The Phase I of BMMDP aims at improving farmers’ well-being, specifically smallholders, through enhanced agricultural productivity and resilience to natural disasters.
Smallholder farmers in Bangladesh are extremely vulnerable to weather related risks, the intensity of which increases because of climate change issues. Due to their limited savings and access to social protection and agriculture insurance, smallholder farmers often face catastrophic losses including damage to a season’s crop or livestock diseases. The overall insurance sector in Bangladesh is underdeveloped and the agriculture and disaster insurance mechanism is non-existent. Without access to insurance, smallholders’ only available strategy for reducing exposure to weather risks is to limit their investment in high-value inputs and diversifying into off-farm activities. Low investment in inputs and services means they cannot lose much in the event of a disaster. It also means that productivity and returns on their investment remain low. These “low investment - low returns” risk reduction strategies condemn smallholders to remain in poverty or lead a life perpetually on the brink.