The Rural Resilience Initiative- R4

The Rural Resilience Initiative- R4

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In the present changing and uncertain climate condition global agriculture is under threat and shock. Farmers, particularly the small farmers in the agro-based countries like Bangladesh are already experiencing the negative effects of climate change. In order to protect small farmers plus their main income source agriculture, some immediate measures are to be taken at national and international levels.With an aim to building long-term resilience to climate change for food and income security the World Food Programme (WFP) and Oxfam (America) have successfully implemented a programme called ‘The R4 Rural Resilience Initiative’ in Senegal and Ethiopia. The Initiative has four risk management strategies viz. improved resource management through asset creation (risk reduction), insurance (risk transfer), livelihoods diversification and microcredit (prudent risk taking) and savings (risk reserves). One of the key features of R4 is bringing small farmers within agricultural insurance scheme by enabling the poorest farmers in Senegal and Ethiopia to pay for crop insurance with their own labor. Being protected by agricultural insurance, farming families facing a drought or other shock, no longer find themselves forced into desperate measures, such as selling their farm animals or taking their children out of school. Plans have been chalked out to introducing this Initiative in Malawi and Zambia. Of course a number of partners including the USAID are extending both logistic and financial support to keep rolling the great R4 initiative.
In the case of Bangladesh, the numbers of small and landless farmers are too large and their financial strengths very weak. But if they could be brought under agricultural insurance through implementing R4 strategies, I think their overall socio-economic condition will improve and they will be prepared to face the climate change disasters.
Yours truly,
Professor M Zahidul Haque
Department of Agricultural Extension & Information System
Sher-e- Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka.

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