People belonging to rural and urban economies are implicitly or explicitly linked to it. In the agro-based economy, this sector has very significant position in the development sector. National food security and public health relies upon pesticide-free agro-production and consumption. SSS, since its very initiation, has been operating agriculture extension program through various approaches.
The agriculture extension program is mainly concerned with vegetables and crops cultivation which possesses crucial goal: to utilize assets and opportunity of agro-sector through delivering capital and technology, cultivate vegetables and crops naturally and enhance production and income.
Objectives & Methodology
- Providing financial services to the target people to cultivate vegetables and crops.
- Enhancing production and income through imparting training and handing over technology.
- Ensuring cultivation of vegetables and crops following organic system.
- Expanding cultivation of fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants.
- Adapting the farmers to environment friendly and disaster-resilient cultivation.
- Fostering employment, empowerment and self-sufficiency in food.
Agriculture extension program of the organization is revolved centering the agro-assets, technology and feasibility, where poverty reduction and enhancement of living standards are principal phenomena. The following activities under the program were undertaken in 2018-19:
Agricultural Credit Activities: Scarcity of capital is a great barrier in the path of development. In spite of having capacity and willingness, the farmers cannot adopt up-to-date technologies and methodologies. Again, their limitation of technical knowledge inflects the total production negatively. To overcome these constraints, the organization is setting agriculture credit scheme in application. The target people can take up three types of credit–Buniad (ultra-poor), Jagoron (lower middleclass) and Agrosor (entrepreneur) credits under the program. The farmers invest credit money on crops and vegetable cultivation, nursery and aforestation, horticulture, agro-instruments and so on. The organization imparts training and knowledge to the farmers in accordance with the needs and nature of activities. It also hands over up-to-date and environment-friendly technologies: pheromone traps, vermi-compost production, integrated organic pesticide systems, vegetables and foods production through chemical-free system, vegetables and pomi-culture on homesteads and so on.
Sufolon Credit Activities: Sufolon credit (seasonal agro-credit) is a secondary credit for the target-people. The people can receive this credit along with a major one. They use credit money to produce vegetables and crops based on agro-seasons and pay back the total amount (principal amount with service charge) of credit at-a-time after harvesting. Schedule time of credit is three-six months and credit range Tk. 15-25 thousand. But the maximum amount of this credit may be up to Tk. 05 lac on special approval. In this case, financial condition and capacity are considered with importance.
KGF Credit Activities: KGF (Kuwait Goodwill Fund for Promotion of Food Security in Islamic Countries) is one of the agriculture related projects of SSS. In July 2015, the organization kept this project in action under the supervision of PKSF. Working area of this project locates in the peripheries of Tacterchala, Alenga and Kalihati branches of the organization. The members of farmer families are the target-people of this project. The main objectives are: to provide financial and technical services to the target people, enhance family income, reduce the propensity of losses and increase food security. The field of investment of this credit includes: agro-product processing, preserving and marketing, agro-related small business, agro-entrepreneurship etc. Credit limit is Tk. 10 thousand to Tk. 50 thousand.
Agriculture Extension Project: SSS undertook agriculture extension project in 2018-19 financed by own fund. The project area falls on the peripheries of Modhupur, Bhaighat, Garobazar, Trishal, Churkhai, Achhim, Nandina, Hajipur, Gopalpur, Sakhipur, Barachaona and Batajor branches. The main goal of it is to habituate the target-people with modern agro-methods and technologies and increase production.
The most mentionable functions of the project are: production of tricho-compost, utilization of granular urea in paddy cultivation, yearlong cultivation of vegetables and fruits on homesteads, utilization of pheromone traps in pesticide-free vegetable cultivation, production and preservation of grade-one paddy seed, integrated crops management in producing crops safely, introducing hybrid crops and so on. The activities of this project are: imparting training, providing instruments and technical supports and organizing various meetings and workshops.
High-valued Fruit (Dragon) Cultivation Extension: A sub-project under PACE project is: High-valued Fruit (Dragon) Cultivation Extension at the Entrepreneur Level activities. SSS took up this project financed by PKSF in July 2017. Project area is in the peripheries of the Charabari and Dainna branches under Tangail sadar.
- Staff Orientation,
- Capacity building training,
- Procurement and Packaging Training,
- Setting up Demo Farms,
- Producing Vermi-compost Plants,
- Arranging field days,
- Exposure visits and so on.
The service and support of Agriculture Extension Program of SSS have been performing vital role in various ways to alleviate poverty. It plays a supporting power to make positive change in the economy of the farmer families.
Agricultural Credit Activities: In 2018-19, the organization set disbursement of Tk. 356.61 crore among 1,00,872 people in agricultural sector, wherein Tk. 171.48 crore to 85,360 people are general credit, Tk. 147.06 crore to 15,512 individuals are entrepreneurial credit and Tk. 38.07 crore to 18,646 persons are miscellaneous credit. In the abovementioned statement, there is Tk. 133.84 crore as Sufolon (crops and vegetables) Credit.
Agriculture Extension Project: As on 30 June 2019, agriculture extension project included 2,400 farmers and rendered training to 72 individuals through two sessions.
Dragon Cultivation Extension Project: As on 30 June 2019, dragon fruit cultivation extension project included 20 farmers and imparted them with necessary training arranging two sessions.