Investigation by UBINIG (Policy Research for Development Alternative)
Smokeless tobacco use in Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, 20.6% of adult population (22 million) uses smokeless tobacco. The mostly used smokeless tobacco (SLT) products are Zarda, Gul and Sadapata. Overall among the 37.8 million tobacco users in the country, smokeless tobacco use is higher (20.6%) than smoking 18% . Bangladesh ranks the third (after India & Nepal) highest smokeless tobacco use among 9 southeast and south Asian countries .
The Smoking and Tobacco Use (Control) (Read More)
a. This study: Smokeless tobacco (SLT) use in Bangladesh is high, yet it is generally held that SLT manufacturing often occurs outside the tax net. This study examines SLT production, pricing and turnover for a sample of 88 SLT manufacturers operating outside the tax net and identifies factors perceived to contribute to non-payment of taxes by SLT manufacturers.
b. Study methodology: The study incorporated a desk review of research literature on SLT manufacturing in Bangladesh a (Read More)
Investigation conducted by UBINIG (Policy Research for Development Alternative)
Smokeless Tobacco Use in Bangladesh
Smokeless tobacco (SLT) is an addictive and deadly tobacco product that causes cancers of the oral cavity, pancreas, and esophagus and, for pregnant women, increases the risk of still births and premature delivery.1,2 Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of SLT use in the world3, 20.6% of adults (22 million people) and 4.5% of students (age 13–15 years old) consume SLT.4 (Read More)
THE report on the State of Food and Agriculture: Innovation in Family Farming (2014) by the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation estimates that 500 million small family farms, owning less than a hectare of land, are the source of more than 80 per cent of the world’s food supply. In Bangladesh small farm holdings (less than 3 acres) constitute 84 per cent of total farming households; medium farms 14 per cent and large farms (over 7.50 acres) are only 9 per cent, keeping to a 2015 Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics report. Reliable vital statistics are notoriously lacking in Bangladesh making a reasonable assessment of the state of agric (Read More)
THIS year, aman rice suffered severe loss due to a series of floods and untimely rain. At the household level, the farmers will have shortage of rice for consumption and selling, while at the national level people will inevitably face crisis of food since aman paddy cultivation provides 35 per cent of the total rice production of Bangladesh. Due to the recurring floods, farmers missed the planting season in the month of August. Most farmers could not prepare the seedbeds. In some areas, floods submerged the paddy fields with saplings of aman paddy. In August 2020, according to the ministry of agriculture, it has happened in at least 37 dis (Read More)
Brinjals, locally called Begun (in Bangla) by the people of Bangladesh, are the most common and favourite vegetable. On 17 May, 2020 the New Age, a national daily of Bangladesh published an article of mine [Akhter, 2020] titled “Aubergine Story: Local varieties exists, not GMOs”. In the article, I argued that in the month of Ramadan (month long fasting of the Muslim communities), the demand for brinjal (eggplant/aubergine) is the highest, because it is the main (Read More)
Conventional narratives, mostly nationalist, statist and GDP centered neo-liberal statistical accounts of development, outright miss or intentionally exclude certain salient facts about the stylized story of Bangladesh development. Bangladesh has been born through a bloody liberation struggle, but nationalist narrative exclude the fact that it is also the product of the international experiment in capitalist development policy, consciously ignoring social and political reform of feudal property institutions, military-bureaucratic state regime and the legacies of colo (Read More)
Local Varieties of Brinjal at Delduar, Tangail
Date: 12 September, 2020
BRINJAL IS GROWN IN RABI AND KHARIF SEASONS
Six varieties are grown in Rabi season. These include: 1. Kalo Lamba begun, 2. Shoila begun, 3. Jhumka begun, 4. Sada begun, 5. Lafa begun, 6. Singnath begun.
1. Kalo Lamba begun:
Jamalpur, Tan (Read More)
Brief history and functions of community seedbanks
In the late 1980’s, small-scale farmers practicing monoculture and chemical-based agriculture experienced loss of biodiversity and environmental degradation. The costs of production were rising beyond their capacity. In search for alternatives to chemical fertilizers and pesticides, farmers in the Tangail area of the country started Nayakrishi Andolon, a movement to support biodiversity-based ecological farming. The Tangail area was severely affected by the flood of 1988 causing severe loss of standing Aman crops (monsoon r (Read More)
Grown in Bangladesh in north Bengal (along the Teesta river banks) and other districts: 19960 acres (17%) of total cultivation. 12177 mt. tons (14%) of total tobacco leaf production. 12177 mt. tons (14%) of total tobacco leaf production. (UBINIG Factsheet: 2 August 2020)
Motihari tobacco (Nicotiana-rustica), a Bangladeshi native variety, is cultivated for its chewing quality and high nicotine content. This tobacco nicotine content is high (Read More)
UBINIG Factsheet 1 August 2020
Bangladesh has high consumption rate of smokeless or chewing tobacco. One in five (20.6%) of adult population (22 million) use smokeless tobacco such as Zarda, Gul, Khaini and Sadapata. Among adult women, tobacco use that is smokeless tobacco, is 24.8%, smoking rate is less than 1%. In contrast, use rate of smokeless tobacco among adult men is 16.2% while smoking is 36.2%. Overall among the 37.8 million tobacco users in the country, smokeless tobacco use is higher (20.6%) than smoking 18% (GATS, 2017).
The Smoking and Tobacco Use (Control) Ac (Read More)
Equality of women in paid work has been a long demand of the women’s movement and is one of the primary focuses in the Sustainable Development Goal 5. The SDG 5, among the 17 goals, is about empowering women and promoting gender equality. Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is a basic human right; and also a pre-condition for achieving overall sustainable development. Like other countries, in Bangladesh, patriarchal social, economic and cultural factors contribute to the unequal and discriminatory position of women in the society; particularly reflected in the paid works. According to UNDP report, globally in (Read More)
Monsanto in Bangladesh
Monsanto is not new in Bangladesh. The company has been actively selling RoundUp Ready in the Tea Gardens as Glyphosate herbicide for over two decades. Tea Gardens are located in remote areas in the north eastern geographic location of Bangladesh. It is only recently that Health hazards of unprotected tea garden workers are revealed only recently and linked to the unprotected use of pesticides and herbicide. However, the name of the herbicide company was never known until Monsanto representative in Bangladesh disclosed to the anti-Monsanto activists in 199 (Read More)
Betel quid or Paan-jarda use is a common practice among men and women in the rural and urban lower income groups. This is a socially accepted practice and unlike cigeratte or biri does not have any cultural barrier. Although it is an open practice, there is gap of information about the users, which becomes a constraint in developing any regulatory framework for reducing consumption under the provision of the existing tobacco control law as amended in 2013.
