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"Barishal Model" will be declared as a global standard for regenerative agriculture practices for countries enduring climate shocks.

An agricultural revolution for sequestering CO2 and restoring mineral-rich soil for a healthy and nourishing food system.

Photo of Asaduzzaman Polash
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Lead Applicant Organization Name

mPower Social Enterprises Limited

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Large company (over 50 employees)

Website of Legally Registered Entity

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 3-10 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?


Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?


Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Barishal division that covers an approximate total area of 13,120 km^2 and consists of six coastal districts of Bangladesh.

What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

Farmers in Barishal Division of Bangladesh are the most marginalized and vulnerable communities in the country since they are very exposed to natural disasters like tropical cyclones, river bank erosion, excessive and erratic rain-fall, storm-surge etc. Since the alleviation of the land areas in this region is just around 1 meter above the sea level, saline water intrusion is frequently disrupting the food-systems of the entire location. Also, there is a possibility of going the entire area under sea water in the near future that requires urgent measures to develop the adaptive capacity of the inhabitants.

However, in response to the climatic hazards damaging the food systems and changing the livelihood patterns of smallholder farmers of this area, adaptation of climate resilient and regenerative agriculture practices and technologies is relatively slow. Moreover, the people of this area are far behind the optimum use of the resources e.g. land, water-bodies and manpower etc. that they have for agricultural production. As a result, in one hand, smallholder farmers have been in the vicious cycle of poverty for generations, on the other hand, inhabitants of this location, especially the females and children are becoming more prone to various chronic diseases resulting from malnutrition.

mPower has been engaged in the development of agriculture sector in Barishal divisions through a number of interventions with the government and other local and international NGOs and donor agencies for years. Our agricultural extension services include innovative agricultural production systems, socio-economic integration of extreme poor marginalized groups, forming numerous and diverse types of farmer groups and entrepreneurs, mutually beneficial trade and service linkage between market actors by harnessing ICT reaching millions of farmers give mPower a strong field presence and prior working relationship with all the stakeholders of the agricultural sector in this region.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

“Rice, rivers and canals built Barishal” is a popular phrase in Bangladesh for describing Barishal Division. The region is traversed by numerous tidal rivers and canals covering almost 3,400Km^2 (26% of the total area of the region) through approximately 8,300Km^2 croplands (63% of the total area), 900Km^2 rural settlement (7% of total area) and only 20Km^2 urban settlement on marshlands formed by the merging of islands brought into existence and built up by alluvial soils washed down the great channels of the combined Brahmaputra, Ganges, Meghna river systems. Almost all the rural households have pond(s) covering around 300Km^2 area (2% of total area) and betelnut trees around their residents. A small area of mangrove forests also covers approximately 200Km^2 along the coastline.

The population is mainly composed of Muslims (88.06%), followed by Hindus (11.7%) and the remaining are from other religious beliefs. Just as the other regions in Bangladesh, people live on rice. Vegetables and pulse are popular throughout. Although beef, mutton and chicken are also popular, fish is the dominant meat of choice. Preparing various rice-made cookies during the harvesting season is a common scenario. However, due to low purchasing power apart from low awareness level, agricultural labourers, smallholder farmers, and fisherfolk who make about 70% of the households are not having a balanced and healthy diet regularly.

A large portion of the population of this area residing in close proximity to the Meghna Estuary and the Bay of Bengal are fishermen. But the lion portion of the population are smallholder farmers, who mainly grow rice due to the abundance of irrigation water and lack of suitable crop-lands for producing other crops following traditional farming methods. On top of that, unlike other areas in Bangladesh, most of the crop-lands are used as single cropped and remain as fallow land in the remaining period of the year. The situation is further deteriorated by the intrusion of saline water and increasing salinity in the croplands. The entire region is very exposed to various natural disasters like tropical cyclones, storm surge, river erosion etc. which devastate a huge amount of crops as well as crop-lands every year. Therefore, traditionally referred to as the “Granary of Bengal” for producing rice, Barishal is currently lagging behind other areas of Bangladesh in terms of agricultural production.

Consequently, the poverty rate in Barishal division is higher in comparison to the other parts of the country. Most of the farmers are sharecroppers while other work as agricultural laborers. Similarly, fishermen lack necessary capital and share their income with the lenders. So, a significant portion of the population of Barishal, especially the farmers, fishermen and day-laborers do not have adequate purchasing power to ensure sufficient food to meet the dietary needs for a healthy and productive lives of their families.

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)


What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Environment: Barishal is frequently exposed to tropical storms, flooding, river erosion and other natural disasters. Climate change is accelerating the old forces of destruction further. Sea-level rise is pushing saltwater into coastal areas and acres of farmable lands have already been rendered useless. It is promising further to permanently submerge the entire region in the near future. Farmers themselves are also depleting the organic matters in soil by many ways e.g. monoculture and imbalanced fertilization. These have profound negative influence on agriculture, which is worsening day by day.

Diet: Excessive use of inorganic inputs are producing contaminated food. In addition to contaminated food, domination of carbohydrates in food intake over other nutrients is also contributing to serious malnutrition as a risk factor in chronic diseases. Approximately 22% of children in this region are born with low birth weight, 41% are suffering from stunting and 16% from wasting. Half of the women are deficient in zinc and iodine. 

Economics: Average ownership of land per farming household in Barishal division is only 0.29 Hectares. More than 65% of them are landless and work as agricultural labourers. They have limited access to credit facilities and often forced to sell their products at low prices to intermediaries. Agri-input based industry and service sector is also not expanding for inefficient market infrastructure. As such, the scope of earning a sustainable livelihood from agriculture is rapidly shrinking. So the concentration of extreme poverty is highest (26.7%) in this region of Bangladesh.

Culture: Conventional perception of occupational dignity makes the youth group more interested to low-paid urban jobs than a sustainable career in agriculture. Although, women are playing a vital role in household agricultural productivity, food and nutrition security, social-taboos and cultural constraints are limiting their direct inclusion in agriculture till date.

Technology: Many rural farmers are not willing to adopt new technologies e.g. regenerative agriculture, localized weather forecast and customized agro-advisory services etc. for the old behavior of cultivation practices embedded in them for generations. Despite the benefits of pooling resources, lowering production cost and getting greater access to market, cooperative farming is also very negligible. Although the mobile technologies has been extended throughout the country, rural farmers are yet to harness its full potential in agriculture.

