CDAIS National Forum was held in Dhaka final Bangladesh event of the three-year project funded by European Union, Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems (CDAIS) National Forum was held in the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) auditorium 0n 3rd April 2019. The project is jointly implemented by Agrinatura, FAO and BARC. The project piloted an approach to improve systems supporting agricultural innovation by strengthening the functional capacities of those involved: farmer groups, marketing, processing, extension and research organizations.

While summarizing, Ms. Claire Coote, the focal person of “Agrinatura” expressed her great satisfaction with the achievements of the CDAIS project and said that she hoped that all the project participants i.e. research, extension and marketing officials of public sector, private sector agro-processors, agricultural universities, training organizations, NGOs and farmers would continue to interact and work together to address and overcome the many challenges faced by the agricultural sector.

By improving capacities, the project worked with three innovation platforms, i.e. pineapple in Bandarban, mango in Chapai-Nawabganj and fish in Trishal, and also three selected organizations at national level i.e. BARC, Department of Agricutural Marketing (DAM) and Bangladesh Agro Processors Association (BAPA). The project has been able to create a momentum of development by facilitating change so that farmers are able to solve their own problems from production to marketing through partnership to policy level. The work with the organizations was on sharing knowledge for supporting innovation from other countries. Farmers also learnt through this project how they can solve policy level problems at local and national level.

The Forum provided an opportunity to showcase achievements and farmers and national innovation facilitators shared the outcomes of the approach and their learning with senior ministry staff and other invited guests. Mr. Manfred Fernholz, Team Leader, Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Development, Delegation of the EU to Bangladesh endorsed the approach, saying that “Development must be sustainable; though tractors and tools last a few years, human capacities last forever”. Dr. Nur Khondaker, FAO Focal Person for the project concluded, “We see the results and successes today. CDAIS has changed people and given them a voice at policy level by forging links between farmers and the government. And we will strengthen the National Technical Committee as a platform to continue this work.”

Ms. Rozana Wahab, Lead National Innovation Facilitator and CEO, Ascend International was responsible for coordinating the implementation of the project in Bangladesh. IDE, MDF and Kernel International also provided support to the delivery of the project.

The event was organized by the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, UK and Ascend International, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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