So far the information available about users is from Global Adult Tobacco Survey, 20091 (Read More)
Tobacco product ingredients: UBINIG-Tabinaj, 2016
Ingredients in tobacco products are used to increase their attractiveness, addictiveness, and toxicity. Tobacco product ingredients are the substances, components, and raw materials that when put together make up a tobacco product ready to be used. The main ingredients of tobacco products are: the processed tobacco leaf and the substances intentionally added to increase the attractiveness of the product to the consumer. Among these are substances that enhance the palatability, the product’s colour and physical appearance as (Read More)
Bangladesh is now in the 17th position in terms of COVID positive cases detected so far (22 June) with 115,786 confirmed cases and 1502 deaths [WHO, Bangladesh Situation Report #17]. Since March 8, when first three COVID-19 cases were detected among three expatriate workers who returned Bangladesh, the confirmed cases rose steadily. But since April 5, both the number of positive cases and death from COVID-19 started to increase exponentially, rising from 54 new cases on 7 April to 497 new cases on 26th April. From April 26 to June 26, the number of detected cases shows a (Read More)
“But tell me, your physician in the precise sense of whom you were just speaking, is he a moneymaker, an earner of fees or a healer of the sick? And
remember to speak of the physician who really is such…” – Plato (Republic 341C)
“You cannot fight a fire blindfolded” - WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press briefing on 16 March, 2020
COVID-19 pandemic is revealing the disastrous consequences of the neo-liberal development policy that systematically undermined and dismantled the social and the collective responsibility of the State towards its members. In the neo-liberal development paradigm, market dictates vital national concerns such as health, food, nutrition, livelihood and human behaviour. Systematic downplaying of the vital national concerns and its strategy to dismantle or reconfigure existing socio-economic relations and institutions contributed to among others the collapse of public health . The onset of Covid-19 pandemic made this collapse instantly visible, (Read More)
In the month of Ramadan (fasting by the Muslim communities for a month), the demand for brinjal/eggplant/aubergine is the highest as it is one of the most popular item, the Beguni, for Iftar time (breaking of the fast in the evening). Chola (black gram) Peyaju (fried lentil mixed with onions) and Beguni (fried eggplant mixed with beson, the gram powder). Health professionals do not recommend these fried items for empty stomachs after a whole day of fasting. However, from the rich to the poor, Iftar is incomplete without chola-peyaju-beguni on the plate.
This Ramadan, starting on 25th April, is different from all other years. The cou (Read More)
A gradual reduction in the contribution of agriculture sector to the GDP has been visible since 1990, when agriculture contributed 38% of the national GDP, in 2018 it stooped to a meager 13.7%. This is due to continuous lack of attention and proper planning by the government, which often takes decisions that proves to be detrimental for the greater interest of agriculture as a sector and those of farmers as productive population. Bangladesh is a country of small farm holdings (less than 3 acres), constituting 84% of total farming households; medium farms 14% and large farms (over 7.50 acres) are only 9% (GOB, 2015). Despite its decreasing (Read More)
It’s Earth Day
In the middle of such a large generational phenomenon that is COVID-19, let’s not forget how this is affecting people all around this earth. The huge impacts of this pandemic on our health, our families and our finances are even more devastating for those without homes; without a regular supply of soap and water; without money, a job or food.
Yet COVID-19 is hardly our only health crisis. There are 400,000 deaths each year on the African continent due to malaria, which is preventable and curable. The rate of active tuberculosis among the Inuit is more than 300 times that of Canadian-born, non-Indige (Read More)
THE COVID-19 pandemic has affected lives of people disproportionately, particularly the women, the marginalised and people who remain ‘excluded’ for various reasons. The majority of people have no access to internet and no time to listen to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research daily updates on COVID-19 on how many people are infected or died from the disease. Characterising the genetic construction of COVID-19 does not necessarily mean that scientists already know how this strange and invisible virus could be behaving as a pathogen. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic has already started affecting lives o (Read More)
Eighty-nine women, including artists, physicians, teachers, NGOs, lawyers, labour leader, writers issued a statement to the Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on 8th April, 2020 demanding to stop selling of tobacco products in the context of the outbreak of COVID-19.
We, the members of Tamak Birodhi Nari Jote (TABINAJ), the Women’s Alliance in Tobacco Control have long been working against the negative impacts of tobacco consumption. At present, we are very much concerned about the spread of Coronavirus in our country. We all know that (Read More)
In a country where health care facilities are already inadequate, how can the government and private hospitals are shutting down their medical services? A largely unnoticed, undeclared and sinister shut down of outdoor, indoor and emergency services raises serious questions about the right to health, more so during the time of COVID 19 pandemic. This is a picture of healthcare situation after the novel corona virus (COVID 19) outbreak in the country since 8th March, 2020 depicting serious violation of human of human rights. What should we contemplate to do immediately?
Systematic Denial of Healt (Read More)
As seeds play a pivotal role in maintaining biodiversity in our ecology, Nayakrishi farmers’ movement has been emphasizing its role in preserving diversity of seeds through the Community Seed Wealth Centers. Farmers use diverse variety of seeds, particularly of rice, in the daily lives as well as on different religious, social and cultural occasions during a year. So the yearly crop cultivation is planned not only to produce the staple food but also various other food dishes that require special varieties of rice, vegetables, fruits etc. In order to create awareness about it on a broader scale, and also among the farmers, UBINIG and (Read More)
UBINIG research on Rice varieties and religious festivals is focused on the conservation and sustainable use of rice diversity in Bangladesh and how the rice varieties used and planted are intrinsically linked to religious festivals, food culture, land morphology and the climate that shape rice farming/cropping in this region. The information was collected from farmers in the villages who have been growing different varieties of rice for different uses of food preparation.
UBINIG has also been running Community Seed Wealth Centers (community seed banks) and the Nayakrishi farmers are managing them in ensuring the conservation of the (Read More)
Badarkhali Union of Chokoria Upazila, Cox,sbazar district is located in between the Matamohuri river and the Maheskhali channel. This union is prone to cyclone and tidal surge. Heavy damage to life and property had happened due to the cyclone in 1991. Badarkhali Union is a part of the recently eroded Chokoria Sundarbon. Chokoria Sundarbon was a natural flora and fauna and was the support for long chain of animal life, fisheries, important food source of birds and other mammals. Mangrove forest is unique in its abilities to store a wide range of nutrients and plays important role in nutrient re-cycling. But complete destruction of Chokoria (Read More)
In addition to the normal and abnormal floods, many char areas suffer from river bank erosion. The flat delta lands of Bangladesh offer little resistance to the hydraulic forces of its rivers, particularly during periods of high flow. As a consequence, in many regions rivers such as the Jamuna run wide rather than deep: easily 10 km wide at places during high water, yet rarely in channels with sides deeper than two or three meters.
