From May 3-5, 25 Sub-Assistant Agriculture Officers (SAAOs) under the Department of Agricultural Extension, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Bangladesh were trained on nutrition behavior change communication (BCC) for the Ministry of Agriculture’s Agriculture, Nutrition, and Gender Linkages (ANGeL) pilot project. SAAOs also received training on mobile payments, facilitated by USAID-funded Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research Activity (mSTAR) and Dutch Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL). Agriculture extension agents came from 12 districts, including Sherpur, Narsingdi, Khagrachhari, Barisal, Pirojpur, Gaibandha, Jessore, Sylhet, Bogra, Naogaon, Mymensingh, and Lalmonirhat.
Currently, SAAOs identify, maintain information on, and provide extension support to existing farmers and farmer groups within agricultural blocks. In addition to their current activities, participating SAAOs will disseminate knowledge to 25 households – husband and wife – on improved nutrition and hygiene practices.
Trainings are jointly organized by the Agricultural Policy Support Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture and Helen Keller International (HKI), with technical assistance from IFPRI’s Policy Research and Strategy Support Program funded by USAID.