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BRAC Bank partners with BAU to adopt salinity-tolerant crops in coastal areas

BRAC Bank, a leading financial institution in Bangladesh, has taken a significant step towards addressing the pressing challenges posed by climate change in the coastal belt of southern Bangladesh. On Sunday (23 July), the bank formalized a momentous partnership with Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) to launch a dedicated agriculture-focused Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative. The primary objective of this collaboration is to empower farmers in the region and enhance their resilience against the adverse impacts of climate change.

BRAC Bank has signed a significant partnership with Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) on Sunday (23 July) to address the challenges posed by climate change in the coastal belt of southern Bangladesh. The collaboration aims to empower farmers in the region by promoting the adoption of climate-resilient crops and implementing good agricultural practices, says a press release.

With this dedicated agriculture-focused Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, BRAC Bank will extend financial support to BAU for conducting research and training farmers, local government officials, and community leaders. The project will also focus on raising awareness about the development and adoption of climate-resilient crop production practices in the coastal areas of Bangladesh.

he objective of this CSR initiative is to enable farmers to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change, particularly as the intrusion of saline water into arable land intensifies due to rising sea levels caused by global warming.

The formal agreement was signed by Md. Sabbir Hossain, Deputy Managing Director & COO of BRAC Bank, and Dr. Khandaker Md. Mostafizur Rahman, Chairman and Dean, Bureau of Socioeconomic Research and Training (BSERT) of Agronomy at Bangladesh Agricultural University.

The ceremony took place at the bank’s head office on July 16, 2023, and was attended by Syed Abdul Momen, Deputy Managing Director & Head of SME Banking; Ekram Kabir, Head of Communications, BRAC Bank, and other senior officials from both organizations. From Bangladesh Agricultural University, Dr. Ahmed Khairul Hasan, Professor, Department of Agronomy; and Dr. Md. Salauddin Palash, Professor, Department of Agri Business and Marketing; were also present.

Throughout the two-year project, the collaboration between BRAC Bank and BAU aims to positively impact the lives of approximately 3,000 farmers residing in Satkhira, Khulna, and Barguna districts.

Bangladesh’s southern coastal areas face substantial challenges regarding crop productivity due to salinity in the water. Typically, farmers in this region can cultivate only one crop per year. In response to this issue, the project will provide targeted interventions, focusing on selecting saline-tolerant crop species and implementing management practices to alleviate salinity stress, aiming to enhance crop productivity. The research work conducted through this collaboration will ensure food and nutritional security for the most vulnerable farmers in the area.

Speaking about this special CSR initiative, Md. Sabbir Hossain, Deputy Managing Director & COO of BRAC Bank, expressed his enthusiasm, stating: “It is exciting to partner with Bangladesh Agricultural University in a research project that will greatly help the farmers of the coastal belt in fighting the salinity in arable land and increase the harvest. It is indeed fulfilling for us to foresee that the collaboration will help the farmers withstand the impact of climate change.”

He further emphasized BRAC Bank’s strong commitment to contribute to the real economy, especially the agriculture sector. The bank is dedicated to investing its CSR funds in areas that ensure a lasting impact on the well-being of the people and society while upholding sustainability principles.

Through this joint effort, BRAC Bank and BAU aim to catalyze positive change and foster resilience among farmers in the coastal regions of Bangladesh, effectively mitigating the challenges posed by climate change in the agricultural sector.

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