Agriculture has a deep rooted connection with our culture and self-identity. But the agriculture of Bangladesh is in a high risk. The independent knowledge of our agriculture is going to be annihilated. The indigenous knowledge and resources, which are the hallmark of our agricultural tradition, are overpowered by the new market actors and factors. For last several years the whole production relation of agriculture has changed. Our agriculture is now highly dependent on market for agriculture inputs. It is true that the modernization of agriculture contributes in production to some extent but the question of ecological sustainability and peasants’ existence hovers around. Along with these piles of problems Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) maneuvered by WTO emerge before our peasant as a new threat. Presently the feature of Bangladesh agriculture includes: firstly, Bangladesh agriculture is predominated by small holdings and small farming households. Secondly, the contribution of agriculture in national income is decreasing while its position in terms of employment retains supremacy. Thirdly; the HYV based agriculture has become commonplace. Lastly; the TNCs have entered the market of seed and fertilizer/pesticides.
Although, it is hard to separate the values, tradition and life style of this country from agriculture, the voices and concerns of the peasantry have so far been largely ignored at national policy forums. So the overall objective of the project is to facilitate a participatory process to ensure pro-peasant sustainable agricultural policy, conservation of indigenous knowledge/practices of farming and enabling farmers’ organizations for institutional reforms at the national and global level.
INCIDIN Bangladesh has played a facilitative role to bring in the Farmers Organization in the space and process of raising voice for pro-peasant and sustainable agricultural reform. The rationale for selection of Farmers’ Organization includes the following: firstly, the farmers’ organizations in Bangladesh have long been the engine of social transformation for the entire nation. Secondly; the role of farmers’ organization declined after independence. Thirdly, the farmers organizations functions as community space and process for rural Bangladesh.
From 2008 INCIDIN Bangladesh has been implementing a project titled Advocacy for People’s Rights in Agricultural Reform (APRAR) in partnership with Manusher Jonno Foundation. The project was developed based on the experience of previous campaign with an aim of bringing in farmers voice at policy forum – especially to bring about pro-farmer agricultural reform.