Policy: Issues like coordinated efforts for promoting regenerative agriculture, competitiveness of local farmers in changing national and global trade scenario, incentives to rural farmers in adopting regenerative agriculture, loose treatment of diversification, contract farming and supply chain development for high value agricultural products, and lack of linking farm and non-farm activities are inadequately treated at the policy.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

Environment: Our vision for carbon negative agriculture through regenerative practices such as agroforestry, cover crops, residue mulching, composting, crop rotation, conservation tillage, integrating livestock etc. will prevent farmers from the use of synthetic pesticides and fossil-fuel dependent nitrogen fertilizer to rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem. By placing a heavy emphasis on soil health, our vision will help smallholder farmers better withstand climate change impacts such as floods, land erosion and salinity. Our vision will also enhance better water management, fertilizer and pesticides use and more. Thus, our vision will ensure the best use of resources available, rather than depleting them.

Diet: Our vision will build a community of safe, healthy and nourished eaters. By decreasing excessive use of inorganic fertilizers and pesticides, our vision will replace contaminated foods with safe foods for the communities. Besides healthy soil microbiome full of necessary bacteria, fungi, and nematodes will produce more nutrient-dense foods. In addition, by improving the agricultural productivity and profitability, our vision will also increase the purchasing power of the farmer communities affording a balanced and healthy diet.

Economics: Our vision will transform and protect local food systems and long term well-being of farmers. Healthier soils will bring up healthier crops. Plants having the nutrients and root systems they need to thrive build compounds to protect insects and disease leading to better yield. It will also reduce farmers’ costs by eliminating external inputs and using in-situ resources. Having safe and nutrient dietary practices will also decrease the cost of medical treatment for their families. Thus, our vision will increase income, sustainable livelihood and the purchasing power of the smallholder farmers.

Culture: Our vision will address the untapped potential of the sizable growing demographics of youth and women by rebranding the agriculture as a lucrative choice of profession. In that vein, our vision will provide them access to knowledge, information, education, financial services and market linkage for promoting regenerative entrepreneurial agriculture ventures.

Technology: Our vision by engaging the young and women in agriculture will remove the reluctance of adopting new technologies to increase agricultural productivity since this cohorts are more likely to use new technologies. Our vision will also harness the rapid expansion of ICT through mobile technologies till the last mile of the country.

Policy: Once our vision will bring the regenerative agriculture as the mainstream agriculture practices among the rural farmers, especially among the youth group, the positive vibe will facilitate policy makers to fine-tune to existing policies as per the demand to advance the transition to regenerative food, farming and land management.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

If Barishal model is successful, we will see practices include multi-species cover crops, reduced tillage, regular crop rotation, compost fertilization and no more use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides. The holistic farming and adaptive multi-paddock grazing techniques will rebuild the soil organic matter in the region. With little or no antibiotic use in livestock farming and use of ecosystem (microbes and animals) to control pest and disease will transform the region into the world's foremost source of premium quality foodstuffs. In fact, Barishal region will export a significant portion of it’s production world wide after sufficing the domestic demand.

The widespread adoption of stress tolerant varieties that can cope with stress like salinity and heat without decreasing yield and use of various ICT based innovative solution will allow the farmers to practice resilient farming. Hence, even if few farmlands are submerged under water, Barishal region will grow more nutritious food in less amount of land. To help stabilize the land from further erosion and encroachment to the sea, a large mangrove forest will be created, which will not only add new ecosystem that sequester additional carbon but also safeguard the flora and fauna of the estuary from any imminent threat of natural disasters. This will mitigate the shock of climate change.

The use of ICT, machine learning by young farmers will transform the market system into an efficient food system with zero food waste and facilitate a relative win-win situation for the entire value chain. The year round availability of healthy and nutritious food at an affordable cost will improve nutrition and will significantly decrease malnutrition and other chronic diseases among children and women. The improved nutrition and WASH practices will also lead to decreased communicable and non-communicable diseases in the community, which consequently will facilitate a substantial low medical cost.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

Looking forward to 2050, Bangladesh's population is predicted to grow to 230-250 million and Gross domestic product (GDP) at purchasing power parity (PPP) terms is expected to grow to USD 3,064 billion. There are roughly 8.7 million hectares of cultivable land available in Bangladesh and 44.6 MT of rice will be required. Smart technology such as location specific variety, profitable cropping sequences, innovative cultural management, and mechanization coupled with smart dissemination using multiple means will ease the production barriers. While the regenerative farms use stress tolerant varieties which can produce optimum yields with organic fertilizer, their overall profits are 78% higher than the conventional farmers. Partly, this is because the regenerative farmers' need no cash outlays for purchasing costly insecticides and GMO seeds. They also will have two or more sources of income on the same acre — they graze their cattle on rise residue after harvest and get a premium price for pastured beef.

Barishal will pioneer a polyculture food system where vegetables and fruits will be cultivated in zones that benefit from passive irrigation, and natural fertilizer will be provided by on-farm animals, composted manure, and biomass residues. The relationship between the cattle and chickens is dynamic, cattle graze cells intensively for 1–5 days, and chickens then graze that area, feeding off insect larvae around cattle manure. This will provide a protein-rich diet for egg production while also fertilizing the pasture with chicken manure. The beneficial effect of irrigating pasture covered by chicken manure during night will be rapid regrowth of pasture due to soluble nitrogen being fertigated into the grass pasture, providing soluble nitrogen to the grass ecosystem of root microbiome. Rapid uptake of nitrogen by the diverse pasture not only will provide rapid regrowth of grass, it will also reduce the amount of nitrogen gas released into the atmosphere from chicken manure. The practice will make the pasture suitable for grazing again in a far shorter time and results in a higher rate of cattle production. In addition, there is no chance of water pollution. The holistic management and planned grazing by collective farming across the region will produce healthier livestock and birds, which in turn will result in better-quality meat, eggs and less disease by eliminating such factors as ticks and fleas.

