By Anuradha Dhar/CIMMYT
A new CIMMYT book, Made in Bangladesh: Scale-appropriate machinery for agricultural resource conservation, highlights the innovative machinery that can be used with two-wheeled tractors (2WT) for sustainable farming and gives detailed technical designs to help standardize production quality, making the machines more accessible to farmers.
Agricultural mechanization in South Asia is helping conserve natural resources, improve productivity and increase profits, but many small-scale farmers have yet to benefit. Factors such as high costs and farmers’ lack of access to credit make the machinery unaffordable for resource-poor farmers. However, Bangladesh leads by example and has been a hotbed of innovation, particularly with the 2WTs that are more appropriate for small-scale farmers than the four-wheel variety. Bangladesh has a strong agricultural tradition – nearly twothirds of its population works in agriculture. It has achieved near self-sufficiency in rice production and has rapidly developed its agricultural sector over the past 20 years, despite being ranked 146th on the global human development index and having roughly half the per capita income of India. Bangladesh’s agriculture sector contributes 19 percent to the country’s gross domestic product. This is the bright side.