Project Title :The Influence of Extension on the Introduction of Organic Farming in Bangladesh
Study Area: Bangladesh
Background of the Study
Bangladesh is predominantly an agriculture based country. Agricultureis the mainstay of the economy of Bangladesh with more than 70percent of the population being dependent on it. Food shortagesremain one of the greatest political and economic problems andagricultural productivity is low. In summary, never in the modernhistory has so much poverty and destitution affected so many peopleconfined to such a small place (Huq et. al. 1990).
Because of the rapid rates of population growth smallholder familiesare obliged to produce their food, energy and income from increasinglyless land. In the scarcity of more land for cultivation and toincrease agricultural production HYV seed-fertilizer-water technologieswere introduced in Bangladesh agriculture since mid 1960s. Introductionof such modern technologies in Bangladesh Agriculture has createdtremendous pressure on land, soil and water resources. Further,in order to boost up agricultural production (particularly rice),use of more and more agro-chemicals degraded the quality of farmenvironment, specially soil which created an alarming situationfor sustainable agriculture. Long-term consideration of sustainingthe productivity of the available land are sacrificed for immediateand short-term need.
Since recently, several movements have been promoting the conceptsof 'organic farming,' 'ecofarming,' 'ecologically sound agriculture,''biological farming' etc. The aim is to maintain or establisha high and lasting level of soil productivity (Adelheim and Kotschi,1986) by applying methods which require a minimum of externalinputs, because these are. in most cases economically and ecologicallynot feasible.
Organic farming, now a days gainging popularity in the world steadily.Thereare vigorous organic movements elsewhere in Europe and the UnitedStates, and everywhere the demand for organic foods is outstrippingsupply. Today, many organizations in Europe and USA advocatingthe organic movement. Governments are recognizing that organicfarming could make a major positive contribution to the problemsof agricultural surpluses, food quantity and environmental protection(McRobie, 1990). Moreover, results of onfarm research showingthe success of organic farming under tropical conditions (Kotschi,1990).
In Bangladesh, effort for organic farming has started in the early1990s in very minor scale. PROSHIKA, a leading NGO (Non GovernmentOrganization) of Bangladesh initiated the organic farming amongfarmers and later some other NGOs have started work in this field.Moreover, the Farming Systems Research and Environmental Studies(FSES) of Bangladesh Agricultural Universitty conducted some fieldstudies on it, the final results are yet to be published.
Unfortunately, organic farming has not started in the countryin a large scale. No government effort has been reported in thisregard. No effort by the planners is visualized for expandingthis technology, although some studies (Kader, 1995; Ahmed et.al.,1995) revealed the potentiality of organic farming in Bangladesh.In a developing country like Bangladesh, the involvement of extensionagencies is precondition for transfer of any technology amongfarmers.Successful introduction of organic farming among farmersis expected only when the largest extension organization of thecountry DAE (Department of Agricultural Extension) will integratethis technology into ist own programme. It is urgent need to drawthe attention of the planners of the Ministry of Agriculture aswell as the Department of Agriculutral Extension to this technology.
With the above stated circumstances, the proposed study will,therefore,
concentrates on the possible role of extension serviceon the introduction
of organic farming in Bangladesh. The studywill, however, particularly
interested to investigate the presentlypracticed organic farming in the
country followed by the farmersunder the supervision of PROSHIKA as against
use of agro-chemicalsfor agricultural production.
Objectives of the Study
The specific objectives of the proposed study are as follows:
i) To have understanding the conception of 'organic farming'in the context of Bangladesh and Germany.
ii) To make a comparision between the practices under organicfarming and traditional farming followed by the farmers in Bangladesh.The aims of this aspect are to identify the usual farm practicesof the organic farmers and to identify their constraints inadopting organic farming.
iii) To find out the extent of awareness of the farmers on environmentalhazzards caused by using agro-chemicals in crop production.
iv) To determine the role of extension service in introducingorganic
farming in Bangladesh- (a) what it actually did inthe passing years and
(b) what role can it play in future tomake the programme a success
Methodology of the Study
Selection of the study area: For the proposed study, Savarthana of Dhaka district and/or Dowlatpur thana of Manikganj districtwill be selected purposively where there are quite a large numberof farmers practicing organic farming.
Population and sample of the study: Farmers using bothorganic and modern inputs in the study area will be the populationof the study. A reasonable number of the farmers will be selectedas sample of the study by using an appropriate sampling technique.
Collection of data: Data will be collected personally byusing an appropriate tool, preferably personal interview schedule.
Methods of analysis: After collecting data, these willbe tabulated
and analyzed to fulfil the objectives of the study.Mainly tabular techniques
with descriptive statistics will beuse for analysing the data, where necessary.
In order to testinghypotheses appropriate statistical tests will be performed.
Adelheim, R and Kotschi, J. 1986. Environmental protection andsustainable land use: Implications for Technical Cooperationin the rural tropics. Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture. 25(2):100-111.
Ahmed et.al. 1995. 'Ecological Farming: Awareness and Motivationof Farmers in Two Selected Villages of Comilla.' in proceedingsof the workshop on Findings of Socio-Economic Research of BARD,1993-94 and 1994-95, Comilla, Bangladesh
Huq, S., Rahman, A.A., and Gordon, R.C. 1990.Environmental Aspectsof Agricultural Development in Bangladesh, University Press Limited,Dhaka.
Kader, M.D.A.1995. An Economic Analysis of Ecological AgriculturePractices followed by the Farmers under the Supervision of PROSHIKA- A Study in Manikganj District. An unpublished M:S. (AgriculturalProduction Economics) thesis. Bangladesh Agricultural University,Mymensingh.
Kotschi, J. (ed.).1990. Ecofarming Practices for Tropical Smallholders.Verlag Josef Margraf, Germany.
McRobie, G.(ed.).1990. Tools for Organic Farming. IntermediateTechnology
Time Frame of the Study (April 1998 to September 2000)
Preparation of the research frame work (6 months)
Kashem, M.A., Rahman, M.Z. and Rahman, M.H. 1992. Cridibilityof Block Supervisors as Communicators. Bangladesh Journalof Extension Educaiton. 7(1&2):23-32.
Rahman, M.H. and Halim, A. 1995. Constraints faced by theFarmers in Cotton Cultivation. Progressive Agriculture.6(2):61-68.
Rahman, M.Z., Islam, K.M.M. and Rahman, M.H. 1997. ProfessionalPreferences of Block Supervisors. Bangladesh Journal of ExtensionEducation. Vol.9(special issue).
Islam, M.M., Karim, A.S.M.Z. and Rahman, M.H.(ed.).1997Agricultural Extension Education- Practical Manual I &II, Department of Agricultural Extension Education, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh.