RDRS’ Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change Programme work with farmer communities to increase agricultural productivity and profitability by adopting sustainable and climate-resilient agricultural practices. To achieve this, RDRS provides training to farming households to improve their technical skills in farming and confidence to access government services and resources.
RDRS has established unique “Krishi Kendras” (i.e. Farmer Centres) at Federation level. This platform has significantly enhanced a pro-poor market system and value chain development in the programme areas. RDRS has introduced innovative tools and low-cost agricultural equipment and technologies by combining indigenous knowledge and modern techniques and reached thousands of smallholder farmers to boost productivity. RDRS plans to invest in research & development and continue its ongoing research work to innovate scalable solutions in both on-farm and off-farm sectors to enhance food security and combat adverse effects of climate change in agriculture and food security sector.
Sustained Opportunities for Nutrition Governance-SONGO
RDRS Bangladesh is implementing the Sustained Opportunities for Nutrition Governance - SONGO project in Gaibandha and Kurigram districts. The project is being implemented in partnership with Cordaid, funded by European Union (EU). The women of reproductive age, men, adolescents, and under-5 children are the main programme participants of this project. The project will benefit a total number of 112,000 households, 95,000 women at reproductive age, 90,000 adult men, 80,000 adolescents, and 55,000 under-5 children.
The SONGO project is designed in line with SDG - 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 17 (No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption, Climate Action, and Partnerships for the Goals).
Rangpur Division has the highest incidence of poverty in the country and the Brahmaputra river embankment population even has the highest extreme poverty figures, and scores very poor on all indicators related to maternal and child health as well as other livelihood aspects. The SONGO project area is located in 18 embankment areas in Kurigram and Gaibandha districts. The embankment areas are regularly flooded, taking lives and destroying crops and assets. Climate change increases disaster-proneness. Considering this socio-economic and geographic context, RDRS has initiated the SONGO project in this area.
The goal of the project is to improve maternal and child nutrition. The objectives of the project are:
1. Strengthen local nutrition governance and decision-making mechanisms;
2. Improve maternal and child health and nutrition practices;
3. Improve household WASH Practices;
4. Improve household access to nutritious food.
The major activities of SONGO projects are the formation and functioning Upazila Nutrition Coordination Committee and District Nutrition Coordination Committee; Federations; develop nutrition action plan for the committees; installation of tube wells and latrines for safe water and sanitation at household and community level; enhancing community clinic service; capacity building of youth in trades for employment; support to menstrual hygiene manage etc.
SONGO project is contributing to strengthening local nutrition governance mechanism which brings changes to adapt the improved nutritional practices by the community people, enhanced accessibility and affordability of base of pyramid (BoP) people on health, nutrition, WASH and Agricultural services. The project enables people to improve homestead food production by adapting climate-smart Agricultural (CSA) technologies and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) through market intermediaries and private sector engagement.
Transforming Smallholder Food Systems in the Eastern Gangetic Plain
RDRS Bangladesh is implementing the Transforming Smallholder Food System in the Eastern Gangetic Plain project in Rangpur, Lalmonirhat and Nilphamari districts. The project is being implemented in partnership with University of Adelaide, funded by Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). The smallholder farmers are the main programme participants of this project. The Transforming Smallholder Food System in the Eastern Gangetic Plain project is designed in line with SDG - 2 (Zero Hunger).
The goal of the project is to understand the processes and practices for transforming food systems through diversification, to improve farm livelihoods while reducing inequity, production risk, and unsustainable resource use. The objectives of the project are:
1. Understand the context for diversification in the Eastern Gangetic Plains;
2. Collectively define and implement diversification pathways using collaborative approaches;
3. Deepen understanding of the trade-offs and synergies associated with diversification pathways; and
4. Engage and communicate with change-makers to ensure outputs are used and integrated into independent programs.
The Transforming Smallholder Food System in the Eastern Gangetic Plain project is a research based projects. The major activities under the project are analysis of agriculture market management, analysis of agriculture policy, and planning sustainable food system.