At least five million people in 20% of Bangladesh’s Upazilla (local administrative regions) are at risk of losing land—home and village—from riverbank erosion at any one time. Among them (Read More)
Six hundred thousand saplings of Keora (Sonneratia apetala) and Bain (Avicenia officianalis)
were planted on more than two kilometers area extending from Badarkhali bridge to Lambakhali, the newly accreted charland since 3 September, 2019. These included 4 lakhs saplings of bain (66.66 percent) and 2 lakhs saplings (33.33 percent) of keora. Twenty six Local skilled workers worked on 3–5 September, 2019 for planting the saplings in the Chakaria Sundarbans on the eastern bank of Moheshkhali channel..
Another batch of 6 skilled workers had pruned the small branches of the saplings and fixed those cut branches around the sa (Read More)
Most of the fields of aman rice were submerged due to flood in Delduar upazila, Tangail district. Not only the local variety but also High Yielding Varieties (HYV) including BR 11, BINA 7 and BRRI dhan 49 were also damaged. Even then the farmers did not lag behind. The farmers had again transplanted aman rice seedlings those who could manage seedlings. However, this task was not so easy. The story of some of the farmers are presented as follows:
Salam Mia: I was very much upset when my rice in the field was damaged by flood, not only due to loss of crop but also the seed for sowing next year, mentioned Salam Mia of Kasba Atia villag (Read More)
i. UBINIG conducted a short survey in December, 2018 and early January, 2019 on the adoption and abandonment of Bt brinjal by farmers on the basis of the claims of higher adoption of Bt brinjal by farmers. Forty-eight farmers were interviewed out of the list of 106 farmers who were selected by Department of Agricultural Extension for cultivation of Bt brinjal during 2014-15. The purpose of the survey was to check if the farmers receiving seedling in the early rounds are continuing for the later rounds till 2018-19. Farmers were given seedlings of fo (Read More)
Preserving the diverse varieties of rice is not just an act of conservation; it is for the happiness of the farming families on different cultural and religious occasions. On August 12, Eid-ul-Azha, the second largest religious festival of Muslims, was celebrated across the country following the 10th day of moon of Arabic month of Zilhaj. This festival is marked with slaughtering of sacrificial animals including cows, buffaloes, goats and sheep and few other animals. According to the Department of Livestock Services (DLS) 4.58 million cows and buffaloes, 7.20 million goats and sheep, and a large number of other sacrificial animals were av (Read More)
A training workshop was organised by Zan va Zamin (Women and Earth) and National Republican Centre of Genetic Resources of The Tajik academy of Agricultural Sciences, Tajikistan on awareness, knowledge and capacity building on establishing community seed banks during 21-24 June, 2019 at Sanatorium Shaambari-Saturn, Tajikistan. (Please read full Report in pdf file)
Zan va Zamin is a public organization in Tajikistan operating since 1999 working to guarantee access to the land for the women in rural areas and on preservation of traditional knowledge and (Read More)
Four Cell Analyses: richness, evenness of biodiversity- Participatory research for estimation of the state of biodiversity of a particular geographical location.
A discussion meeting involving some farmers of Mamudpur and other villages was organized on 16 June, 2019.
1. Surya Begum, village: Babupur, 2. Ali Hossain, village: Babupur, 3. Osman Ghani, village: Mushuria, 4. Amena Begum, village: Mamudpur, 5. Rina Begum, village: Mamudpur, Nabiron Begum came from Fazilhati village and participated as an observer.
These farmers have been involved with Nayakrishi for long and have been playing (Read More)
Summary of the speech of Farhad Mazhar delivered to Nayakrishi farmers on 12 April, 2019 in Ridoypur Biddaghor, Tangail.
Nayakrishi Andolon is now known to the world as a strong farmers’ movement in Bangladesh. Those who work with farmers for preservation of seeds, biodiversity and environment are friends of Nayakrishi. Now people around the world are trying to find ways towards pesticide-fertilizer free agriculture, or ways to rebuild bio-organic foundation of agriculture. The future of agriculture is bound to rely on life-affirming biodiversity-based farming. Everyone understands the simple fact that no one will survive by p (Read More)
ON MARCH 7, 2019 the director general of the International Rice Research Institute, Dr Matthew Morell visited Bangladesh Rice Research Institute. He discussed with the director general Dr Md Shahjahan Kabir on ways and means to strengthen collaboration on some frontier technologies and projects such as Golden Rice, C4 Rice, Zinc Enriched Rice, and Transforming Rice Breeding etc.
In the next few days, Dr Morell visited other institutions such as Krishibid Gobeshona Foundation at the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council and ACI Agribusiness. He also met the prime minister Sheikh Hasina at the prime minister’s office. His vis (Read More)
30 Chaitra, 1425 (13 April, 2019) YOU ARE ALL CORDIALLY INVITED. Organized by Nayakrishi Andolon, Nabapran Andolon, Beez Bistar Foundation and UBINIG. T A N G A I L Celebrations, On 30th Chaitra, 1425 (13th April, 2019) special meals with shaks will be prepared by farmers, and everybody is invited to taste the food.
Nayakrishi farmers will collect at least 14 Shaks (leafy vegetables) from the pesticide-free environment of their Nayakrishi villages, along with other vegetables. They will cook them at Ridoypur Biddaghor. This will be a concrete entry to formal and informal discussions about the situation of biodivers (Read More)
Dhaka Tribune, a Bangladeshi daily, published a report by Reaz Ahmed on IFPRI ‘s Btbrinjal study on March 7th, 2019: “5-yr after releasing its first GM crop Bangladesh says farmers gain by adopting Bt brinjal”. Till now we have not been able to get a copy of the IFPRI report. Nevertheless, until we could put our hand on the full report and make our detail critique, we felt the media report demands some immediate response.
On the international women’s day, I would like to talk about goats and climate change and will argue why these issues are fundamental for women’s movement as an international concern. This is very important to bring our senses back and ground them on real and concrete life experiences of woman in order to prepare us to grasp a wider, meaningful and practical notion of ‘woman’. Urban elite middle class women cannot claim that their understanding of ‘women’ and accordingly shaping of the international woman’s day, as it is projected now a days, is indeed not about their own class, but about woman in (Read More)
INTRODUCTION of genetically modified crop is a highly risky venture, particularly in a country like Bangladesh that is rich in biodiversity and bio-geographically known as the origin of diversity spot. Despite the known risks, Bangladesh has been targeted for experiment and field trials of GM transgenic crops such as Bt brinjal. This has been done despite the resistance from the farmers, scientists and environmental activists. Apart from the risk of biological pollution and health hazards, the debate over the scientific claims and agronomic value of Bt brinjal has not been settled. Promoter’s claim about the effectivity of this highl (Read More)
It is well-recognized fact through various public health research works, although insufficient, that smokeless tobacco consumption cause certain health hazards. Some smokeless tobacco products, such as Jarda and Sadapata are consumed with betel leaves, known as paan, along with lime and betel nut. This is an open and common practice among men and women. Another common smokeless tobacco is Gul, commonly used as an oral tobacco powder which is rubbed over the gum and teeth. Being a tobacco preparation, jarda, sadapata and gul are addictive in nature and cause harm to the users. As a public health concern, these are also included in the defin (Read More)
Tobacco cultivation in Bangladesh has always been river-based to exploit the fertile soil. Tobacco, mostly Flue Cured Virginia (FCV) and Barley variety, is a company sponsored crop grown since the last five decades. According to official data for 2016, tobacco is grown on 46,472 hectares of land, producing 87,628 tons of tobacco leaf. Bangladesh ranks 14th for area under tobacco, 12th for production in quantity, and has a share of 1.3% of global tobacco production (FAOSTAT 2018).
