A Project Roadmap for Agricultural Infrastructure Development in Bangladesh
Amentum’s USAID Feed the Future Bangladesh Agricultural Infrastructure Development Activity program started construction on our first market infrastructure improvement project at Nowpara market under Faridpur District. To make this possible, we first had to complete a market prioritization, produce a feasibility assessment, and develop detailed designs.
Collaboration for Site Selection and Construction Permits
Collaboration with government stakeholders for site selection and construction permits was the first priority. The team engaged many stakeholders including the community as well as elected and local administration representatives throughout various stages of project implementation such as site selection, design, and construction.
To ensure the sustainability of its interventions, the Activity secures written commitments for all prospective roads and markets from the respective local government entity who would be in charge operating and maintaining the infrastructure upon handover. Involving counterparts at all stages of site selection, design, and construction enabled the Bangladesh Agricultural Infrastructure Development Activity to ensure acceptance and adoption from local government stakeholders.
The FTF Bangladesh Agricultural Infrastructure Development Activity along with USAID visited Faridpur, Jhenaidah, and Jashore Districts last year. The teams met with a vast array of stakeholders including district administration, local government representatives, the local government engineering department, market management committees, market merchant associations, traders, buyers, and farmers. As a result of this visit, the Activity team recommended three market centers and two farm roads within Faridpur for needs-based infrastructural developmental work.
Consulting Women Stakeholders
Consulting women to integrate their needs into the infrastructure improvement planning also played a critical role in the process.
USAID FTF Bangladesh Agricultural Infrastructure Development Activity continuously consults women within the target communities, female market traders, local government representatives, and women leaders to capture their feedback and infrastructure needs in the infrastructure improvement planning stages. Through this feedback, the Activity identified key interventions and needs to include in its proposed infrastructure designs where it’s feasible such as sanitation, women’s corners, breastfeeding spaces, etc. This falls within the Activity’s cross-cutting intermediate result of improving access to markets and postharvest facilities for women, youth and other disadvantaged groups.
Private Partnership Outreach
Private partnership outreach to facilitate safe water for the Activity beneficiaries also played a major role. The Activity signed a memorandum of understanding with DrinkWell to explore a potential partnership to increase access to safe drinking water at the markets targeted by the Activity. DrinkWell provides technological interventions and technical capacity building support for establishing safe drinking water.
This project is the first of many that the Activity will carry out to support its overall objective of increasing the availability of quality agricultural produce for domestic, regional, and international markets.