Farming for the future
Our span across our entire farming community starts with the hardwork of around 34,000 registered farmers.
To ensure success of farmers in all aspects of farming, we have undertaken a number of initiatives to enrich them with the knowledge of various environment-friendly sustainable agricultural techniques.
The Company has been expanding Integrated Pest Management Clubs (IPM Clubs) in tobacco growing areas taking guidance & support from the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) of the Government of Bangladesh. Through this platform the farmers are educated on implementing chemical alternative biological approaches for controlling pests & diseases of crops. Till date we have established around 75 IPM Clubs through which we share agricultural knowledge with the farming communities.
Green manuring with Dhaincha (Sesbania aculeata) represents an effective approach to enrich soil health and fertility in a bio-friendly manner. Green Manuring is one of our key agricultural sustainability initiatives. Every year, we distribute around 250 Metric Tons of Sesbania seeds free of cost to the farming communities and till date, we distributed more than 3,000 Metric Tons of Sesbania seeds for soil conservation.
Improper disposal of CPA (Crop Protection Agent) empty containers & packets is proven to have an adverse negative impact on living beings, water bodies, air and on soil. To minimize the effects from such acts, BAT Bangladesh has initiated a pilot project in Kushtia with the broad concept of ‘Empty CPA Container Safe Disposal Programme – Surokkha’ by designing a well-structured disposal technique of the empty CPA containers. Farmers were provided with waste bins to collect empty CPA containers and with the support from a third-party vendor. They received a monetary reward in return which encouraged them to preserve & handover the wastes and it is also helping them to enhance their farm income.
We are striving to popularize mechanization in farming which helps our farmers to reduce the cost of production by reducing labor and time. So far, we have introduced ridge makers, fertilizer applicators, inter-cultivators and the drip and sprinkler irrigation is in trial phase. This kind of mechanization initiatives in agriculture will attract the next generation into farming and ensure agriculture sustainability.
In order to ensure compliance, farm monitoring and data collection have been a common practice for quite a long time. BAT Bangladesh has digitalized the old practice of manual data management and launched an application named ‘Farmer’s Sustainability Management (FSM)’ to provide an efficient solution for farm monitoring and management. The app was successfully launched in Bangladesh in 2018. The system ensures authenticity by capturing the photograph and fingerprint of the farmer and field technician. This app enables the Company to maintain a better control and transparency regarding the happenings on the ground. It has helped the field technicians to save about 50% of their data collection time, which helped them to spend more on improving the extension services to farmers.
With the growing technology, BAT Bangladesh has also taken a step and introduced ‘Bondhusheba’ a web-based messaging platform to support the farming community. This platform will help us reach our farmers on time to provide required information regarding weather, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Sustainability, Crop Planning etc. through SMS.
Many farmers in rural areas didn’t have the access to updated information related to crop growing. Updating their knowledge on new techniques and technologies along with relevant key information instantly help to increase their farm productivity and crop security from natural hazards.
The team has also invented a briquetting technology from tobacco wastes. Now, briquettes are produced commercially by our vendors and delivered in the doorsteps of our farmers at a very marginal cost. Beneficiaries have good experiences of using briquettes as alternate fuel as it saves both time and labor.
We also acknowledge the importance and impact of biodiversity to maintain the balance of the ecosystem and as a result have established 105 biodiversity corners with the help of our contracted farmers. These biodiversity corners comprise medicinal plant species which the farming communities use as herbal medicine and for ecological conservation.