Tobacco cultivation has been expanded in Bangladesh, not due to increased interest of the farmers, but to appropriate fertile lands, source of fuel woods a (Read More)
SINCE 2014, Bangladesh has been commercially field testing four Btbrinjal varieties. In October 2013, on its last day of the session, the 9th parliament approved the genetically modified eggplants. The timing was strategic — a very agitated political situation prior to the national election was a convenient moment to introduce an inappropriate and unsafe technology. Btbrinjal has hardly any agronomic value but threatens Bangladesh with potential biosafety risks. Btbrinjal is the first GM vegetable crop that got the government approval despite protests from environmental and farmers’ organisations. Mahyco, the Indian counterpart (Read More)
Smokeless tobacco (SLT) constitutes more than 50% of tobacco use among men and women in Bangladesh. Yet, it has received less attention in tobacco control policies and actions because of perceived less harmful health effects than smoking and social and cultural acceptance of its use in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is one of the South Asian countries, where 80% of all smokeless tobacco are consumed as these are integral to culture, being incorporated in their traditional values, spirituality, beliefs, festivals, marriage ceremonies, lifestyle, rituals and popular entertainment .
Smokeless tobacco (SLT) is included in the defini (Read More)
Smokeless tobacco (SLT) constitutes more than 50% of tobacco use among men and women in Bangladesh. Yet, it has received less attention in tobacco control policies and actions because of perceived less harmful health effects than smoking and social and cultural acceptance of its use in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is one of the South Asian countries, where 80% of all smokeless tobacco are consumed as these are integral to culture, being incorporated in their traditional values, spirituality, beliefs, festivals, marriage ceremonies, lifestyle, rituals and popular entertainment .
Smokeless tobacco (SLT) is included in the defini (Read More)
The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) recognizes the need to promote economically viable alternatives to tobacco production as a way to prevent possible adverse social and economic impacts on populations whose livelihoods depend on tobacco production. Moreover, Parties agreed to have due regard to the protection of the environment and the health of persons in respect of tobacco cultivation and manufacture.
Article 17 regards the provision of support for economically viable alternative activities and Article 18 the protection of the environment in respect of tobacco cultivation and manufacture and the health of p (Read More)
The Nayakrishi Seed Network (NSN), known as the Nayakrishi Beez Shongho in Bangla, is the active farmers’ network of Nayakrishi Andolon with specific responsibility to ensure the collection, conservation, distribution and enhancement of seeds among the members of Nayakrishi Andolon. Women farmers are the key actors and leaders in the network. Community Seed Wealth Centers are run by farmers as the apex body of the Nayakrishi Seed Network linked with the Seed Huts (known as Beez Akhra) at the village level.
Here is a Policy Brief of UBINIG on farmers seed system supported and published by Bioversity International, a CGIAR Resea (Read More)
Healthy local seed is the key to ensure the natural and bio-productive foundation of the community. Nayakrishi Seed Network organized a training program to operationalize this principle of Nayakrishi Seed Network in Ridoypur Biddaghor, Tangail, during 13 to 15 May, 2018. The objectives were sharing the experiences of management and operation of the Community Seed Wealth Centers (CSWC) and the Seed Huts(SD) and identify strategic conceptual questions for learning by solving problems and on management issues. The anticipated outcome was to develop practical strategies to strengthen fa (Read More)
Seed exhibition in Lalon festival
The 'Sadhushongo', the congregation of the saintly practitioners of wisdom and intitiated by Fakir Lalon Shah as the "Gour Purnima" festival is an attraction for common people and for farmers. Cheuria, in the District Kushtia of Bangladesh, obtains a festive mood during the three Full-moon days with hundreds of thousands of people coming from all around the country as well as from across the border. This is also an opportunity for the Nayakrishi farmers to invite people attending the festival and demonstrate their art and wisdom of biodiversity-b (Read More)
The word ‘economy’, as originally derived from Greek, is not about numbers, quantities and calculations but about the management (νέμoμαι ) of the household (οίκος). Implicit in this notion of household is first of all the active role a household plays in the biological reproduction of both the members of the family as well as the ecological and material foundation of farming, i.e. the conditions of production and secondly, the exchange and distribution of the products that may or may not take monetary forms or calculated in monetary terms. Here we use the word ‘economy&rsq (Read More)
South Asia Regional Workshop on Global Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Women: A Human Rights Perspective.
Bangladesh: country perspective on the impact of the current crisis on women, their livelihoods and human rights
Bangladesh Economy in the face of global crisis
In Bangladesh, any change in the global economic situation is felt almost directly. The years from 2007 to 2009 have been very difficult because of the effects of global financial crisis on the local economies in countries like Bang (Read More)
The socio-economic conditions of our country have made female labor very cheap to obtain. And therefore there is an overwhelming presence of women workers in the garments sector of our industry. There are more than 4,500 garments factories comparing to that of handful in the 1980’s. There are about 3 million workers working in this sector alone; of them 95% are female workers. Their hard labor brings in the much needed foreign currencies. The remunerations that are awarded to the workers are highly incompatible compared to the hard labor they put in every day. They are forced to live a life faced with extreme hardship. Therfore, mise (Read More)
The Dinlipies published since Bengali year 1398 (1991-1992) according to Bengali year which starts from Baishak (mid April). Upto 1418, diaries were published for twenty years and then stopped because of introduction of electronic media for keeping notes. These were particularly meant as women's diary as women have been maintaining their own diaries for centuries without being noticed. Every year the Dinlipi present a specific issue to be elaborated throughout the year.
Flooding, first started in the northern bioregions of Bangladesh and gradually affected the middle sections, submerged more than a third of the low-lying country during July to September, 2017; it took away at least 132 lives and affected more than 7.5 million people. Crops on more than 10,000 hectares (24,711 acres) of land have been washed away while another 600,000 hectares (1,482,632 acres) of farms have been damaged.
Besides damages to houses, schools, roads and other infrastructures, the loss of crops particularly the main paddy season of Aman was significant. Crops on 6.11 lakh (61 million) hectares of land were damaged by f (Read More)
Bangladesh must ensure food and nutrition for the people and prevent an alarming increase in non-communicable diseases caused by tobacco consumption and production. In order to achieve that goal, reclaiming all lands occupied by tobacco and immediately shifting to food production and agroecological restoration of damaged landscapes is a priority. As a fertile riverine delta with biodiverse agrarian systems with rich indigenous knowledge of food production, it makes no sense to allow tobacco companies to abuse Bangladesh’s fertile soils for a crop that hardly benefits economically, rather costs ha (Read More)
Flood affected 52,000 people in 58 villages, 8 unions of Delduar Upazila in 2017. Flood water entered quickly in the villages from the Dhaleshway river, and its innumerable tributaries. In addition there was heavy rain. The farmers could not anticipate anything about the un-expected heavy rain and the flood. Elashin, Dewli and Lauhati unions are closely covered by the rivers. Flood water entered into other villages and unions.
