Sustainable Agriculture for Santal Community (SASC)


Bangladesh is lands of multicultural people with the majority population are Bengali. Bangladesh population census report 1991, says that, there are 45 types of indigenous communities are living in Bangladesh with their own identity like language, culture, practice, believe and behavior. Geographically they are divided into two domains- plain land and hill tract areas. Among the plain land indigenous people majority of them are living in Dinajpur district.  Santal is the main indigenous community in this area. Apart from Santals- Mushohor, Orao, Mahali, Pahan, Malo, Mal pahari, Coach and other indigenous communities are also living in this region of the country. Traditionally Indigenous people had vast land. They thought it is a collective asset from the God and so have lack of knowledge and seriousness about ownership of documentation. The influential people from greater communities use this chance to grab the indigenous people’s land property and evicted them from their residing place. As a result they are becoming poor to extreme poor day by day. SASC initially starts for its piloting intervention period from January’13 to December’15. GBK has taken an intervention to provide technical assistance on SASC to uplift socio-economic growth of small farm families through practicing profitable agricultural technology & marketing durable links with markets with the technical and financial assistance of Syngenta Foundation Bangladesh (SFB). There are 500 small & marginal farmers of Birganj Upazila of Dinajpur District under the project. One Project Officer (PO) as like as Mentor and 3 Field Organizers (FO) is directly involved in the project implementation and cordially acts as a TEAM (Together Efforts Achieve More).The Head of Social & Economic Development (H-SED) of GBK acts as Focal Personnel of SASC.

Project Participants/ Beneficiaries:

*Total=500 (Male-223 & Female-277)

*Type/Nature: Small & Marginal Farmer

*Age group: Except Child & Aged People

*Socio-economic status: 5-249 decimal land holders

Project Period:

From   January 2013 - December 2015

Project Goal, Objective & Theme:

Project Goal:

To increase income and livelihoods opportunities for smallholders of Bangladesh through innovation in sustainable agriculture and activation of agriculture value chains.


Project Objective:

Promote production and consumption of nutritious and high value vegetable crops

Increase income through on farm and off farm agriculture enterprise development 

 General/Strategic Objective:

1.     Improving market access of primary producers to develop a market-led production system.

2.     Productivity enhancement of smallholders through technologies in a profitable way.

3.     Activation and growth of farmers support service points at the ground to facilitate better farming services for farmers

 Specific (Activities wise) Objectives: 

Farmers Group Meeting

 Objectives: To motivate the farmer regarding the modern agricultural technology, its utilization, increasing the cropping intensity of proposed profitable crops & strengthen the local marketing system.  

Group Farmers Seasonal Training

Objectives: To make the farmers familiar on profitable cropping pattern, crop calendar, valuable & easier crop cultivation techniques, soil fertility management, animal husbandry etc. 

Lead Farmers Training

Objectives: To make familiar farmers about the cultivation technologies particularly-

Crop Agronomy: Improved crop varieties, quality seeds and other inputs & cultural practices.

Crop Protection: Identification of important insect pests & diseases of crops and their effective control measures; and techniques of judicious    & safe use of crop protection chemicals and related safety measures.

Techniques: Techniques of identifying good quality seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and other agro inputs.

Cropping Demo Plot

Objectives: To bring fallow lands under cultivation and to introduce additional crops between seasons & also introducing intercropping/ relay cropping practices of farmers through developed profitable cropping pattern. 

Processing Crop Variety Trial Plot

Objectives: To introduce improved high yielding/hybrid crop varieties, quality seeds, proper agronomic practices etc. among farmer

Agro Information Centre (AIC)
Objectives: To disseminate techniques & information of profitable crop production among farmers and holding meetings & trainings

Agricultural Collection Point (ACP)

Objectives: To sell growers products collectively from these place and earn better price by shortening the chains to market 

New Crop Technology Establishment

Objectives: To adapt developed crop variety & cheaper local technology for sustainable agriculture

Agricultural Equipments & Inputs Support

Objectives: To provide grants to farmers for learning, acquiring and using modern equipments & inputs, as and when possible 

Farmers’ Exposure Visit

Objectives: To motivate and learn farmers for adapting the profitable marketing system, it’s utilization and increasing the cropping intensity 

Provide Capital Support to the Selected Farmer

Objectives: To ensure the capital support for getting proper crop management 

Farmers Field Visit

Objectives: To achieve the project obligation & objectives 

Staff Capacity Building

Objectives: To build up staffs’ skill for obtaining the project goal & objectives


Objectives: To ensure accountability & transparency of project activities

Coordination with Stakeholders, Donor (SFB) and Partner (GBK)

Objectives: To obtain project goal and specific objectives, SFB provides technical & financial support to GBK’s Project TEAM and the TEAM directly involved in the implementation of project activities among SASC beneficiaries.

Government/NGO Office

Objectives: To build up better relation with different local (UP), Upazila & district level Govt.(UP, Upazila Administration, DC Office, DAE, SERDI etc.) and NGO personnel for ensuring their involvement with project activities

Linkage with Seed & Pesticide Traders and Vegetable Wholesaler

Objectives: To ensure quality seed, fertilizer & pesticides for farmers and to establish ACP for farmers profit

Crosscutting Theme:

To disseminate & adapt agricultural innovations through santal farmers and to make durable links with markets profitable for smallholders

Target Farmer:

a.     Marginal ( 5 to 49 decimal landholders) and

b.    Small (50 to 249 decimal landholders)

Partners: Gram Bikash Kendra (GBK), Holdibari, Parbatipur, Dinajpur, Bangladesh

Budget for the Mentioned Period: 48, 68,404/-

 Working areas Coverage Map:


 Donor: Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA), Switzerland

 Implementation Location/ Geographical Area: Mohanpur, Nijpara, Sujalpur, Birganj Municipal  Satair & Bhoagnagar Union  under Birganj Upazila of Dinajpur District.

