Prices for irrigation, fertilizers, fuel, and labor are rising. Fresh water supplies are decreasing, and many farmers find it increasingly difficult to plant their crop on time to assure good yields and return on their investments. The CIMMYT team in Bangladesh created an inspiring video showing how farmers in South Asia are innovating to overcome these problems by using small-scale appropriate machinery and crop management practices that reduce tillage to save time, soil moisture, and money. The video, “Save More, Grow More, Earn More”, has been released in English and Bangla and features the work of the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia in Bangladesh (CSISA-BD).
The video shows case studies from two distinct environments in Bangladesh. In the coastal region, soil salinity and insufficient irrigation present serious constraints keeping farmers from growing a dry season crop. However, by using simple machinery that reduces tillage to allow earlier planting and keeping crop residues on the soil surface to conserve soil moisture and reduce salinity, a group of women in southern Bangladesh managed to forgo the fallow and grow a profitable maize crop. In central Bangladesh, where the cost of irrigation and farm labor is skyrocketing, farmers and local service providers teamed up to demonstrate the benefits of planting wheat, maize, and legumes on raised beds to reduce labor and irrigation requirements. The crop management principles used by both groups of farmers can be applied anywhere –it is possible to grow more, while saving time, water, and money!
“Save More, Grow More, Earn More” is being shown in villages across Bangladesh through traveling outdoor roadshows led by CIMMYT’s partner Agricultural Advisory Services (AAS). Thousands of DVDs have been produced, and the film will be featured on national television in Bangladesh. Furthermore, “Save More, Grow More, Earn More” has been re-released on a CSISA-BD training DVD entitled “Strengthening Cereal Systems in Bangladesh”, which also features four films on rice seed health.
“Save More, Grow More, Earn More” was developed in partnership with the Regional Wheat Research Consortium of the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) and with the guidance of Timothy J. Krupnik, CIMMYT Cropping Systems Agronomist, and Agro-Insight. Funding for video development and field activities was supplied by the Feed the Future Initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Cornell University’s Food for Progress Project funded by the Unites States Department of Agriculture.