It is expected that after completion of the project, the farmers will have the ability to transition to diversified farming systems that increase incomes, ensure equity in terms of access and impacts, and minimize risk.
Understanding Farm-household Management Decision Making for Increased Productivity in the Eastern Gangetic Plains (FBIP) project
RDRS Bangladesh is implementing the Understanding Farm-household Management Decision Making for Increased Productivity in the Eastern Gangetic Plains (FBIP) project in Rangpur, Dinajpur, Lalmonirhat and Nilphamari districts for the period of July 2018 – June 2023. The project is being implemented in partnership with University of Western Australia. The project is funded by Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). The target community of FBIP project is the smallholder farmers of the project area. The Understanding Farm-household Management Decision Making for Increased Productivity in the Eastern Gangetic Plains (FBIP) project is designed in line with SDG - 2 (Zero Hunger).
The goal of FBIP project is to understand the decision making behavior of farm-households on the adoption/adaptation of innovations and the critical factors that influence these decisions. The objective of the project are:
- Determine whether behavioural economics can provide additional insights into the adoption & adaptation decisions of farm households in the EGP;
- Identify what specific behaviours & bottlenecks are leading to or constraining the adoption/ non-adoption outcomes & examine their implications for extension, agro-input provision & agricultural service deliver;
- Develop, test and evaluate programme interventions on extension, input provision and service delivery that incorporate behavioural insight;
- Strengthen organisational & institutional (partnership) capacity to improve the impact of farming innovations in the EGP.
The main activities of the project are conducting FGD & individual interview; household survey; employment generating; result sharing meeting and workshops etc.
Nutrition in City Ecosystems (NICE)
RDRS Bangladesh is implementing Nutrition in City Ecosystem (NICE) project in Rangpur City Corporation, Rangpur Sadar, Mithapukur and Pirgacha upazilas of Rangpur district since 2021. The project is being implemented in consortium with Swiss Tropical and Public Health institute (Swiss TPH), The Sustainable Agro Ecosystem Group at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Sight and Life (SAL), and SFSA. The NICE project is funded by Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) Bangladesh. The target community of the project is city dwellers in Rangpur City corporation among which 40% of women and 30% of youth will be benefited from these project activities as well as those who are living in urban and peri-urban areas of Rangpur district. The Nutrition in City Ecosystem (NICE) project is designed in line with SDG -1 and 2 (No Poverty, and Zero Hunger).
Bangladesh is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. Its aim is to achieve zero hunger, achieve food security and ensure better nutrition. The NICE project is to improve nutrition and health and to reduce poverty by increasing the demand and supply of local, diverse, agro-ecological foods. RDRS Bangladesh is implementing the project with an aim to ensure a strong focus on women, youth, and vulnerable population groups in three upazilas of Rangpur district.
The goal of the project is to improve the health and nutrition of city population with a particular focus on women, youth, and vulnerable groups in three upazilas of Rangpur district including Rangpur City Corporation. The objectives of the project are:
- To involve women and youth in urban governance structures that incentivize food systems for improved nutrition;
- To enhance the availability and production of affordable, healthy, diverse, agro-ecologically produced local foods;
- To increase knowledge and demand for the consumption of nutritious and agro -ecologically produced foods of city dwellers;
- To ensure horizontal and vertical exchange through city-knowledge hubs, thereby shaping urban-rural food environments, and informing national and global policies.
The main activities of the project are strengthening City Corporation-led City Level Multi-Sectoral Coordination Committee (CLMCC) with the involvement of different stakeholders related to nutrition and urban food systems such as agriculture, livestock, and fisheries; establishing value chain and safe food production through Farmers Hubs; Providing technical training to farmers and farmers’ hub entrepreneurs on agro-ecologically safe, nutritious food production and storage, management and marketing; and formation of School Nutrition Gardening & Nutrition Club.