The Southern areas of Bangladesh saline intrusion is reducing agricultural productivity, creating a negative impact on millions of farmers’ livelihoods. Vegetable cultivation, which is important both from a nutritional and income generating perspective, is almost non-existent.
Awareness and availability of appropriate seeds and farming techniques is poor. Farmers are applying ad hoc solutions that have adverse impact in the long run. Alternatively, they leave their farms in search for employment in urban areas.
The critical barriers and the way they are addressed are:
- Soil salinity: addressed by introducing saline tolerant varieties.
- Irrigation problem: suitable irrigation techniques and saline resilient seeds to address water usage efficiency and production optimization.
- Infrastructure: locally produced vegetables have logistical advantages, are offered at much lower cost, and improve market access.
- Lack of awareness and knowledge will be addressed through demonstration, training and advisory services.
The innovation combines locally-developed saline-tolerant vegetable seeds with easily adoptable methods for cultivating in high saline areas of Southern Bangladesh, and includes micro-finance linkages, ICT support, and extension advisory services. Key aspects of the model for Bangladeshi germination rates and higher than average yields.