Irrigation using surface water from rivers and canals and use of saline-resistant variety of seeds contributed to expansion of Boro cultivation in some coastal districts, says a government project report.
It says demand for salt-tolerant crop seed varieties is increasingly high among farmers in the districts, especially after the disastrous cyclone Sidr that hit 30 districts in 2007, claiming over 3,000 lives.
It adds that training and technical support to Sidr affected farmers made them resilient to disasters and those techniques were found helpful during the cyclone Mahasen in 2013.
Many cyclone shelters built after Sidr appeared to be helpful during Mahasen, it adds.
A report on the outcome of the project implementation was disclosed during a workshop arranged by the Planning Commission at its office in Dhaka yesterday.
The multi-ministerial umbrella project “Emergency 2007 Cyclone Recovery and Restoration Project” (ECRRP) is comprised of seven sub-projects under six components. It was implemented by the Commission in 13 Sidr-affected coastal districts.
With help of International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank, the original Development Project Proposal (DPP) was approved by ECNEC on October 23, 2008 with total cost of Tk 755.19 crore. The implementation period was August 2008-June 2013.
However, with three revised DPP, the total ECRRP cost became Tk 274,779.85 lakh and the implementation period was extended to August, 2008-June, 2018.
Under component A, 2.30 lakh households or 103 percent of the targeted people were provided with crop, fisheries and livestock packages in 13 districts.
With hundred percent achievements under component B, 352 new shelters and 15 killas [elevated ground] were constructed. Conditions of 459 existing shelters and 343 kilometers connecting roads were improved.
With 97 percent achievement under component C, 513.04 kilometers embankment (with 34.23km new embankment) was completed. Also, 358 water control structures (with 167 of those new) and 18,405 metre “protective works” were completed.
Due to land acquisition problem, 1.2km embankments were not possible to complete during the project period, said Nazmul Hasan, team leader, Monitoring and Evaluation Consultants of ECRRP.
“Due to the project many farmers in the affected districts accepted new crops like maze, cow-pea, sunflower, watermelon and ground nut,” he said, while presenting the report.
It recommended that benefits of the crops, fisheries and livestock packages are needed to be sustained by the beneficiaries.
For this, the Department of Agricultural Extension, Department of Fisheries, and Department of Livestock Services should provide continuous technical support and counseling to the beneficiaries.
It also recommended constructing more multi-purpose shelters in the disaster-prone areas.
Mahmuda Begum, additional secretary, Economic Division of Finance Ministry, stressed on implementation of government projects in shortest time to provide maximum benefit to affected people.
Planning Division Secretary Md Ziaul Islam, ECRRP Task Team Leader Swarna Kazi of World Bank Office in Dhaka, Chief of Planning Commission's Programme Division Syeedul Haque, among others, spoke on the occasion.