Regenerative agriculture will offer a rich and rewarding avenue for family farms and community cooperative farms to transition to a more sustainable future underwritten by the community. Barishal will develop a pro-farmer market system that ensures no middle man can gain huge financial returns which will result in farmers receiving almost all of the profit from value chain. This direct sales to local consumers will make farming attractive to the younger generation because of increased profit. These young farmers will proactively use social media platforms to target a large segment of customers and consumers will be able to pay the commodity price directly to the farmers using digital financial services. Regenerative agriculture will offer a rich and rewarding avenue for family farms and community cooperative farms to transition to a more sustainable future underwritten by the community. Bangladesh will invest a large amount in post-harvest value chains which will offer tremendous opportunities to cut the losses, making more food available to the consumers.

Producing enough food to meet demand at reasonable prices is necessary but not sufficient to achieve improved nutrition. So, Barishal will address the non-food factors that are important for nutrition such as clean water, improved sanitation and hygiene. Understanding the need for diet diversity for meeting nutrient needs, Barisal region will aggressively push for homestead horticulture. The increase in purchasing power will result from affordable and available fruits and vegetables will result in a more diversified diet and increased intake of micronutrients. Improved gender equity will play a pivotal role in ensuring women, including female farmers and farm workers to have access to check-ups during pregnancy and post-pregnancy phase and knowledge about safe food preparation. Furthermore, ICT based capacity building for ensuring sufficient intake of food to meet energy and nutrient needs during pregnancy and lactation will reduce child stunting significantly. The effect of this nutrition improvement will create a positive effect throughout the life cycle for every member of the society due to sufficient micronutrient ingestion and lowering the risk of obesity.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Website

Describe how your Vision developed over the course of the Refinement Phase.

Over the course of the refinement phase we looked into the practicality, inter-connectivity and system readiness of ‘Barishal Model’ to transition into a sustainable and regenerative  food - nutrition - environment nexus. We have conducted multiple Key Informant Interviews with different stakeholders across the value chain and surveyed farmers over phone to understand their concerns and willingness to share our vision. In addition, we have consulted with a number of local NGOs, grassroots organizations, community leaders to collect their feedback about our vision about Barishal model which will be reflected in the refinement phase answers. One thing reflected from these interactions is that the people in Barishal region are some of the most resilient people of the planet and they will be supportive of changing their behavior and cropping pattern to adapt to the post 2020 reality.

Please provide the names of all organizations you meaningfully partnered with to develop this latest version of your Vision (they contributed at least 10 hours of time to the Vision development during the Refinement Phase).

To refine this vision, mPower has worked closely with many organizations. From the financial industry, we have collaborated with IFC. Throughout last year, mPower has organized 50+ video shows with farmers in the Barishal region to introduce a dozen innovative CSA techniques and technology. In the refinement phase we have randomly surveyed these attendees to understand the effectiveness of this community learning method. Local NGOs such as NSS who have promoted ‘Floating Garden Agricultural Practices’, ‘remediation of a saltwater spill on land’ have contributed in the refinement phase. Market linkage and fair pricing  is essential for successful replication of the model hence ‘Agromars’ (a promising local organic food retail brand) have collaborated with us in this phase.

Describe the specific steps you took during the Refinement phase to include different stakeholders to develop your Vision, including a description (age, profile, and total number) of the stakeholders engaged, and how you engaged with each.

We have been nurturing our visions for years and working with different national and international NGOs, different agencies of the government of Bangladesh. As soon as our vision is promoted to semi-final, we have shared it among the stakeholders at different layers as we already have a prior working relationship with most of them from our years of experience in the agriculture sector in Bangladesh and abroad as their technology partner. From International Finance Corporation (IFC), Mr. Harsh Vivek (Age 40), Program Leader, South Asia Food and Agribusiness Advisory Services, gave his valuable inputs. Harsh is a graduate of Oxford and experienced international development professional in Climate Change Adaptation with a demonstrated history of working in South Asia. To represent the voice of the individual farmer interviews we are mentioning lead farmer Mr. Asit Kumar Barman (56) and Ms. Parul (39). Mr. Asit is a farmer from Barishal and MS. Parul is from Patuakhali. They grow rice and mungbean and are very respected among local farmers for innovative and adaptive practices. Our KII’s with local NGOs was represented by Mr. Shahabuddin Panna (44) who is the ED of NSS (an NGO of coastal district of Barguna) who worked on community resilience for the last 20 years. We have also consulted Tauhedul Islam Shahazada, Executive Director, PRANTOJON AGRO ENTERPRISE from Barishal district. Mr. Mahmud Hasan (38), CEO of Agro Mars was engaged with us from the very beginning of the refinement phase. From INGO, The Director of Research of Precision Agriculture for Development (PAD) Ms. Tomoko Hargaya (33) contributed with her insights. We interviewed Mr. Mahmud Hasan (43) and his team of Agromars who are passionately working to transform the agricultural market linkage. Mr. Oahedul Haque (47), In-charge, AICC and Shantana Rani Halder (45), M&E Specialist, NATP-2 were engaged as government officials.

What signals and trends did you draw from to inform your Vision? Please provide data or examples that back up each signal or trend.

Bangladesh has come a long way from being a chronically food deficit country. Even though our population has more than doubled, cereal crop production has kept pace with hungry mouths (WFP, 2016). So, if farmers of Bangladesh are able to feed its enormous population it is capable enough to adopt regenerative agricultural practice to overcome the shortfalls of non-cereal crops, animal proteins.

The formation of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) as apex body is another signal that will usher improved testing/ monitoring and labelling which would encourage consumers to purchase traceable locally grown food with fair price (USAID, 2018). With increasing income more people can afford fair priced safe foods. Such consumer behavior shifts would reflect on the grower/ trader food production tendency. For example, in 2030 one person would look for vegetables with pest infestation or asymmetrical shape. The reason being she wants to make sure that the produce is not showered with chemical pesticide. This proves the growing awareness about food safety.

Consumption of unsafe foods are responsible for contracting food borne diseases (FBD) as well as cancer and renal failure. According to the Health Directorate of Bangladesh, More than 4.5 million people in the country are at a health risk due to FBD. The total productivity loss associated with food-borne disease in low- and middle-income countries is estimated to cost US$ 95.2 billion per year, and the annual cost of treating food-borne illnesses is estimated at US$ 15 billion. (Jaffee, et al., 2019) As medical cost is skyrocketing in Bangladesh sooner the policymakers would strongly enforce the food safety measures to curb this public health outcry.

