Among the poverty-alleviation interventions undertaken by government and
civil society organizations in Bangladesh are food-based strategies
designed to increase incomes and to alleviate micronutrient
deficiencies. Starting in 1994, credit and training in small-scale
vegetable varieties were provided to women who grow vegetables on small
plots of land on or near their household compounds in Saturia. In
Mymensingh and Jessore technical advice in polyculture fish production
was provided. These technologies had been developed by the World Fish
Center and were disseminated in two ways. In Mymensingh, they were
distributed to individual households that owned fishponds via a
fisheries project that began in 1990. In Jessore, they were introduced
via a medium-sized local NGO, Banchte Shekha, which arranged long-term
pond leases managed by groups of 5 to 20 women who received credit and
training starting in 1993.
This brief focuses on the long-term impact of these improved vegetable
and fish technologies, and whether early adoption is an important factor
in alleviating poverty and improving nutritional status. A summary of
the long-term impacts of the early adoption of three agricultural
interventions on household consumption, assets, and incomes; nutrient
availability and intake; and individual nutritional status is presented.
Across all three sites, the biggest returns to early adoption were in
the privately owned fishpond sites, where clear long-term gains were
found in terms of household consumption, assets, and aggregate nutrient
availability. For the improved vegetable sites, the emphasis on
targeting women enabled a technology with minimal income gains to
achieve substantial impacts on nutritional status.
IFPRI, Washington, USA/CPRC, Manchester, UK, 4 pp.
The long-term impacts of improved vegetable and fish technologies in Bangladesh on consumption, assets and nutritional status