Scaling up mechanization in Bangladesh through partnerships

Over the last two decades, a significant number of rural Bangladeshis – especially youth – have migrated to urban centers, looking for higher paying jobs and an escape from agricultural labor. Conor Riggs is the Global Director of Markets and Entrepreneurship at iDE. He says smallholder farmers in Southern Bangladesh are increasingly struggling to find and afford farm labor to help harvest crops and perform a variety of other on-farm activities.

Riggs says small-scale mechanization, such as two-wheeled tractors fitted with intensification machinery and surface irrigation pumps, can help farmers make up for this labor gap and increase productivity, while boosting the local economy by supporting micro- and small enterprises.

But as Riggs discussed at the recent Scale Up Conference at Purdue University, designing the perfect machine or technology is not enough to create sustainable, far-reaching impact. CIMMYT followed up with him to learn more about the role of markets and partnerships in bringing small-scale mechanization to rural Bangladesh.