A timely initiative by Rice Value Chain project of IRRI
agrilife24.com:“Dhan-Nadi-Khal ai tine Baisal.” But now the rice growing farmers of Barisal are in trouble. Farmers are getting very lower price in compare with other parts of the country while selling paddy to the nearby Hat or to Faria.
But their main problem is marketing paddy as still poor marketing channel is found in Barisal region. There is no Semi Auto rice mills in Barisal. Very few Engelberg mills are using for commercial rice milling and marketing. There were only two auto rice mills i.e., one in Dapdapia and another in Kalapara. Recently there are 3 Auto rice mills start functioning in Patuakhali Sadar, Bhola Sadar and Gournadi. Still about 90% paddy from Barisal region goes to Magura, Jhenaidah, Kushtia, Khulna and even Satkshira via Faria-Aratdar. There is no linkage of the farmers’ group with the Auto rice millers/millers agent directly. Due to poor linkage, demand wise supply is not taking place. So far, a few GO, NGOs working with marketing system development for the rice growing farmers and providing them training on business or marketing.
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Barisal hub currently conducting Business training for its Aman growing farmers under USAID funded Feed the Future Bangladesh Rice Value Chain (RVC) project. Bangladesh Development Society (BDS), Barisal and Grmeen Jano Unnayan Sangstha (GJUS), Bhola are assisting them conducting the training. Resource person from GO, NGO and Private Sectors are also taking sessions and sharing their experience and expectation in the training.
Prior to this business training, IRRI conducted production training to the same groups and provided Aman rice seeds to about one thousand farmers making groups including 40-50 farmers in each. All those groups are now producing premium quality aromatic rice BRRI dhan34 and Submergence tolerant rice BRRI dhan52. Regarding production they are now confident enough about seedling raising, land preparation, fertilizer management, pest and disease management and water management. There will be good production. Through business training lots of market information i.e., location and contact address of auto rice millers, big traders, their business policies and purchasing systems, miller and traders preferences, selling through collection points, and market and business issues that can be arise during group marketing time have been shared with the farmers in a participatory manners.
As trainers Mr. Deb Kumar Nath, Hub Manager and Senior Specialist-Agricultural Research and Development, RVC, IRRI, Barisal Hub; Fahomida Amin, ARDO, RVC, Barisal and Uzzal Kumar Kar, Program Coordinator, BDS were present. DAE, Gournadi representatives and Field staffs of BDS were also present and assist IRRI-RVC Barisal hub for conducting the training smoothly.
It is notable that during the last Boro/Rabi 2015-16 and in Aman season, 2016 Feed the Future Bangladesh Rice Value Chain (RVC) project of IRRI Barisal hub trained up about 1600 farmers on Business and marketing for the crops of Sunflower, Mungbean, Mustard and Premium Quality Rice (PQR) in Bhola, Barisal, Patuakhali and Barguna districts.