Agriculture is one of the largest sectors in Bangladesh in terms of the percentage of people employed in the industry. According to the World Bank, nearly 40% of the population in Bangladesh is employed in the agriculture sector, generating around 17% of the country’s GDP. Yet the penetration of training and technologies for efficient agriculture available to farmers remains low.
Due to an unstructured market and an inefficient value chain system, farmers are often limited in getting the best value for their efforts. Over the last 5 years, access to finance has been the biggest challenge for farmers. The cost of capital incurred by farmers is expensive and unaffordable.
As these challenges intensify as a result of poor crop yields due to the impacts of climate change, agri-tech enterprises and other organizations working on sustainable farming are increasingly becoming more proactive in their role to help small-scale farmers.
Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) is a leading organization working on sustainable agriculture worldwide. SFSA works with more than two million smallholder farmers across 12 countries around the world to create a sustainable future for those working in agriculture. Their services include agri-services, risk management for small-scale farmers, support for research and development for resource-scarce farmers, and advocacy for inclusive policies for sustainable agriculture.
SFSA has been working in Bangladesh since 2011 across several projects for efficient agricultural processing, increasing access to the market for rural farmers, and supporting rural livelihoods.
Innovative agri-tech enterprises such as iFarmer, Ipage, WeGro, Directfresh, Agroshift, Krishi Shwapno, InsureCow, Chaldal, and many more are playing an increasingly important role in improving the lives of smallholder farmers in Bangladesh, and collaboration between stakeholders has become all the more crucial.
As the challenges faced in the Bangladeshi agriculture sector are hardened with climate change, new technology, and innovation-driven initiatives are crucial to ensure better profitability and livelihoods for small-scale rural farmers across the country.
Homegrown entrepreneurs have brought enormous potential to strengthen the agriculture sector in the country through innovation and infrastructure-building. With improved collaboration between stakeholders, Bangladesh has the potential to tackle upcoming challenges for a sustainable future for agriculture.