Agriculture, a determinant of socio-economic stability in Bangladesh, plays an important role in ensuring food and nutrition security of the growing population of the country, creating employment and economic development. The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)-2 aims to achieve end hunger through safe and nutritious food for all and the government has given importance to the application and expansion of modern technologies in the agricultural sector for sustainable agricultural production.

Due to population growth in Bangladesh, the amount of arable land is decreasing. In addition, floods, droughts, salinity etc are increasing because of climate change. As a result, the risks in crop production are becoming alarming day by day. Agricultural laborers are shifting to industry and service sectors, which creates labor scarcity in agriculture. To address these risks and challenges, there is no alternative to adopt mechanization in the agriculture sector.
PKSF is financing agricultural mechanization initiatives on a pilot basis to promote farmer-friendly agricultural machineries. The objective is to analyze the appropriate use of machineries, and financial and technical feasibility of different types of agricultural machineries. In view of this, different services are being provided including soft loans, training, machinery exhibitions, field days, agricultural machinery demonstration centers, construction of sheds etc. on partnership basis.

As a result of the the Agricultural Mechanization program, farmers in the working areas are becoming interested in using agricultural machineries. Agricultural entrepreneurs and cooperatives are buying and using agricultural machineries like combine harvesters, transplanters, rice harvesters and thrashers, tractors, power tillers, fish feed processors, etc. Use of these has reduced time for planting and harvesting crops, and dependency on physcial labor.
This program’s intenventions have made it possible to harvest, thrash and bag paddy in shorter times and lower cost, despite the labor shortage during the Covid-19 pandemic in different parts of the country.

Moreover, markets and new business sectors for the selling of spare parts of agricultural machineries are being developed. So far, PKSF has disbursed BDT 5 crore through seven Partner Organizations (POs) to implement the program.