Perspectives Volume 40, Number 1 - Page 13

Goals of the MoU 1. Ensure balanced use of fertilizers and improved seed varieties for key crops, particularly through jointly demonstrating and marketing improved seeds and improved fertilizers in the areas where both ACI and AAPI are present. 2. Jointly conduct demonstrations of FDP and UDP, coupled with improved ACI seed varieties for crops and soils, for farmers in preparation for the 2014-2015 Boro season, both through direct training and through use of one another’s inputs in demonstration plots where applicable. 3. Promotion through ACI dealers, distributors and retailers to conduct demonstrations for educating farmers on fertilizer use and improved seeds, and for recommending optimal seed-fertilizer combinations for clients. 4. Develop, through visual presentation, leaflets and other product promotion on the use of FDP/UDP and improved ACI seeds for particular crops. IFDC Magazine Fertilizer Retailer Increases Sales with UDP Md Akkas Ali Mia sells fertilizer at his agribusiness shop in Matira, where farmers often receive agricultural advice from Moktar Hossain, a sub-assistant agricultural officer (SAAO) from Bangladesh’s Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE). When Hossain mentioned a new urea fertilization technique called UDP, some of the farmers wanted to try it right away, while others waited slightly longer. Before long, Ali had a new business: selling urea briquettes to local farmers. Now, UDP brings many farmers to his shop. Ali tells them about the benefits of UDP and asks them to spread the word. As these farmers began seeing the higher yields, they told others to visit Ali’s shop. Working with Hossain and other SAAOs, Ali’s sales quickly increased as more and more farmers witnessed the benefits of the new technology. “The SAAOs played the biggest role in popularizing [UDP] in the remote villages in my union. The farmers want to use [the technology] because they benefit from applying it, and we also make good profits,” said Ali. As his first stocks of urea briquettes sold quickly, Ali became closely acquainted with briquette producers who regularly provided supplies to him as demand grew for the technology. Agro-dealers’ cooperation with the DAE and AAPI is one of many reasons why more than 2 million Bangladeshis are now using UDP. Ensuring that these entrepreneurs know and are excited about the technology increases not only the availability of the product but its adoption among farmers. Ali is glad that the AAPI project works with