Farmer organizations in Bangladesh gathered last January 17, 2014 at the Coast Trust in Dhaka for an orientation on the Medium Term Cooperation Program Phase 2 that will be implemented in the country as well as other countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Pacific.
Twenty participants, four of which were females, representing nine national farmer organizations in Bangladesh, attended the orientation.
The participating organizations were Bangladesh Adibasi Somity (BAS), Bangladesh Krishak Federation (BKF), Bangladesh Krishak Federation (BKF-JI), Biplobi Jubo Sobha (BJS), Bangladesh kishani Sobha (BKS), Bangladesh Bhumihin Somity (BBS), Bangladesh agricultural Farm Labour Federation, Labor Resource Centrer (LRC), and COAST Trust.
Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishak Federation (BKF) chaired the meeting, which was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST Trust, while Dr. Keshab Khadka, Coordinator of MTCP2 for the South ,Asia presented the key note explanation.
During the meeting, the FOs discussed the agricultural situation in Bangladesh, which features domination by multinational companies and vested interests, lack of fair and just price for farmers’ produce, inadequate services from the government and other service providers, and lack of recognition of farmers’ contributions to the national economy.
They agreed that farmers have to work together to improve their production and control over the means of production and raise their voices and legitimate demands to the government, and for that, they need stronger farmers’ organizations.
During the orientation, they learned about MTCP2, a capacity building program for FOs funded by IFAD that aims to strengthen the capacities of farmer organizations to deliver better, improved and inclusive services to their members and to engage in effective dialogues with governments
MTCP2 will help FOs become more viable, responsive and accountable to their members, more respected by their partners and with greater participation in policy-making and program implementation processes of governments and IFAD country operations.
Its primary beneficiaries are smallholder farmers who are current or potential members of participating FOs. Its main participants are 150 FOs representing 20 million small-scale farming families in 19 countries in Southeast and South Asia and the Pacific.
As a result of the meeting, the FOs developed a clear understanding of the project goals, specific objectives and implementation strategies among the FOs who will be the implementing partners here in Bangladesh.
On January 18, another meeting with partner FOs was organized. From that meeting, a draft plan of action with budget for the year 2014 has been chalked out.