Reaching meals and diet safety in distant areas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts | FAO

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Rural women and men in distant areas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts are actually extra optimistic about their future and their skill to withstand future shocks to their agriculture-based livelihoods. Operating from February 2013 to June 2014, an FAO-implemented challenge  efficiently promoted an built-in family farming method, primarily based on high quality seed manufacturing, and improved upland farming practices, fruit and vegetable manufacturing, poultry holding and dietary consciousness. With help from the European Fee’s Humanitarian Help and Civil Safety division (ECHO), FAO has labored with 6 200 women and men within the area to assist scale back meals insecurity, restore their livelihoods and strengthen their resilience to future shocks and stresses.

The Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) is a geographically and socio-culturally distinct area positioned in southeastern Bangladesh. Nonetheless scarred from greater than twenty years of political turmoil and civil unrest as much as the signing of a Peace Accord in 1997, this space is house to a lot of small ethnic communities which have their very own distinct traditions, languages and life. Massive components of the area are lined by rugged hills, which have made it distinctive in Bangladesh when it comes to agricultural practices and livelihood patterns.

Nearly all of the folks rely upon agriculture for his or her livelihoods, with many engaged in subsistence farming, together with a standard strategy of shifting cultivation known as jum.

Farmers have restricted capability to withstand power and seasonal shocks and stresses.  They’re significantly weak to occasions comparable to pest or illness assaults, pure disasters or localized flare ups of battle. In distant areas of CHT, meals insecurity is power and a widespread phenomenon, significantly in the course of the months between June and August. Throughout this time – overlapping with the monsoon season and the pre-harvest season of the jum rice – households run out of shares and have restricted alternatives to earn cash exterior the homestead.

Within the winter months drought can also be a daily drawback.  Meals insecurity is prevalent, and dietary standing is poorer than the remainder of Bangladesh.  From 2010 onwards, a sequence of pure shocks (pest infestations, flash flood, landslides, and many others) has worsened the state of affairs, affecting probably the most weak, particularly girls who typically undergo most by consuming much less in comparison with different members of the family.

From reduction to improvement: working with rural women and men to revive their agricultural livelihoods
The FAO intervention within the space constructed on an emergency initiative carried out by WFP in 2012.  A restricted money for work programme in two distant areas led to requests for technical help to rehabilitate the native manufacturing system from native farmers and the district authorities.  FAO partnered with ECHO and the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs (MoCHTA) to implement sustainable agricultural practices within the curiosity of higher meals and diet safety.

The challenge supplied crucial agricultural inputs (crops, horticulture, poultry); however the inputs had been additionally a chance for an in depth capability improvement to boost agricultural manufacturing, diversification and sustainability – in addition to dietary consciousness – to rural women and men. Girls had been the principle goal of horticulture and poultry interventions, contemplating the prevailing gender dynamics, and the totally different roles and tasks of women and men within the households of the CHT space.

The mixed efforts of distributions and coaching elevated revenue and resilience within the communities, in addition to supplied dietary advantages by the elevated availability and consumption of a wider vary of nutrient-rich meals, all of the whereas selling useful resource conservation at areas which undergo from pure useful resource degradation. As well as, the challenge labored with 200 lead farmers to grow to be neighborhood seed suppliers, in an effort to resolve, partly, the extreme lack of high quality seed within the area. 

The challenge outcomes have been important. Women and men beneficiaries had been capable of improve their rice inventory (on common the period of meals inventory period per households went from 4-5 months to 7-8 months) and began to develop greens and fruits within the homestead space, leading to extra diversified diets wealthy in nutritional vitamins and different vitamins. 

Partaking neighborhood labour for long-term resilience
For the primary time for FAO in Bangladesh, the challenge applied a Money for Work scheme (CFW) for the development of two small-scale dams. Constructed by the communities underneath supervision of an FAO engineer, these dams will enhance the potential of year-round entry to water in a area that suffers from excessive water shortage in the course of the dry winter months. Along with constructing neighborhood possession and accountability by direct participation within the building course of, improved entry to water by harvesting of monsoon rain is an efficient native degree answer to rising the resilience of surrounding communities.

This was FAO’s first discipline challenge within the Chittagong Hill Tracts, a tough area the place wants are in depth however improvement efforts have been restricted as a result of difficult situations of the world. Regardless of the difficulties, the outcomes of the challenge have been important and ECHO is committing extra sources to proceed and broaden the scope of actions. With this and different initiatives on this publish battle area, FAO has demonstrated, virtually, its dedication to enhancing resilience of weak communities.


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