Food security in Bangladeshi rural households can be increased significantly by adopting a ‘Landcare’ approach to homestead land use – for vegetable, fruit and other cultivation, bringing unused land into productive use and enhancing production efficiency. The approach has the potential to enhance the diversity of food consumption leading to better nutritional development, particularly of women and children. The marginal land owners adopt a ‘Landcare’ approach, a concept introduced by FIVDB into Bangladesh in 2012. The approach combines organic farming principles through training, with the mentoring of local facilitators and follow-up technical support. It focuses on the key issues such as land degradation, food security and productivity, biodiversity protection and preservation of rural landscapes. The program directly works with households, and will be used to disseminate good practices through a replication model that can be used for wider adoption of the approach.
Secratariat for International Landcare - AustraliaInitiative partner
University of Dhaka, Department of Soil, Water and Environment - BangladeshInitiative partner
Neo Synthesis Research Center - Sri LankaInitiative partner
Landcare in Bangladesh- starts making the change
Landcare is a collaborative process that builds on local skills and capacities with the overall objective to sustain and improve livelihoods, protect the environment and natural resources and enhance community resilience to climate change.
Landcare’ in Bangladesh is a new approach to sustainable agriculture and rural livelihood improvement which considers not only increased food production but also takes into account community participation and environmental issues while ensuring optimum use of resources.
Since 2012. FIVDB has started worked intensely with village farmers and communities to establish model house projects in 22 areas across the Sylhet region.
Landcare focuses on key issues including: land degradation; food security and productivity; biodiversity protection.
The demonstration sites show how farmers can optimise land use efficiency, increase crop diversity and productivity, diversify enterprises, improve livestock and value add to production.
Bangladesh is an agro-based country of South Asia. Like other least developed countries, it is struggling to achieving self-reliance in food production. For the last few decades, many different approaches have been tried and most of them have been successful in terms of crop production. But due to the absence of a holistic approach they have ignored important aspects such as the environment and community participation.
Food security is also challenged by climate change, land degradation and natural disastersHowever, due to an increasing population, the gains made have been consumed by a parallel growing demand for food.
In Bangladesh ‘home garden’ cultivation is vital to the day to day food security of rural households. But this practices are not yet based on an integrated and holistic approach. Moreover, farmers cannot increase profit margins due to their lack of knowledge and understanding about how to cultivate their land more effectively in a planned and sustainable way.
Increased intensity of homestead land use: The approach enhanced the productive use of homestead land through bringing unused land under cultivation.
Increased productivity of land: The approach brought into use previously unused land. Typically these are land segments which are shaded and/or have high moisture and are generally deemed unsuitable for cultivation. Efficiency also increased as a result of land quality improvement, through owner developed management plans. Homestead land use pattern has documented and monitored against baseline maps.
Increased food security and income of practicing households: The landcare approach is facilitate increased food and cash crop production at homestead level.
Increased intake of nutritious food: The increased food production and income has enhanced intake of nutritious food at household level.
Replication of approach through peer demonstration: The success of beneficiaries was motivated neighborhood landowners to replicate the approaches.
The program has implemented through CLCs (Community Learning Centres) as platform for organising the beneficiaries and disseminating the learnings to wider community.
CLCs are community based organizations developed to organise learning and self-help initiatives, including advocacy with local Government and other service providers. They serve as key platforms for implementation of FIVDB programmes.
The CLCs are consists of around 60 persons (50% are women) and major role are-
• Carry out mapping, collect and analyze information of their respective villages.
• Identify issues to resolve and set priorities.
• Prepare long term and annual plans for development of the community.
• Mobilize local resources.
• Coordinate with local committees, and improving provision and quality of services.
• Build networks with neighboring villages and local government to share experiences and learning, and to initiate collective actions.
The launch of Landcare Bangladesh follows eighteen months of intense work with farming communities in the Sylhet region in north-east Bangladesh by Friends in Village Development Bangladesh (FIVDB). The pilot work are lead by Dr Shaikh Tanveer Hossain, Sustainable Agriculture Advisor & Chief Agricultural Coordinator and Mr Zahid Hossain, Director of the Livelihood Enhancement Program of FIVDB. Field officers of FIVDB are working the field level with farmers and coordinating the programs with CLCs. Presently the program is implemented from the core fund and soon some foreign donor will involve with the current activities. At present five model house projects in each of 22 areas across the Sylhet region are implementating the approach.
For the successful of the programs, trained practitioners and their skills are very important. Stakeholders capacity building and awareness on natural resource management in the initial stage was very challenging. Community participation and working together is not often practiced and needed to connivance the stakeholders. The changes brought about at household level would sustain as demonstration of positive changes in production efficiency, enhanced income and nutrition intake among the practicing households. The practitioners are equipped with skills to undertake assessment and planning exercises beyond the project cycle. Organization of the project through CLCs arel enable dissemination of technical aspects of the approach and its success through CLC forum and through less formal social interaction between the project beneficiaries and their neighbors.
Agriculture of Bangladesh heavily depends on the use of agricultural chemicals. The application of these chemicals over a long period have contributed to poor soil fertility, human and animal health hazards, disturbed ecosystem health, low productivity, and the pollution of soil, water and air. Adoption of Landcare in Bangladesh can offer dynamic new approaches to: eco-specific resource management; community participation; watershed management; landuse; plant/crop selection; land-water interaction and management; renewable energy; vulnerability and adaptation to climate change; peoples’ participation in planning; implementation; and management issues. Landcare approach has high impact on enviroment-friendly ecosystem and biodervisty.
The Landcare approach has begun in 2012 in bangladesha nd it is a continuous process. Until now few case studies are done and observed the changs of livelihood with this initiation.
Such as: http://www.new-ag.info/en/research/innovationItem.php?a=2982
Dr Shaikh Tanveer Hossain’s presentation at the National Landcare Conference, Sydney, September 2012 is found below:
Training of staff members: Staffs are trained on technical aspects of land quality assessment, use planning and monitoring.
Consultation with Community Learning Centres (CLC) and Beneficiary selection: organising the beneficiaries and disseminating the learnings to wider community.
Training of homestead land owners, focusing on the women: Selected CLC members are trained on assessment, mapping and planning.
Homestead mapping and development mapping: Following training the household members were assisted for their development and use.
Monitoring-evaluation framework: Field workers, following the M&E framework at household level and collect evidences of change results.
Sharing of the approach at CLC, local Government service providers level: The model are shared with CLCs, other community members and service providers, especially of Government technical and extension departments to promote the technology in a wider scale. Workshops, exchange visits etc. are organised for this purpose.