For residents of coastal and river island Barishal, rising sea levels and riverbank erosion are causing loss of homesteads and arable land. But resurgence of age-old practice of  floating gardens techniques (locally known as Dhap) are crop cultivation in Barishal (FAO, 2019) is testament to how resilient and regenerative agriculture can become by scaling local knowledge. 

Describe a “Day in the Life” of a key food system actor within your food system in 2050 (e.g., farmer, chef, supply chain actor, food policy actor, etc.).

A day in the life of Hasina Banu in 2050. She lives in Barguna district of Bangladesh with her husband and two daughters. Hasina is a leader of farmer cooperatives who has become a pioneer in regenerative and dhap agriculture. After waking up in the morning of Autumn, she goes to the yard and releases her free ranging chicken and duck flock. For breakfast she and her family eat omelette, milk and papaya- all her homegrown. Despite a devastating cyclone that hit her area last summer, she could grow enough food because the variety she grows is extremely resilient. But Hasina’s ongoing crop is a major challenge for her because of unusually hot months in that time of year. But she could water through rainwater harvesting she did back in the rainy season. For lunch she eats rice, brinjal, mashed orange flesh sweet potato and ruhi fish that she purchased from her neighbour who cultivated it in a rice-fish culture. After the conference call with buyers she posts the success of the negotiation in their social media group. Later she was sewing a new nakshi kantha in the afternoon at that time she received two calls from farmers of another group about a new kind of pest. She immediately connects them with an agronomist and they all join a conference call to know more about mitigation and prevention strategies. In the afternoon, three educated youth come to visit her from Pirojpur district who want to pursue a career in agriculture, Hasina gives them advice about new trends of agriculture and how to learn new techniques or who to consult. She thinks she has done a good job because the young chaps seemed more confident and enthusiastic. At night her neighbour Khaleda visits her. She is a very successful fish and seaweed farmer. 

Environment | How will your food system of 2050 adapt to climate change and remain resilient?

Saline water intrusion, coastal land degradation, storm surges and drainage congestion due to high water flow and sedimentation are some of the environmental challenges in the Barishal region. The Eco-region is severely vulnerable to climate change through increased salinity, high tides, water-logging, uneven rainfall, flood, drought, extreme heat waves etc. Vast tracts of land remain fallow in the dry season due to increased salinity and lack of irrigation facilities in the winter season. Cropping intensity in the Barishal area is very low, compared to other parts of the country. To feed millions of people, food production in coastal areas will shift to exclusively saline tolerant crop varieties by 2030.

Salt-tolerant rice varieties such as BINA Dhan 8 and BRRI Dhan 47 introduced under Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) project have been introduced, and have to be propagated across the region. This will result in more mutation and regional adaptation so the staple crop will not be severely affected as per the projection. But rice alone can not meet the food requirement so Australian Center for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR) developed salt tolerant wheat and pulses variety with Bangladesh Wheat and Maize Research Institute. This production technology if scaled up will help families to utilize their fallow land in dry season which will ensure food and nutrition security at farm household level in coastal areas. In addition, pulse being a legume will act as a soil conditioner by fixing biological nitrogen which along with compost and excrete of bovine and poultry will eliminate the need for using chemical fertilizer. Such cereal production intensification will have the potential to close the gap between current national wheat production levels of 2.7 million tons. Our lead farmers have expressed that by using early rainfall which is now happening almost every year, the technology can be adopted at community level if sufficient seeds could be provided. But more importantly farmers will be able to sell these crops to generate sizable profits and improve their income.

Beyond varieties, cultural practices such as soil flashing (washing soil with fresh water) for four times is good for reducing soil salinity from 4 dS/m to 0.49 dS/m. Monsoon rain water could be harvested in the canal, ditches to do the soil flushing. BARI researchers have suggested that one time flashing during the reproduction phase for Boro rice (irrigated year round rice) improves the yield. Dibbling rice seeds in Aus season (July-August) help to avoid direct contact of seedling with saline crust at the upper layer of the soil. Cultivation of Dhaincha (Sesbania bispinosa) as a crop in T. Aman-Fallow cropping pattern can reduce capillary movement of salty water through evaporation.

The threats of pests and diseases may intensify due to global warming and anomalous weather patterns. The resurgence of Brown planthopper (BPH) has become quite common both in Boro and T. Aman in Bangladesh. Pest tolerant variety development like BRRI dhan35 (resistant to BPH) and BRRI dhan55 (tolerant to some major diseases and insect pests) are some promising examples. Bangladeshi scientists are in the process of developing variety with multiple resistances both against the biotic as well as antibiotic stresses. So, by 2050 farmers will be able to grow crops that are extremely resilient.

Directly increased temperature causes thermal stress that leads to reducing quality & quantity of milk produced, meat production, reproductive efficiency etc. Besides, increased temperature increases potential for morbidity and death through spreading of vector-borne & food-borne diseases, host resistance. (GCF, 2019) Livestock contribute 15% of the anthropogenic GHG emissions globally (Gerber et al., 2013). But homestead livestock rearing is often associated with positive environmental gain than net negative impact from commercial farming. However, in Bangladesh, domestic animals such as cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat and poultry accounts for the emission of CH4, N2O as a by-product of enteric fermentation, manure management, anaerobic lagoon and other liquid system (Shayka Jahan and Kalam, 2013). The emission rate can be minimized by optimizing the ruminal environment, which can reduce excretion of GHG during ruminant digestion and manure management practices. 

Soil health degradation due to erosion and nutrient depletion is a common problem in Barishal. Biochar can be a great option to improve the health condition of soil. Biochar is a charcoal which can be produced through a pyrolysis process. Biochar is a soil amendment which can increase the Organic Matter in the soil and also has the potentiality to hold water in soil. It can agitate the microbes and also provide a favorable environment for their growth and activities as well as the plant growth (SAU, 2018).

Diets | How will your food system of 2050 address malnutrition in all its forms (undernutrition, micronutrient deficiency, metabolic disease) for the people living there?

