 5 saplings of endangered species in their own or community lands per BDT 1000 of the loan. The project participants have planted 26,500 saplings of about 40 different tree species, with particular emphasis on endangered local species, in their homesteads and public places, including establishment of a 3 km strip plantation along roadside.

Contact us

Phone: +880-2-8711240
Fax: +880-2-8711592
Address: House# 21, Western Road, DOHS, Banani. Dhaka - 1206, Bangladesh

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