Women empowerment vital to achieve food security: Australian envoy

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RANGPUR, March 9, 2019 (BSS) – Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh
Julia Niblett has said empowerment of women is very important to achieve food
security and improve nutrition of people in Bangladesh.

She viewed this while visiting farm activities of female farmers adopting
conservation agriculture for sustainable intensification (CASI) technologies
at Mondolabari village in Pirganj upazila and Harinarayanpur village in
Mithapukur upazila here on Friday.

During her visit, Julia also celebrated the International Women’s Day-2019
with female farmers of the two villages on their farm lands, a press release
said today.

The Australian envoy observed adoption of CASI technologies being
disseminated at field levels by Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) and
RDRS Bangladesh under Sustainable Resilient Farming Systems Intensification
(SRFSI) project.

The Australian government is funding implementation of SRFSI project
involving 1.50 lakh farmers in India, Bangladesh and Nepal through its
Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio (SDIP) development strategy for
South Asia.

The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) are extending
technical assistance to local development partners for implementation of the
project.

Julia talked to project beneficiary female farmers and learnt that the
SRFSI project was transforming latest technologies to their farm activities.

The Australian envoy expressed pleasure over thriving adoption of CASI
technologies like strip tillage using power tiller operated seeder machines
(PTOS) and zero tillage by female farmers Lucky Begum, Neer Bala, Kanu Bala,
Dilruba Begum and Salma Begum in the villages.

While speaking with the female farmers, she appreciated them for their
success in directly embracing new agriculture technologies, participating in
pre- and post- harvest decision making and extending their commercial skills
to others.

Local farmers informed Julia of reducing production cost of Taka 9,000 per
acre of land in farming maize and Taka 5,000 in farming wheat to get higher
yields by saving time, irrigation water and labour expenses adopting new
sustainable intensification practices.

CIMMYT representative Dr Thakur Prasad Tiwari, Programme Coordinator for
ACIAR-SDIP Kuhu Chatterjee, Deputy Director of the DAE Dr Sarowarul Haque,
Mithapukur Upazila Agriculture Officer Rezaul Karim, Director (Field
Operations) of RDRS Bangladesh Humayun Khaled, its Senior Coordinator
(Agriculture and Environment) Mamunur Rashid and Project Coordinator Mizanur
Rahman accompanied the Australian envoy during her visit.

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