In Bangladesh, very little improvement has occurred in the quality and diversity of diet. Cereals still occupy a preeminent place in the diet in the Barishal region. According to a survey published in the Lancet (2019), the number of deaths for poor dietary choices increased in the last three decades in Bangladesh. The low intake of fruits (below 250 grams per day) has been identified as the leading dietary risk according to a report of Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). So, Horticulture-based food varieties, namely fruit and vegetables, are vital for a diversified and nutritious diet. Increasing dietary diversification is the most important factor in providing a wide range of micro-nutrients and this requires an adequate supply, access to and consumption of a variety of foods.

Nutritional deficiency is a common phenomenon especially in rural areas of the country. The Barishal model will radically improve this situation by improving the homestead area under vegetable and food cultivation up to 80%. Following the model of That is the goal of the Year-Round Fruit Production for Nutrition Improvement project of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE). Pirojpur is already nationally famous for Guava plantation and Papaya is grown in almost every household. But we envision the improvement of local fruit varieties by farmer to farmer using different techniques.    According to the agriculture ministry, 56 varieties of fruit were cultivated around a decade ago. This now stands at 72.

A 2019 report by the World Food Program (WFP) has revealed one in eight, or more than 21 million people, cannot afford a nutritious diet in Bangladesh. The report calls for urgent actions for providing better access to diverse and safe nutritious foods at all levels of society and empowering women and girls to improve their nutritional status. To improve such situations GAIN Bangladesh has worked through alliances with various stakeholders to improve Adolescent Nutrition, Better Diets for Children, Large-Scale Food Fortification etc. Using proven methods of GAIN, such as home fortification and social behavior communication change, the Barishal model seeks to reduce the prevalence of anemia in rural areas.

The Barishal region has always been one of the key areas of the country to grow coconut. To improve homestead fruit plantation the government has been promoting short and high-yielding coconut plants to farmers that produce 200 coconuts a year from the third year of plantation and have a better chance in the coastal areas to survive cyclones. Barisal region, producer of about 70 percent guava in the country. The farmers are often compelled to sell the perishable item for throwaway prices. However, since Padma bridge is under development, the arrangement of good transport facilities between the guava producing areas and other parts of the country is happening by next year. But local entrepreneurs should have adequate preservation facilities and setting up industries for producing jam, jelly and juice from guava is needed to address the post-harvest loss.

Homestead aquaculture increased household food consumption and improved dietary diversity by generating additional cash income and stimulating higher fish consumption from home production. (Tamanna et. al, 2019) Homestead reared animals are performing a variety of roles, either supplying milk, meat, eggs, power for household and fertilizer for crop production. By intensifying the village chicken, livestock and fish production system through improving selective breeding among ingenious breeds could be a useful micro- economic strategy. Overall, homestead agriculture is important in overcoming seasonal availability of foods and promotes household self-sufficiency.

Economics | Where and what will the jobs be that support living wages in your future food system of 2050, and how will these jobs impact gender equality?

Despite rapid economic growth, a larger number of people remain vulnerable to food insecurity in the face of periodic shocks such as natural disaster or pest/ disease. The progress has been uneven across demographics. In addition, cultural norms used to dictate a better diet for males over females. Persistent poverty, inadequate nutrition information and gender inequity cause pervasive malnutrition among women. But Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in the last 20 years in improving the lives of women and girls. The country has held its top most position among the countries of South Asia. (Global Gender Gap Report 2018).

By intensifying and diversifying, the production of homestead vegetables would provide the household with direct access to important nutrients that may not be readily available or within their economic reach. In addition, home gardening increases the diversity of foods, which in turn address multiple micro-nutrient deficiencies simultaneously. Home gardening will become a source of additional income for the household through the sale of garden produce after family consumption. Women are now the main caretakers of these gardens and will gradually lead the business side of the family farm. This empowerment will  ensure a better utilization of the income from the garden for food, and increases family welfare.

Most of the rural people of Bangladesh are engaged in ago-based economic activity. In this striving, the agricultural sector in general and the agribusiness in particular has the potential to perform a number of critical roles in transforming the Barishal region. We envision women-led agribusiness will help the poor landless people by creating job opportunities. This will improve the equal pay among female agriculture labor. Govt. led NATP 2 and World Vision Bangladesh's Nutrition Sensitive Value Chains for Smallholder Farmers (NSVC) project are some of the examples of projects that are changing the status quo.

Women face strong social and cultural constraints to participating in paid work outside the home, including agricultural work in the field (Sabroni, 2014) But this is rapidly changing and we believe economic empowerment of women will be achieved by full participation in farming. Between 1999-2000 and 2005-2006, men’s employment in the agricultural sector declined by 6%, while female labor force participation in agriculture more than doubled from 3.8 million to 7.7 million. These dynamics are also changing as gains from female employment outweigh the potential cost to social identity (Ahmed and Sen 2018). With increased economic engagement will lead to social empowerment that includes decision taking, implementation, mobility, control and enjoys benefits based on equality and full dignity. Then political empowerment will be visible that will include participation of women in all state activities (ADB, 2016).

In Barishal fish farming has huge potential to make a substantial difference to female earnings. USAID-funded Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition project has already developed a theory of change where women farmer groups are equipped with material assistance, training and regular advice to cultivate mix carp and mola (Amblypharyngodon mola) to help boost her family’s nutrition intake. Mola can be harvested frequently and is especially suited to small ponds. Mola is a nutrient-rich small fish that provides essential nutrients, in particular, vitamin A, calcium, iron and zinc. Including mola as part of the diet can help those suffering from malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, especially pregnant and lactating women and children. As the popularity of mola is continuing to spread through the rural communities of Bangladesh, female farmers are able to produce the different fish and also generate much-needed income. 

Culture | How will your 2050 food system ensure that the cultural, spiritual and community traditions and/or practices in your Place flourish?

Contemporary Bangladesh is a fresh boiling ground of cultural conversion. People of Braishal are experiencing a swift social change in the last two decades. Bangladesh is still primarily a rural culture, and the gram or village is an important spatial and cultural concept even for residents of the major cities. Most people identify with a natal or ancestral village in the countryside. The village household is linked to a pond used for daily household needs, a nearby river that provides fish, trees that provide fruit, and crop fields. The village and the household not only embody important natural motifs but serve as the locus of ancestral family identity. Urban dwellers try to make at least one trip per year to "their village." This sort of nuance makes Barishal and Bangladesh in general very ideal for the vision we propose. Since the cultural nuances are inclined to village life they are strong so creating role models in farming is likely to have a strong placebo effect.