The farmers of Delduar upazila are not only self contained in food grains but also they supply the surplus to Dhaka and other districts around. The crops in the field have been affected by the flood, likewise (Read More)
Natural Calamity is their regular companion; whenever there is a slight ray of hope, there is also a dark cloud nearby, this is the scenario of the people of 13 villages of Sonatoni union, living in the middle of Jamuna river, Shahjadpur Upizala of Sirajgonj district. Flood drought, dark fog are regular phenomenon year after year, causing huge loss of crops. Rarely any government service is available here. The local farmers have been facing these calamities and experimenting approaches and agricultural practices for facing the disasters with their own wisdom.
This year flood water started rising during late April and early May. Hea (Read More)
Context of maternal health
Reduction of maternal mortality rate is one of the most important health goals of the government of Bangladesh. The present rate of maternal mortality is 194 per 100,000 live births showing that Bangladesh could not achieve the MDG target of 143 per 100,000 live births by 2015. However, the decline in MMR from 322 in 2001 to 194 in 2010, a 40 percent decline in nine years was significant achievement. Now the new goals are set for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The 17 new SDGs, also known as Global Goals, the target is to reduce the global maternal (Read More)
Role of Upazila Parishad for implementation of Safe Food Upazila:
The 17 Government departments have been doing effective public awareness and programs for implementation of Delduar Safe Food Upazila side by side with their routine activities, as per the invitation of the Delduar Upazila Parishad since its declaration by the Upazila Parishad in collaboration with UBINIG (Policy Research for Development Alternative) on 15 September, 2015.
Routine activities of Delduar Upazila Parishad for implementation of Delduar Safe Food Upazila: (Read More)
The Monsanto Tribunal is an international civil society initiative to hold Monsanto accountable for human rights violations, for crimes against humanity, and for ecocide. Eminent judges heard testimonies from victims, and delivered a legal opinion following procedures of the International Court of Justice. A distinct and parallel event, the People's Assembly, was a gathering of social movements from all over the world that exchanged ideas and planned for the future we want. The Tribunal and People's Assembly took place between 14 and 16 October 2016 in The Hague, Netherlands. On Tuesday April 18th 2017, the judges publicly presented their (Read More)
Deb Carstoiu, Managing Director of plant biotech communications at CropLife International wrote a report on Bt Brinjal farmer Anisur Rahman Sheikh in a northern district of Bangladesh. According to Carstoiu, ‘Rahman Sheikh recently planted biotech eggplant for the first time. The biotech variety (Bt eggplant) repels or kills the fruit and shoot borer, and Rahman Sheikh is confident that it will make a difference for him and his family’. (see Deb Carstoui's 'PPPs: Planting the seeds of (Read More)
A snapshot of Newshour Extra Talkshow (ATN News) broadcasted on February 4, 2017.
WHAT is the role of the ministry of environment and forestry in giving approval to a government project? I wanted to ask the very question to the minister directly in a TV show in which he featured recently. I couldn’t get through. So here I am asking the question for his kind attention.
The Newshour Extra Talk show of ATN News on the night of February 4, 2017 invited the honourable minister, Anwar Hossain Manju, ministry of environment and forestry. The talk show is featured sadharaner janya prashna (questions for the public) as ekai eksh (Read More)
After repeated failure of Bt Brinjal another food crop, very common vegetable Potato is genetically modified and waiting for approval for field cultivation. This is Blight Resistant Potato (RB Potato). This is a matter of concern as Bangladesh is being used for easy introduction of GM crops for its weak regulatory authority.
Failure of field cultivation of Bt brinjal, the so-called first GM crop in Bangladesh, did not stop Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) from abusing the authority and resources of a public institution.
Without clarifying the criticisms ag (Read More)
FCA created in 1999 and formally established in 2003 is made up of nearly 500 organisations from over 100 countries.
FCA works on the development, ratification and implementation of the international treaty, the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
The WHO FCTC is the world’s first modern-day global public health treaty. It requires Parties to adopt a comprehensive range of measures designed to reduce the devastating health and economic impacts of tobacco. FCA is also a leading advocate for including the FCTC and global tobacco control in (Read More)
An initiative of UBINIG with rural healthcare providers
Despite significant efforts in maternal health care by the government and the NGOs, Bangladesh continues to remain high among the countries having high maternal mortality rate. The present rate of maternal mortality is 194 per 100,000 live births showing that Bangladesh could not achieve the MDG target of 143 per 100,000 live births by 2015. However, the decline in MMR from 322 in 2001 to 194 in 2010, a 40 percent decline in nine years was significant achievement. Now the new goals are set for Sustainable (Read More)
Zianagar Upazila, Pirojpur Dtitrict (Rice)
Rice growing areas at Zianagar upazila can be categorized into high and los lands. Low land areas occupy about 85 percent and high land about 15 percent. Local varieties of rice are grown in most of the land. Fine grain rice is grown in high lands. Remarkable fine grain rice varieties include Dudhkalam, Bethichikon, Banshful and Lakshmibilash. Low lands are grown with coarse grain rice like Kalamoti, Hargozal and Mathamota. The fine grain rice varieties in the high lands were at half mature stage when the SIDR stroke the area. Clay and (Read More)
I feel humbled to write on my visit to the cyclone SIDR area after about two months. I could not go earlier, I feel bad about it. Finally, I visited Pirojpur on 7th January, 2008. The cyclone SIDR hit the coastal areas of Bangladesh on November 15, 2007. Almost two months have passed. In the past months, I have heard many reporting from my colleagues who visited the area by 20th November and also were involved in the immediate relief works. In Dhaka, like everyone else, I was glued to the television to see the electronic media reporting. The journalists were quite sincere in presenting the devastation and sufferings of people to the people (Read More)
Rally Speech: 12 May, 2008, at Planet Diversity Congress, Bonn
Main Theme: “For biological diversity – regional, fair and GMO-free!
I bring greetings from the farmers of Bangladesh and representative of Nayakrishi farmer Rekha Begum and my colleague Shima Das Shimu who are also here today to join the farmers and activists from around the world to celebrate our strength of diversity and to resist against all kinds of destructive policies and practices that destroy biodiversity.
We are here today at a time when “food crisis” has become a globa (Read More)
The 2009 edition of The State of World Population was released just before the 15th Session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP15) to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark from 7 - 18 December, 2009. It shows that climate change is more than an issue of energy efficiency or industrial carbon emissions; it is also an issue of population dynamics, poverty and gender equity. In Bangladesh, the UNFPA Representative, Mr. Arthur Erken launched the report at Hotel Sonargaon in the capital city Dhaka. The focus of the UNFPA report of 2009 is women, population and climate change.
