Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and AR Malik Seeds (Pvt.) Ltd. (ARMS) will work together to introduce “Market Oriented Agriculture” for farmers to get more profits. To implement a pilot project JICA and ARMS has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on 22nd December, 2020.

Mr. Yuho Hayakawa, Chief Representative of JICA Bangladesh Office and Mr. Ataus Sopan Malik, Managing Director of ARMS signed the MOC to implement the pilot project to introduce “Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment & Promotion Approach” or “SHEP approach” for two years. This is the first time for JICA’s SHEP dissemination worldwide to make MOC with a private company.

ARMS will implement the pilot activity in Birganj Upazila of Dinajpur District, Jamalpur Sadar Upazila of Jamalpur District and Babuganj Upazila of Barishal District by close coordination with JICA and Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) for technical assistance.

From the initiative of ARMS, more than 900 farmers’ capacity will be developed in terms of production and marketing. In addition to that, their experiences through the pilot activities can be utilized to modify the original SHEP to “Bangla-SHEP”. In fact, ARMS will be a part of upcoming JICA project called “The Market-oriented Agriculture Promotion Project for Smallholder Horticulture Farmers through Multi-stakeholder Partnerships (Bangla-SHEP)” with DAE. The objective of the project is that the Bangla-SHEP extension package is developed to improve smallholder livelihoods in Bangladesh.

It is therefore expected that the farming through Bangla-SHEP can be beneficial not only for existing farmers but also those who are willing to start the farming. Furthermore, the farming should be attractive even for women and the youth as well in order to ensure food security and revitalize the rural economy of Bangladesh.