In the water-scarce Barind tract in Bangladesh, 2030 WRG is working directly with farmers on an agri-water management project that introduces innovative water-saving technology and production methods for mango and rice. The work, which started in 2018, is in partnership with The Coca-Cola Foundation. The project aims to reduce the demand for groundwater during production to generate significant water savings while helping to lower carbon emissions.
To address the whole value chain, the Introducing Water-Efficient Technologies (IWET) project operates around a network of farmer hubs that provide agricultural backward and forward linkages. Sixty of these farmer hubs are operating in the Barind region.
Over five years, the project has reached an estimated 190,000 beneficiaries directly and indirectly—with benefits to not only the farmers but also their communities and the clients of the farmer hubs who provide the services.
The groundwater abstraction avoided—saving through scaling high efficiency irrigation such as alternate wet and dry irrigation and drip irrigation—is 16.7 million cubic meters of water.
A Verra recorded impact evaluation confirms that the project has increased rice production by about 400 kilograms per hectare of land. Cumulatively, from 2018 to 2023, almost 380 hectares of land have been covered through direct alternate wet and dry irrigation interventions with farmers.
These social enterprises have already generated co-investment of about $0.20 million, with the network of farmers’ hubs selling about 120 tons of mango in the national market in FY23. This has also expanded to the export market, with about 11,000 kilograms of mango exported in FY23.
Compared to traditional mango orchards, the 160 ultra-high density demonstration plots have already achieved 200 to 400 times more productivity and they have not yet reached full capacity. As a result, local farmers are replicating the project using their own funds.
The project is directly supporting the farmers through infrastructure and technical support for setting up the drip irrigation network, with access to the ultra-high density mango saplings through the farmer hubs. A key benefit is that farmers add value—not only supplying mango as a fresh fruit but also pulping them, with access to export promotion for the best quality mangoes—while generating co-investment.
These social enterprises have already generated co-investment of about $0.20 million, with the network of farmer hubs selling about 120 tons of mango in the national market in FY23. This has also expanded to the export market, with about 11,000 kilograms of mango exported in FY23.
The project is also likely to be replicated through a new initiative called Climate Resilient Agricultural Advancement in Barind, which is directly funding one of the IWET partners to implement a similar project.
2030 WRG is also exploring the possibility of setting up a regional IWET multi-stakeholder platform accelerator that will combine lessons in agricultural water savings.