Culture will play a key role in the implementation of the Barishal model and can be an effective framework to address the challenges faced by rural people. Newspapers and television, now-a-days, are filled with abundant praise and little critiquing that is why people are becoming more reliable on social media to communicate between themselves and their views. As a result of global induce to the social media citizens are more exposed to successful behaviors elsewhere. We are witnessing the gradual emergence of a universal, global culture based on values such as adherence to civil and human rights, gender equality, respect for the rule of law, acceptance of market forces as a mechanism for resource allocation (WEF, 2020).

Individuals are influenced by social preferences, social networks, social identities, and social norms and they imitate the behavior of others almost automatically. Rural people have social preferences for fairness and reciprocity and possess a cooperative spirit. hence, our vision can greatly install the cooperative spirit of farming. With better market linkage and high income potential will influence young educated youth to join in the family farm and radically shift the paradigm. In addition, human sociality implies that behavior is also influenced by social expectations, social recognition. Hence, with the success of young agri-prenuers to be highlighted through these alternative media channels is likely to greatly influence the upcoming generation. Indeed, the design of institutions, and the ways in which they organize groups and use material incentives, can evoke motivation for doing farming with utmost sincerity.

Mental models and social beliefs and practices often become deeply rooted in individuals. We tend to internalize aspects of society, taking them for granted as inevitable “social facts.” People’s mental models shape their understanding of what is right, what is natural, and what is possible in life. Currently the mental model of people about farming is labour intensive and non-technical positions dominated by undereducated poor households as a means for subsistence. However, we envision to change this factor by implying the importance of farmers from the ongoing COVID19 crisis. Our interventions will break this cycle and could increase the well-being of marginalized individuals enormously. Evidence from a number of contexts suggests that invoking positive identities can counteract stereotypes and raise aspirations. (Cohen and others 2009; Hall, Zhao, and Shafir 2014; Bennhold 2013).

Responding to climate change is one of the defining challenges of our time. Communities of Barisal are generally more vulnerable to the effects of climate change and will also bear significant costs but also have more adaptation impetus. Addressing climate change requires individuals and societies of Barisal not only to overcome complex economic, political, technological, and social challenges but also to get around a number of cognitive illusions and biases. To overcome this we have to revive the culture of storytelling to systematically update people's views and behavior. Rather than information, we will use the power of storytelling to express views based on what they have experienced from doing a new variety. Eventually, memories of personal experiences could become a reliable indicator that the climate has changed and that is the kind of thing they have to adapt to.

Technology | What technological advances are needed to transform your food system into one that meets your goals and embodies the values of your Vision in 2050?

Agricultural technologies can improve economic productivity and reduce time spent in agricultural production, processing, and transporting. Men and women have similar propensities to use technologies however; women are less likely to have access to them compared to men. Ensuring women have better access to agricultural technology, inputs, and information can help lessen the gender gap in agricultural productivity and increase agricultural output (FAO 2011).

Agriculture is an indispensable sector in Barishal with the majority of the population depending on it. To achieve our vision, the farmers of Barishal can no longer rely on the traditional indicators for making cultivation decisions for plowing, sowing, and harvesting. The recent improvements in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) are diversely remodeling the agricultural sector and help in setting up new milestones. The traditional approaches to agriculture are adapted to have numerous challenges in terms of production, marketing, and profit-making.

ICT has an immense potential to accelerate the rate of information diffusion, reduced service delivery, and achieving developmental milestones in the conventional agricultural ecosystem. Farmers have to embrace remote sensing, geo-information systems, precision fertilizer management, geo-fencing, and leveling of the plot to increase productivity. In addition, weather sensitive agro-advisory and pest prevention/ control alerts over their cell phones will be scaled up. Farmers of the future will receive video and audio training about alternative methods to pesticides use and regenerative use of soil fertility. We envision new startups will provide site-specific, precise farming recommendations via ICT tools.

The development in agricultural technology is not limited to increased farm production; however, it concentrates on creating better possibilities of interlinking financial institutions, service sectors, and unorganized farmers groups. Digital Financial Services like bKash and Nagad have millions of users across the country and in future banking and investment raising can be done over phone. This advancement will improve farmers' revenue sources; empower them to make the right decisions about future crops, and sell their product through appropriate marketing channels to achieve maximum profit.

The ICT enabled platform will connect smallholders with instant market prices and help them sell their products directly to the consumers. Due to the access to new markets, the absence of intermediaries, and reduced transaction costs and even enable them to secure buyers in advance. Furthermore, the banking sector can also provide support as crop insurance and micro-financing to small informal groups through a single platform. In addition to providing access to the global market, ICT would play a crucial role for Barishal model farmers in creating a common economic platform for the marginalized community of society and will empower women in particular.

Livestock’s versatility makes them central to the survival of millions of people in Braishal areas. Meat and dairy are excellent sources of protein, vitamins, and minerals, and when managed correctly livestock contribute to important ecosystem functions such as soil fertility. Imagine a scenario, where a cow lazily swishes its tail at a persistent buzzing, but the drone maintains its station hovering above the herd. The images it collects are analyzed with data from the low cost animal sensors. A few miles away, the farmer acts on the information and moves the cattle to the next fallow fields which will be used for crop cultivation two weeks later.

As discussed earlier, global warming induced temperature increases could accelerate the growth of pathogens and/or parasites which negatively affects livestock. Climate change may induce shifts in disease spreading, outbreaks of severe disease, or even introduce new diseases (Thornton et al., 2009). To ensure preventive and curative veterinary services for the targeted households ICT could play a pivotal role. This will increase resilience of livestock against drought-induced diseases, and consequently increase productivity. This service’s efficiencies will be ensured through providing support to the para-vet who regularly consult with veterinarians to administer problems in the respective community.

Farmers have always striven for efficiency. For millennia they have selectively bred animals to increase their inherent resilience and productivity. Future farmers of Barishal will have access to low cost science to bring animals to peak productivity. In future silvopastoral systems will be popular in areas with abundant trees where animals will graze among shrubs and trees with edible leaves or fruits, produce more milk and meat as well as being better for the animals and environment of Barishal. 