Making the link between population, clim (Read More)
Bt Brinjal affected by aphid
Brinjal is the most important vegetable in Bangladesh, a common crtop farmers grow for family consumption as well as for the market. Nationally it is grown in about 50,000 hectares of land in two major seasons: winter and summer. However there are varieties that can be grown round the year. However seasonal varieties are culturally preferred. Indigenous nutritional knowledge claims that those fruits and vegetables are best for health if they go by seasons.
Bangladesh is a country of wide range of varieties of brinjals. Despi (Read More)
WHO has compiled the vital statistics for maternal and perinatal health for South East Asia region. For Bangladesh the annual number of births is 3.5 million and annual number of maternal deaths is 5,200 as of 2013. The maternal mortality ratio is 170 per 100,000 live births. About 71% of babies are delivered at home, 11.8% in public hospitals and 15.1% in private hospitals . In terms of services providers only 21% are qualified doctors, 6.1% are nurse, midwife and auxillary nurse, and the majority 72.4% are at the hands of traditional birth attendants or by family members. That means the home deliveries (71%) are usually assisted by the t (Read More)
Daighors are the centers run by Traditional Birth Attendants (locally known as Dai Mas) to provide advisory and referral services to women and young girls. They ensure care and monitoring of pregnant women, the new borne and children (mostly under 5). These Dais live in the community and interact with women very intimately and take care of them for their health and most importantly through properly advised food to fulfill specific nutritional deficiencies or to ensure nutritious food that are needed at different stages of their lives. The older Dai Mas are respected and are considered to be the custodians of knowledge in relation to women& (Read More)
Rawshon Ara Begum (43) is a construction labour. The husband has deserted her. She lives at Pallavi, Mirpur, Dhaka. She has been working as a labour for construction since her husband deserted her. She becomes sick of headache if she curries heavy load on head. It is tough to earn my food and how can I see a doctor, she mentions. Four years ago she visited Shohrawardy Hospital, Dhaka for chest pain. The doctors diagnosed heart problem after investigation. She had taken medicines worth of Taka 400/- from pharmacy outside.
It takes a whole day if any on (Read More)
UBINIG is awarded by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for its contribution on tobacco control on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day 2016. Farida Akhter, executive director, received the award from Honorable Health Minister, Mohammad Nasim, on behalf of UBINIG.
UBINIG has been working on the issue of tobacco cultivation since 2006. UBINIG conducted wide-research on tobacco cultivation on Bandarban and Kushtia and helped tobacco farmers shift from cultivating tobaccos to food production .
Since 2011, UBINIG formed Anti-Tobacco Woman’s Alliance (Tabinaj). Tabinaj has been working tirelessly to reduce the use o (Read More)
Beat Diabetes – is the slogan of WHO (World Health Organization) to observe World Health Day this year (2016) on 7th April.
Shayshtha Andolon (Health Movement) organized an open discussion session on 6th April at Narigrantha Prabartana (Women Resource Center) in Mohammadpur, Dhaka. Over 40 participants from different professions including garment workers, health activists, women leaders, researchers, development organizations, members of Women Resource Center attended the discussion. The issue was “Raise Consciousness and Prevent Diabetes”.
Dr. M A Sobhan, Chair, BeezBistar Foundation, presided over and Pa (Read More)
Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of smokeless tobacco use in the world with 28 million users. It is mostly used among the adults (27.2%). Rates among women (27.9%) are slightly higher than among men (26.4%). It is also higher than the smoking rates (23%). The only difference is that among adult tobacco users men as smokers is 44.7%, and as users of smokeless is 26.4%; compared to adult women as tobacco users, women as smokers is only 1.5%, and as smokeless tobacco users it is 27.9%. In general, it is men mostly, who are using tobacco products in both smoke and smokeless forms.
Who are (Read More)
Diabetes is a disorder caused by insufficient or lack of production of insulin (a hormone) by the pancreas (a gland of the abdomen).Insulin is responsible for absorbing glucose (a simple sugar) into the blood stream, where it is available for body cells to use for growth and energy.
When people eat, the pancreas automatically produces the correct amount of insulin to absorb the glucose. In people with diabetes, the pancreas either produces little or no insulin or the body’s cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. Glucose builds up in the blood, over-flows into the urine and passes out of the body, with the resul (Read More)
Shaystha Andolon organized a discussion session with Kaora community on 28th February 2016. The session was held in Arangghata, Khulna. Total 21 women and 6 adolescent girls attended the session. The main purpose of this session was to know the health status of Kaora community and the facilities they avail if they are sick.
Kaora Community belongs to schedule caste and their major occupation is pig rearing. It is their heredity and they do it generation after generation. Because of their occupation and intensive engagement in pig rearing, Kaora community is alone and they are ignored by all other sections. When a boy child reaches (Read More)
Discussion Session, Jointly Organized by: Shasthya Andolon & UBINIG; 29th February, 2016; Venue: National Press Club, Dhaka
Due to some incidents of deaths of patients alleged to have occurred due to negligence of attending doctors, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW), Government of Bangladesh proposed Patient and Health Service Providers Protection Act 2016.
As network health activists, Shasthya Andolon (Health Movement) expressed its deep concern over the proposed act because of its implications for patients’ rights as wel (Read More)
Consumers have the right to know what they are buying
The field cultivation of genetically modified brinjal (also known as Bt Brinjal) was conditional. In October 2013, the National Committee on Biosafety (NCB) imposed seven conditions to be followed in field cultivation. One of these conditions was labeling -- if Bt Brinjal is brought to the market, they must be labelled, ie it should be clearly stated if it is GMO.
Since 2014, two rounds of cultivation showed very poor performance, and the brinjals which were brought to the market were not labelled. Consumers did not kn (Read More)
Dai Ma Hosneara Begum in front of her house
Emergency Support to Flood Affected People. Period: August December 2015; Supported By: Primate’s World Relief & Development Fund
The Daimas must run to the call of pregnant mothers as fast as the healers rush to the spot to snake bite victims’. This statement of Hosne Ara Begum (52) is indicative of the fact that how much the Daimas are conscious of their responsibilities about their service to the mothers in their respective areas.
Hosne Ara Begum (52), husband Moksud Ali (60) lives in Dakhin Krishnapu (Read More)
Pregnant mother Hadisa begum. Happy to get service from Dai ghor
Emergency Support to Flood Affected People. Period: August December 2015; Supported By: Primate’s World Relief & Development Fund
Hadisa Begum (24), wife of Amin Uddin (32), village: Demushiapara, union: Badarkhali, Upazila: chakaria, district: Cox’sbazar is a flood victim. She was married five years ago. She had a daughter aged three years four months. She was pregnant for eight months.
