Supporting farmers to improve their business and generate a better income.
Helping farmers improve their business in a difficult environment
In the precarious environment of the chars, the first concern of the rural farmer is to provide food for his own family. Initially, the main focus of Friendship’s agricultural project was to help farmers achieve food security. As people’s access to food has improved over time, the focus has now been extended to assisting the farmers to diversify their crops, increase productivity and earn income by selling their produce.
What we do
We provide farmers with loans. This enables them to buy seeds, fertilizers and farming equipment, with repayments spread over the course of the season or after harvest. Our flexible financial products are designed to help farmers buy the right equipment for their circumstances, as well as to extend their activities, for example by rearing cows for sale.
Identify other sources of income / other products
At times farmers seek to identify other potential sources of income either out of necessity (for example when their harvest is ruined by salt water during floods) or simply because they are looking for a means to diversify and enlarge their product range. We offer farmers assistance in resolving such matters.
We offer farmers training on improved agriculture practices. Training is interactive and introduces practical and affordable measures that can be easily adopted. The training also introduces new types of crops which help diversify production and enable farmers to exploit land which is otherwise unusable or under-utilized.
We offer extensive training on post-harvest handling and storage, so that farmers can store their surplus, harvest it and sell when market prices are higher. We advise how to obtain market information so that farmers in remote communities can access markets that pay a fair price. We also work to improve the business environment for agricultural producers by minimising red tape in the selling process.
How we have made a difference
Providing water for crop irrigation at the right time and in the right amount is not only important for crop growth but also prevents inefficient use of water and energy. We provide training on the use of irrigation pumps and may also help to finance their purchase.
Farmers frequently lack an efficient seed production and distribution system; often where seed is available, its quality is low. We provide financial support and advice to help acquire high quality seeds of suitable crop varieties enabling farmers to resolve the problems they face in establishing new crops.
We offer advice and flexible loan schemes to help purchase suitable farmers power-tillers and tractors, which can contribute to improving crop yields.
We enable char dwellers, particularly women, to acquire a cow or other types of livestock for fattening and sale during festivals as an additional source of income for the family.
During floods, farmers can see their harvest entirely destroyed when barriers are broken allowing salt water to seep into their fields. One potential solution is to turn to shrimp farming. We offer training and advice on shrimp cultivation enabling farmers to become solvent once again.
Think big, start small, begin now
Your donations will have a huge impact on the lives of those who need it most