Policy | What types of policies are needed to enable your future food system?

There are a plethora of policy/ strategy documents relevant to broad agriculture and rural development in Bangladesh. Although fishery, livestock and forestry, appear less prominently both in terms of coverage and focus, these policies need to adapt with regenerative needs. Most of the problems in policy formulation and implementation arise because of the overlaps of the ministerial domains that are not clearly defined and demarcated. Thus, demarcating the domain of each ministry and establishing accountability in adhering to the defined limits of domain seems a serious issue to be addressed in formulating and implementing any meaningful policy. (MoA, 2016) From the outline and assessment of the policies, there seems to have been an ominous mishap in the scheme of thinking about Bangladesh's Agricultural Policy.

The mishap is related to the way development is being understood in Bangladesh. The Barishal Model is not an elixir for rural development problems but will play a significant role in elevating the status of rural poor and agriculture. Empowering farmers with the right information at the right time and place to improve their efficiency and increase economic returns with a minimal or no environmental impact will ensure sustainable land use for future generations. So, we need policies to proficiently respond to agricultural challenges and create an opportunity for farmers to increase their income and improve their life quality.

Future policies must be designed to make sure that food production today does not come at the expense of food production tomorrow. Through upcoming reforms we will have a policy that safeguards the assets that support domestic production by rewarding those farmers who take the health of soil, the quality and management of water, and the abundance of pollinators as seriously as the size of their yields.

We will shift away from current agricultural practice to create a series of schemes which are targeted at enhancing our environment, protecting our ecosystem and conserving our livestock locally. The policy design and implementation will be done in a way that is accessible for farmers of Barishal and that will provide high value for money for the consumers. Across the 2021s, these schemes will be at different stages of their life-cycle. Taken as a whole they will represent a significant shift by 2030, where the government will focus its role on promoting farmers who deliver benefits for the greater good.

Rather than designing one broad scheme, our current thinking is that Agricultural policy could be split into 3 distinct tiers. This will allow us to tailor each tier to the needs of different groups of farmers of crop, livestock and fisheries in accordance with different landscapes and land types, the adoption of different environmental ‘actions’.

When accounting for current gaps or lapses, and when considering possible policy solutions regarding food safety, it is necessary to consider the underlying incentives, or other motivating factors that will be enabled by scaling our vision. The motivation for this can come from various sources:

1) Primary farm producers can be motivated to change their production practices because this can protect their households against disease and enable them to tap more remunerative markets. Changing production practices can also come from family and social pressure from the community i.e. farmers collectives.

2) Businesses will be motivated to invest in enhanced regenerative capacity because of competitive gains, and from pressure from consumers and growers. If a significant majority do not use pesticides or chemicals these companies will research on regenerative IPMs or natural feed improvements to capture the market.

3) Political leaders may be motivated to invest in enhanced regenerative incentives  in the public pressure from constituencies and even urban consumers. Other motivations include gaining political advantage and reputation. In Bangladesh a large number of foreign remittance goes to purchase fertilizer and subsidize it. If regenerative practices decrease the demand, it will act as positive for the policy makers.

In addition, policies should promote knowledge and innovation are essential for a smart, resilient and sustainable agricultural sector. The policies of the future will both encourage increased investment in research and innovation and enable farmers and rural communities to benefit from it. Therefore, it is essential to build stronger agricultural knowledge and innovation systems to boost initiation and development of innovation projects, to disseminate their results and to use them as widely as possible. Ensuring a well-functioning ICT based system if it exists throughout the country will avoid duplication of efforts, saves costs, increases the impact of subsidy/ support and speeds up innovation.

Describe how these 6 Themes connect with and influence one another in your food system.

The Barishal model will create a more prosperous, competitive, self-reliant agriculture that means farming more efficiently and achieving higher productivity. More efficient production has the benefits of lower costs and higher yields for farmers, and in many cases a reduced impact on the environment. We will support farmers to improve business efficiency, reduce their environmental footprint and get a fair return for what they produce. We will also provide opportunities for farmers to lead research and development of new methods and technologies, providing a foundation for long-term growth.

To improve the cohesion and collective bargaining power, low interest loans can be availed for equipment, technology, and small infrastructure investments that will make an immediate difference to farm performance, including investments that help farmers use less inputs, reduce emissions, and cut waste, which will also benefit the environment. By opting Biochar, Floating farms and other positive deviant practices that are indigenous and innovative would benefit the agro-ecology and would provide ample food for consumption and sales. With increased participation of female farmers will lead to social empowerment that includes decision taking, implementation, mobility, control and enjoys benefits based on equality.

Like the model we envision a system where the health of the environment is improved by its organic component becoming regenerated. In a wonderful symbiosis, the living soil microbes, especially fungi, can draw other nutrients and water from the soil to nourish the plants. The individual elements of life feed one another in a mutually dependent and beneficial manner. By re-imagining the ecosystem through practices that build soil, recycle nutrients and store water it can become a regenerative system while still providing abundant food and other agricultural products. A complete picture of the total benefits and costs associated with regenerative agricultural management will be used to bring lasting change in culture and beliefs.

Barishal model advocate for an agricultural systems that are productive and better for the environment, the economy, farmers, farm-workers and eaters than the dominant conventional system. Based on comprehensive science and technology, the farm systems we envision will be multi-functional, bio-diverse, interconnected and regenerative. The scientific case for agricultural systems that renew rather than diminish resources is comprehensive, and research demonstrates the productivity and agronomic feasibility of such systems in Bangladesh. Yet, economically viable real-world examples are necessary to spur acceptance and adoption of such schemes that is what we want to do with the food system vision prize. 

Describe any trade-offs you may have to make within your system to attain your Vision by 2050.

Regenerative agriculture is not only a mitigating factor in terms of climate change but has the additional benefit of contributing to human health. There is an increased consumer demand for food that is produced in regenerative techniques because of high nutritional quality and quantity. In addition,regeneratively produced foods have no residues of harmful chemicals (IFOAM, 2016). These benefits need to be clearly communicated among consumers through different mediums.

