On 24 November 2020, the ‘Better Life Farming’ alliance was launched officially in Bangladesh. To provide holistic and innovative solutions for smallholder farmers in developing economies, Bayer, International Finance Corporation (IFC, a member of the World Bank Group) and Netafim launched the ‘Better Life Farming’ alliance in 2018. Now ACI joins the alliance as a partner in Bangladesh.
Md. Mesbahul Islam, Hon’ble Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, presided as the Chief Guest at the virtual launch event of the Better Life Farming (BLF) alliance in the country. Other dignitaries included Peter Fahrenholtz, Ambassador, Federal Republic of Germany; Dr. Abdus Sattar Mandal, Former Vice Chancellor, Professor Emeritus at Bangladesh Agricultural University, Dr. F H Ansarey, Managing Director & CEO, ACI Agribusiness, key officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and representatives from Bayer, BCIC, and ACI.
In Bangladesh, the BLF alliance will include global partners: Bayer with its expertise in seeds, crop protection, and agronomy; IFC, the development finance institution for impact assessment; and ACI as the local partner to create awareness about precision irrigation, balanced crop nutrition, and soil health. The overall aim is to support smallholder farmers to increase crop yields and farm incomes through sustainable agriculture and agri-entrepreneurship.
Speaking at the launch event, Zahidul Islam, Managing Director, Bayer Crop Science Limited, Bangladesh, said, “With Better Life Farming, we want to support smallholders in Bangladesh to earn sustainable incomes from their farm. “
Here Dr. Ansarey mentioned ACI Agribusiness mission is ‘Creating wealth for farmers’ which is very much close to Bayer initiative ‘Better Life Farming’. “Wealthy farmer can enjoy a better life. Our vision is ‘providing a complete solution to the need of the Farmers’ through technology, global innovative solution, communication, connecting farmer by digital platform like Fosholi”, he added. ACI, through its SBUs like ACI Fertilizer, ACI Motors, and ACI Logistics – Shwapno, will provide crop nutritional support, irrigation and technological support, and forward linkage support respectively.
35 Better Life Farming Centers have been set up across Bangladesh with plans to scale up to 50 centers by the end of 2020. The Better Life Farming alliance will pursue a gender-smart approach in the country by promoting woman agri-entrepreneurs to serve female smallholder farmers. To ensure the long-term economic viability of the agri-entrepreneurship model, Bayer will work closely with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to promote financial literacy among smallholder farmers who aspire to be agri-entrepreneurs.