Organizing Resource Generation and Nutritional Support (ORGANS)

Project Description

Floating gardens

Implementation Period: March 2012 - August 2014

People living in the floodplain and wetland (haor) areas of Northern and North-Eastern districts of Bangladesh have limited livelihood options during monsoon (June-October) when most of the agriculture lands are inundated by water. As a result, people usually earn less to support their nutritional and daily needs.

The poor especially suffer from malnutrition during monsoon. The poor can overcome this situation if they are supported with alternative livelihood options during this period. In this context, an innovative approach - Floating Gardening techniques to grow crops (e.g. vegetables, seedlings),  which is already practiced by the farmers in coastal areas, could be a suitable livelihood option during the 3-4 months monsoon period. This can improve income, nutritional support and food.

In the Floating Gardening method, aquatic plants (e.g. Water hyacinth) are used to construct a reasonable sized floating platform on which vegetables and other crops are cultivated, and seedlings are raised during the rainy season. The platform residue is used for winter vegetable gardening in preparation of beds. This cultivation technique is an environment-friendly means to utilize natural resources of the wetland to grow vegetables and other crops almost all the year round in deep haor areas. The organizing of resource generation of vulnerable community people has a positive impact on their livelihood pattern in the haor region.

IUCN Bangladesh jointly with CARE Bangladesh successfully implemented a pilot project in 2006 to introduce and promote environmental friendly natural resource based floating gardenings in three villages of Habiganj district under the SHOUHARDO Program. Realizing the immense potential to exercise this cultivation technique in the whole haor region under the SHOUHARDO program, IUCN Bangladesh implemented a project, entitled ‘Organizing Resource Generation and Nutritional Support (ORGANS)’  in 100 villages of all the four districts of SHOUHARDO Haor Region from 2007 to 2009.

The project was organized to raise awareness and trains the respective Village Development Committees (VDCs), relevant SHOUHARDO Partner NGOs and CARE staff in the project areas. It has further encouraged the target farmers to sell the surplus of their produces in the local markets and earn income for household livelihood support.

IUCN  is now implementing the ORGANS project gradually through an ideal partnership approach in Deep Haor (Sunamganj, Mymensingh and Jamalpur districts) and Char areas (Sirajganj, Pabna, Rangpur and Kurigram districts) of Bangladesh under SHOUHARDO II program of CARE Bangladesh. The Project will be implemented in 100 villages over the period from March 2012 to August 2014.
Goal of ORGANS project:
Provide nutritional security support to 1000 targeted households (Approx. 5000 people) of SHOUHARDO II deep haor and char regions. This is achieved by promoting year round eco - friendly household based vegetable gardening practices through natural resource management by involving the community.

Specific Objectives:

•    To organize and establish 1000 community based floating gardens by utilizing locally available natural resources in households adjacent to 100 villages of SHOUHARDO II deep haor and char regions;
•    To organize and establish 1000 community based winter gardens by utilizing locally available natural resources in household premises of approximately 100 villages;
•    To support nutritional deficiencies of poor household members and enhance their family income through the increas of vegetable production, consumption and selling;
•    To enhance their capacity with the involvement of Village Development Committees (VDCs) members in the year round vegetable gardening initiatives;
•    To encourage convenient selling of vegetable produces of community gardeners to neighbours and in local markets;
•    To raise awareness and capacity of the concerned PNGOs and CARE staff for replicating the vegetable gardening techniques in other operational areas of SHOUHARDO II Program.

Deer are common in the Sundarbans.
  • Project outline

    Project outline

    Photo: IUCN

  • Project sites

    Project sites

    Photo: IUCN