 Major Intervention/Components:

}  Farmer’s hub model working well in terms of service provisions and market linkages.

} Outgrowing operation through lead farmers works well and offer aggregated products to the companies.

} Crop credit scheme established for commercial producers/ groups.

 Major Activities:

•Project Work Plan and Implementation Strategy development

• Project Locations Selection and Finalization

• Farmers Selection and Group Formation

• Farmers Profile Preparation

• Conduct Baseline Survey

• Monthly Planning & Evaluation Meeting 

• MIS and Monthly Progress Report

• Half yearly and annual progress report

• Annual Progress Review Workshop 

• Learning exposure visits (for project staffs)

• Coaching & mentoring  (for project staffs)

• Facilitation for preparing production & marketing plan of individual farmers

• Compilation of production plan by group, by staff, by unit (both soft & hard)

• Facilitation of implementation process (follow up monitoring and troubleshooting)

• Need Assessment  for capacity building process of targeted groups (Group Farmers & Lead Farmers)

• Lead Farmers training on managing group based production, aggregation and supply to buyers

• Lead Farmers Meeting (Value chain focused and situational)

• Group Farmers training on production and marketing of fresh vegetables

• Group Farmers Training on poultry rearing- 30 selected farmers

• Group Farmers Training on goat rearing- 30 selected farmers

• Group Farmers Meeting

• Farmer-Wholesaler Workshop 

• Learning & Exposure visits for Farmers & Lead Farmers & FHMC 

• Demo with selected crops/ varieties/ Technologies (10 dcl each)

 Demo on homestead / nutrition garden (10 dcl each)

 Demo on cultivating HV vegetables in Control Environment (Poly shed and Net House) 

 Farmers Hub Establishment

• Value Chain Development-Medicinal Plant (Bashok) Cultivation

 Farmers Hub operation guideline and business plan development

 Agricultural Equipments& Inputs Support/ Demo

• Support in establishing Nursery

 Poultry Support for selected farmers (IGA)

 Goat Kids Support for selected farmers (IGA)

 Soil Test Support- once

• Development of LSPs (Vaccinator, Sprayer, Vermi Compost)

• Linking farmers with PNGO's for crop loans

 Annual Farmers Rally and Day Observation

Target and Milestones:


Project: Focus Area

Value Chain wise

Cumulative Target Number in Project Year

Farmers and Target




SASC: Livelihoods

Farmers (500)




Local Service Providers




Area (acre)




Volume (MT)





Working Approach:

The new phase will involve a total of 500 farmers supported by 4 field staffs.




Select project locations based on value chain and market demand.



Design and setup value chain projects. Modules for production management, result measurement, input loans and inventory management.

Baseline and need assessment

Conduct baseline survey and need assessment with the targeted groups.


Help farmers in developing production plan, trainings on cultivation and post-harvest technologies, group production and marketing. Organize learning and exposure visits for farmers.

Support Local Service Providers

Select lead farmers to act as commercial service providers in the field of agriculture. Train and support lead farmers as they can identify and provide quality services on commercial basis and also plan and support productionand liaise with buyers.

Farmers Hub


Strengthen Farmers Hubs through training, exposure visits, coaching and linkages. Help establish commercial management teams for farmers hubs.

Linkages among farmers, vendors and buyers

Develop linkages among the vendors and partner companies (PRAN, GARI and Syngenta), ensure smooth flow of farmers produce to the large buyers. For fresh vegetables, link with local wholesalers through Farmers hubs.

Technology transfer

Design and conduct trials and demonstration of new crops/ varieties/ technologies and arrange visits and result sharing sessions with respective stakeholders of the project.

Facilitating farmers to link with suitable agri-loan

The project will encourage PNGO to provide loan to the potential project farmers on pilot basis. Besides, the project will facilitate project farmers with other microfinance institutes (such as ULC) for soft crop loan.

Metrics and Performance

SFB will collect and analyse field data on regular basis and produce reports on operations. SFB will develop and ensure strong financial and implementation monitoring system throughout the project lifeline.  

Expected outputs and outcomes:

SASC is expected to produce results in 3 major areas:

·         Farmer’s hub model working well in terms of service provisions and market linkages.

·         Outgrowing operation through lead farmers works well and offer aggregated products to the companies.

·         Crop credit scheme established for commercial producers/ groups.

Outputs and Outcomes Table:

Seeds & Inputs

Production Efficiency

Product value

Future Services

Buyer- Farmer Linkages

§ Quality inputs & seeds

§ 4 nurseries developed

§ 1 quality input seller developed

§ Fertilizer Recommendation card

§ Low cost trellis in vine crops

§ New/ high value crops/ varieties

§ Production plan

§ Producers trained on modern production

§ One Farmers’ Hub established and strengthening FHMC

§ 500 farmers

§ 10% additional production

§ 20%  additional income

§ 40% farmers in vegetable production

§ 60% farmers involved in poultry and livestock

§ 50 acres of additional land for vegetable production

§ New jobs creation

§ 30% farmers receive services from FH

§ 20% farmers use modern agricultural equipment

§ 20% farmers receive crop loan

§ 6 commercially viable services delivered by FHMC

§ 5 Local Service Providers

§ 1 Farmers’ Hub management committees

§ 30% sales through Farmers’ Hub

§ 20 regional and national buyers through Farmers’ Hub