Trade-offs are part of managing any farm. Farmers of Barishal farm a combination of crops and livestock, one of the most important trade-offs concerning the move to more regenerative systems might affect yields, pests and profitability. Crop yields decreased in regenerative systems by 29%. But while yield has served as the traditional metric of interest for farmers, that decrease in yield does not tell the whole story. The regenerative products were 78% more profitable than conventional plots. (Ecdysis Foundation, 2019) Hence, if we can communicate these factors effectively to farmer groups we can achieve our vision.

Regenerative agricultural systems, over time, require less external inputs, primarily in the form of fertilizer. There are both environmental and business reasons to conserve and restore soil on our farm fields. From an environmental perspective, good soil management can prevent air and water pollution, and sequester atmospheric carbon. From a business perspective, healthier soils lead to healthier crops, higher yields, and lower costs, typically resulting in increased profits. Regenerative farmers received higher premiums for their crop through certifications, by selling their grain as seed or feed directly to consumers. Farmers are able to benefit from a higher-value product, even if they aren’t able to produce the same high yields in terms of bushels per acre. This trade-off is a net positive on the ground and confirms that soil organic matter might just be a more important driver of approximate farm profitability than yield. Farmer more than anyone understand these factors and when we will use biochars and other soil improving techniques will gradually passed down to generation the next generation of farming would only.

Of course, it would cost money to convert conventional farms to regenerative approaches. One of the major sticking points in adopting regenerative practices is the combination of risk aversion and initial costs. On the other hand, for farmers and stakeholders able to assist in the process either through their commitment to the planet or simply to their bottom line, the potential for return on that investment over time is enormous for Barishal. 

3 Years | Describe 3 key milestones that you would need to achieve within the next three years for your Vision to be on track?

Stakeholder Engagement: 15,000 farmers collectives will be created across Barishal Division. 50% members of farmers collectives will be female and 50% will be graduate youths. 100 local NGO from different upazillas under Barishal Division will be engaged in our vision as the implementing partners.

Fostering Adoption of Indigenous Regenerative Organic Agriculture Practices: All the members of the farmers collectives will receive necessary inputs, technology, advisory services and market linkage to switch to regenerative organic agriculture practices: agro-forestry, cover crops, residue mulching, computing, crop rotation, conservation tillage and integrated livestock etc.

Self-Efficacy in Regenerative Agriculture: 80% members of the farmers collectives will report increased agricultural income in their households as they could ensure optimum use of resources available to them and confidence in regenerative agriculture practices. 

10 Years | What progress will you need to make—by 2030—that would set your Vision up to become a reality by 2050?

1) Area of cultivable lands and water bodies will be doubled despite climate change, increased number of population and development of industrial sector in Barishal zone.

2) The yield of nutrient rich and safe organic food will meet the local demand and gain a brand value that various national and international organizations using agricultural yields as raw materials will set-up production/processing units in this zone.

3) Half of the people who are vulnerable to climate stress in Barishal region today will gain resilience.

4) The health and nutrition status of the communities in Barishal region will remain at the top of the other regions of the coutnry.

5) 5 million households in Barishal division will have someone directly engaged in regenerative agriculture as it will be considered as a profitable venture for sustainable careers.

6) The contribution of Barishal division in national GDP will be doubled from agriculture sector.

If awarded the $200,000 prize what would you do with it?

If awarded mPower will use the money for scaling up regenerative innovations incorporating complexity elements and non-linear processes in smallholder agriculture, including multiple stress factors such as climate variability and economic risks through collective/ community led appraisal.

mPower is a dominant player in ICT based Agriculture in Barishal region. More than 100,000 farmers are our subscribed farmers in this coastal region in a range of crop and livestock services.Being an ICT pioneer, we have already used human centered design approaches to develop community co-created solutions with farmers of Barishal. SHUFOLA, our weather sensitive agro-advisory is one such model that has been validated by Boston based NGO Precision Agriculture for Development (PAD) through multiple Randomized Control Trial (RCT) and have been replicated in Nepal.

mPower will work with local experts, global experts of regenerative agriculture and lead/ innovative farmers from home and abroad to identify the best practices, resilient varieties, IPM and propagate them using Social Behavior Communication Change (SBCC) and farmer group to farmer group connectivity.

mPower will empower a number of female lead farmers with state-of-the-art tools, inputs to traverse home to home to promote homestead gardening, rearing chickens, ducks, goats and fish. 

mPower will also transfer knowledge about post-harvest management and food processing techniques to explore newer income pathways. We will also use the investment to create a market linkage platform for the premium regenerative marketplace. mPower will target the existing demand for a safe food market by providing end to end traceable meat, crop and fish products and gradually will help cooperatives to explore global markets. 

If you are chosen as a Top Visionary, The Rockefeller Foundation would like to share your Vision widely with a global audience. What would you like the world to learn from your Vision for 2050?

A general problem in addressing the issue of rural development is the lack of visions about the future of villages. In many parts of Bangladesh, rural ecology and village life have been weakened or destroyed by badly designed policies based on narrow-visioned concepts. Our vision believes the future of rural areas food and nutrition security will be determined by the farmers from the rural areas themselves. We believe women and men working in rural industry and services and especially the young generation who will be contributing to the future development of rural areas have to be introduced with old and new regenerative practices. Our vision is no one-shot solution but rather long-term system transformation about ‘rural inclusion’ with broad-based international and regional participation through market linkage and idea exchange.

Digitizing rural life will not be in conflict with the rich cultural heritages of rural people if they feel safe and can interact with each other. But only by investing in knowledge-transfer can the rural farmers capture the new opportunities such as food processing, contract farming. Therefore, to face the future, rural areas need adaptive innovations. The information systems, especially the new media will be used for promoting innovations and role model creation for young generations. 

Please share a visual that communicates the structure and operation of your food system in 2050. Describe the visual.

We envision farmer as a farm household who will be linked with each farmer cooperatives. The farmer and his/ her family will grow a variety of food and generate income with it. The cooperative will provide him with technical know-how, product certification. While stakeholders will provide a range of advanced technical services to improve their resilience. Farmer will be linked with market where he/she can securely sell their income.


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Hi Asaduzzaman Polash congratulations on putting together that covers all aspects of a food system through the 6 Vision themes. How might you use the time of refinement, to detail out your Vision by addressing your assumptions and testing them and getting more first hand stories of community feedback?

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