Hello, who are you?
I am Mohammed Sorof Uddin known as “Sorof”, a horticulturalist at the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), and National Innovation Facilitator for the Mango cluster (niche) in Shibganj, Chapainawabganj. I have a BSc in Agriculture and an MSc in Horticulture from the Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh. I completed my PhD at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing. At present I’m a senior scientific officer at the Regional Horticultural Research Station, BARI, Chapainawabganj, working on improving the quality of mango production. In 2017, I received the Bangabandhu National Agriculture Award – the highest award in Bangladesh for Agriculture – for my work on mango bagging.
What are your roles and responsibilities as National Innovation Facilitator?
I have participated in several CDAIS training sessions and workshops to learn about facilitating farmers to work together to address their challenges and have introduced these concepts to mango farmers and their service providers. I have facilitated farmers to identify real problems in mango production and am working with the fledgling Shibganj Mango Association, to bring them together in a platform for producing safe, quality mangoes, particularly through thinking about soft skills needed to make the Association support its members. We have already finalized a coaching plan with specific goals and I will support the cluster to achieve them. In February 2017 I helped organize the capacity needs assessment for the mango cluster and was one of the facilitators at this event. I also participated in the pre-validation and validation workshops in Dhaka with two cluster representatives at where we learnt about the cluster Coaching Plan and how to help the cluster identify its objectives. I supported my cluster in the marketplace and organized the mango cluster inaugural workshop. I have also attended the advanced facilitation training and participated in the Fish and Pineapple cluster inaugural workshops and worked with the other NIFs to finalize the mango coaching plan.
What has CDAIS changed for you?
Working with the CDAIS project is very interesting. The various activities undertaken in Bangladesh has enabled me to learn many new things. This concept is new and seems to be very effective – particularly the different techniques, tools and methods for identifying the farmers real problems and how to help them be aware of what they need to do to overcome them. During working with CDAIS, my personal knowledge, skills and attitudes have also changed. To solve problems in exporting mangoes, a multi-stakeholder association is very important. Hopefully this year mango exports from Bangladesh will be smoother as a result.