Hadisa Begum mentioned, ‘All the houses and roads in Demushiapara village were inundated 3- (Read More)
Bt Brinjal, the genetically modified brinjal introduced in Bangladesh despite concerns and failures in performances, is imposed again for the third round with newer farmers during 2015 – 2016 winter crop season. No report has been published as research findings of the first two rounds of field cultivation except some propaganda news. The website (both Bengali and English page) of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) has no information. It only says Bt Begun (Bt Brinjal). That’s all. The page is just blank. Even International Service for the Acquisition for Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) did not publish any repo (Read More)
Hat, bazar observation, discussion meeting and distribution of food covering items
Organized jointly by: Delduar Upazila Parishad and UBINIG, 12 – 18 December 2015
Delduar Upazila Parishad and UBINIG have been working together in collaboration with other stake holders for implementation of “Delduar Safe Food Upazila”. Awareness creation program for street food vendors is one of the activities of this program. Accordingly “Street Food Safety Week” was obse (Read More)
Bangladesh has achieved a significant success in food grain production in the recent past which has made the country self sufficient in food grain. Bangladesh was food deficit prior to 1971, the year of indepence and continued to be so for long afterwards. However, the country is now self-sufficient in rice. Rice production increased from 11.7 million metric tons in 1974 to 33.54 million metric tons in 2010 (BBS, 2011). One of the keys to this success has been the use of chemical fertilizer, especially that of urea for meeting the need of nitrogen. In 2010-11 cropping season Bangladesh used 26.55million metric tons of urea fertilizer for r (Read More)
In response to the demands of the Dais attending the Dai conference along with women healers and women farmers organized during 7-9 December 2006 the Dai kit-distribution was undertaken by Narigrantha Prabartana with Support from Action Aid Bangladesh from Advancing Women’s Rights theme. This is the Interim Report for the project which includes completion report on kit distribution.
UBINIG from its rural centres formed a network of Dais having a membership of over 400 and with them has been raising the question of proper understanding of the role and rec (Read More)
Supported by PWRDF
Since June 2015, there have been three consecutive floods with heavy rainfalls within 3 month period that has disrupted the normal life of people in Chakaria (Cox’sbazar) and Lama and AliKadam of Bandarban. People were marooned and road communications with other districts were disrupted. It was not possible for anyone to go from Dhaka to help them as the road communication was badly damaged. The only support could be by sending money so that they can buy food items and cylinder gas to cook food. According to our Chakaria centre staff, they did not see th (Read More)
The government of Bangladesh has a goal to reduce Maternal Mortality ratio to 143 per 100,000 live births by 2015 in order to achieve the MDG 5 by 2015. So far the decline is 194 per 100,000 (as of 2010) showing a good trend of decline to be able to reach the goal by 2015.
Maternal causes account for 14% of all the causes of deaths among women of reproductive age. According to Bangladesh Maternal Mortality Survey, 2010 haemorrhage and eclampsia are the dominant direct obstetric causes of death, together responsible for more than half of the MMR followed by Obs (Read More)
I have been visiting some upazilla and Union health care centres in different areas specially in the districts of Cox’sbazar, Bandarban, Tangail, Kushtia, Chapainababganj and Brahmanbaria during last two months. It is nice to see that the buildings are well constructed and have all the potentials for increasing the facilities to provide services to the people. They are well located in terms of road communication. My main purpose was to see if women and children can receive services for maternal and child health services, although the Union and Upazilla Health centres are not all equipped to provide such services.
I went to a C (Read More)
People in Sonatoni and Ghorjan union of Sirajganj district have been living on the bank of Jamuna River and facing continuous threat of river erosion causing cultivable land and household disappearing. Since 2010, the people have used local technology of Chatka – the bamboo binding to redirect the water flow of Jamuna River and hinder river erosion. (also see www.cbmsouthasia.net/2011/08/26/bangladesh-bamboo-binding-on-jamuna-river/)
Acknowledging the local knowledge of controlling river erosion by redirecting the water flow of Jamuna river, Chatka or bamboo binding was constructed on the north western corner of the kheya gha (Read More)
Krishnapur is a village on the bank of the river Khalishadanga. It is in Nagor Union, Upazila: Borigram, District: Natore. In the dim and distant past this village was proudly rich in genetic resources. However, the farmers were almost exhausted of their precious possession of land races in the wave of pursuing modern agricultural practices. Recently they were oriented to Nayakrishi Andolon (new agricultural movement).They are now striving to regain their lost seed and genetic resources. The farmers in Krishnapur village have been practicing Nayakrishi for last ten years. The genial flow of water in the Khalishadanga river and mild siltati (Read More)
The narrative of GMO success is unravelling, writes Claire Robinson
Recently we published an article about a report by the policy research organization UBINIG, which presented the results of its investigation into the performance of GM Bt insecticidal brinjal (eggplant) in its second year of cultivation in Bangladesh.
UBINIG’s report found that officials from the Ban (Read More)
A policy research group has concluded that the GM crop was a “miserable failure” in its second year of cultivation. Claire Robinson reports
Bt brinjal (eggplant) has proved a “miserable failure” in its second year of cultivation in Bangladesh, according to a new report by the development policy research group, UBINIG. Unimpressed by claims that Bt brinjal has proved a boon to farmers, the group conducted its own field investigations and concluded that this GM crop is on “life support”.(Read More)
The study was undertaken to investigate the economics of producing multiple rabi crops combination (multiple cropping) by substituting tobacco in Bangladesh. Three most concentrated tobacco growing areas of Bangladesh namely Kushtia, Cox’sbazar and Bandarban districts were selected for conducting the study. The data were collected through a structured questionnaire from 36 Nayakrishi and 24 tobacco farmers during 2009-10 rabi season. The prominent rabi crops combinations (multiple cropping) practiced by the Nayakrishi farme (Read More)
The study was undertaken to investigate the comparative economics of producing alternative combinations of rabi crops by substituting tobacco in Bangladesh. Three most concentrated tobacco growing areas of Bangladesh namely Kushtia, Cox’sbazar and Bandarban districts were selected for conducting the present study. The data were collected through a structured questionnaire from 36 Nayakrishi and 24 tobacco farmers during the present rabi season (2009-10), those were included as sample farmers for the previous study season (2006-07). The prominent rabi crops combina (Read More)
The study was undertaken to examine agro-economic performance of multiple rabi crops cultivation by the different groups of farmers against tobacco production at farm level. Three major tobacco growing areas in Bangladesh namely Kushtia, Cox’sbazar and Bandarban districts were selected for conducting the study. Data related to multiple rabi crops cultivation and tobacco production were collected through structured questionnaires during 2010-11 crop season. Farmers under multiple cropping systems in the study areas were divided into three groups such as the Nayakri (Read More)
Introduction and research background
Concern about chemical-based modern agriculture and promotion of monoculture crops triggered UBINIG’s involvement in research on tobacco cultivation and its impact on food production.. Bangladesh is predominantly an agricultural country with over 70% of its population dependent on farming as a livelihood and about 23% of the national GDP is derived from this sector. Food production is of vital importance, and any threats is a national security concern. UBINIG is running an ecological agricultural movement called Nayakrishi Andolon since (Read More)
TOBACCO CULTIVATION IN BANGLADESH
Tobacco has been introduced since mid sixties of the last century into the fields where food crops were grown, and more widely after liberation in 1971 by the British American Tobacco Company in Teesta silt in Rangpur area (Sarkar and Haque, 2001) 1. Tobacco production has mainly been pushed by big multinational companies such as British American Tobacco Company through contact growers (Sarkar and Haque, 2001).
According to the official Agricultural Statistics (2010)2 three varieties of tobacco ‐‐ Jati, Motihari and Virginia ‐‐ are grown (Read More)
The Bangladesh Food Safety Network (BFSN) was formed following a two-day workshop entitled Building a Food Safety Network in Bangladesh in November 2010. The founding member organizations of BFSN include CAB (Consumer Association of Bangladesh), UBINIG (Policy Research for Development Alternative), Shisuk, B Safe Foundation and Hunger Free World. .
The overall objective of the Workshop was for consumer organizations and like-minded NGOs working on food safety issues and public concerns to explore the potential of forming a Food Safety Advocacy and Awareness Network in Bangladesh. Eighty-three representatives from various Civil Soci (Read More)
Discussion meeting to to declare Delduar as a Safe Food Upazila was held in the Auditorium of Delduar Upazila Parishad on 15 September, 2015. The event was organized by UBINIG on behalf of Bangladesh Food Safety Network (BFSN) with the support from Food and Agriculture Organization–Food Safety Project (FAO-FSP). There were 98 participants including 24 women and 74 men attending the discussion meeting.
Muhammad Anower Hossain, Additional Deputy Commissioner (General), Tangail was the Chief Guest. SM Perdous Ahmed, Upazila Chairman, Delduar chaired the discussion meeting. Dr. John Ryder (Chief Technical Advisor, FAO-FSP), Farha (Read More)
Analysis of safe food act and right to safe food, the Dhaka divisional workshop was organized in UBINIG Ridoypur Biddaygho, Tangail on 30 June, 2014. The workshop was organized by UBINIG on behalf of Bangladesh Food Safety Network (BFSN). The objective of the workshop was to create public / consumer awareness on food safety issues and increase awareness on food safety matters among different stakeholders.
There were 57 participants including farmer/ farmer organizations, consumer organizations, local government, DAE, NGOs, academic institutions, food producers, food sellers, lawyers, Upazila and district administration, religious l (Read More)
Farmers’ sharing session on Safe Food Issues Prior to Declaration of Delduar as a Safe Food Upazila was organized at UBINIG center, Bishnupur, Delduar Upazila, Tangail district on 6 September, 2015. The event was organized by UBINIG on behalf of Bangladesh Food Safety Network (BFSN) with the support from Food and Agriculture Organization – Food Safety Project (FAO –FSP). A total of 36 Nayakrishi farmers from 20 villages of seven Unions of Delduar Upazila participated in the training workshop. Among the farmers there were 18 female farmers and 18 male farmers. The representatives from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO (Read More)
Bangladesh Food Safety Network (BFSN) and UBINIG organized discussion meeting, demonstration of hand washing and rally in Nabopran Akhrabari, Chewria, Kumarkhali, Kushtia at 10:30 am on 19 October 2015 in connection with the Global Handwashing Day 2015. Dr. M.A. Sobhan, Research Consultant, UBINIG chaired the discussion meeting and rally attend end by about 300 participants.Mr. Naimul Islam, Panel Mayor, Kushtia Municipality was the chief guest. Dr. Anannya Afrin, Medical Officer, Civil Surgeon's Office, Kustia district; Md.Shamsuzzoha, Upazila Assistant Education Officer, Kumarkhali Upazila, Kushtia and Sajedul Islam Dalim, president, Ban (Read More)
In early 2012, UBINIG took an initiative for improving access of maternal and child health to the government health service delivery system. For this purpose, UBINIG selected 130 villages in 23 Upazila under 15 districts, where the women of reproductive age, pregnant women and children under 5 (U5) had very little access to government health service delivery system. UBINIG also identified various reasons for poor access including transport, non-availability of health professionals and as women many of them found difficulties to move. UBINIG also recorded that the government health professionals have occasional visits from the government He (Read More)
EXPERIENCES OF FARMERS IN SECOND ROUND FIELD CULTIVATION
This is UBINIG’s report on the second round field cultivation of Btbrinjal, an ongoing monitoring of the unethical promotion of GMOs. There are evidences that in the previous field cultivation, the Btbrinjal promoters completely ignored the scientific precautionary ethics and international protocols and principles with regard to the release of GMOs in the environment, particularly (Read More)
WE DO not eat rice for Vitamin A since there are plenty of vegetables and Vitamin A-rich food sources that can meet our need. So, if someone looks for Vitamin A in rice, instead of green and yellow Vitamin A-rich vegetables, we will, of course, question the person’s common sense or competence in open source knowledge. But if someone tells us that they have designed rice in such a way that we can now get Vitamin A from the rice, such persons are called ‘scientists’. This is amazing, indeed!
Obviously, rice does not naturally contain Vitamin A; so it must be engineered to distort its natural character to become somet (Read More)
Ecological meaning of ‘small and marginal’ farmers
We know that ‘small and marginal farmers’ not only ensure food supply to 150 million people of Bangladesh but contribute to the conservation and regeneration of country’s agro-biodiversity and genetic resources. Small and marginal farms also perform various other ecological and environmental services. Farmers are the repository of social memory, wisdoms and knowledge practices without which agriculture can not contionue.
However, the economic notions such as &l (Read More)
Control of the use of Smokeless tobacco (SLT) products has not been focused enough as a priority at national and international level. On global scenario, there are about 300 million SLT users in 70 countries, among them 89% are in India. India and Bangladesh make up 80% of the smokeless tobacco users of the world. The Tobacco control movement is more concentrated on “smoke-Free” rather than ‘tobacco free’ which may include both smoke and smokeless products.
The inclusion of inclusion of smokeless tobacco products such as Jarda, Sada-pata and Gul in the definition of Tobacco in the amended Law (2013) is a ste (Read More)
Tabinaj is a network of Women’s organizations and individuals and has become part of Tobacco Control Group in Bangladesh bringing in new dimension in women’s role as advocates agaginst tobacco consumption.
Tabinaj is the first and only women’s alliance around the country active in 52 out of 68 districts of Bangladesh against tobacco use and cultivation. It was formally launched on 6th March, 2011 on the occasion of International Women’s Day (8th March).
Tabinaj is affiliated with UBINIG (Policy Research for Development Alternative), a research organization engaged in conduting intensive research on t (Read More)
Indian Prime Minister Norendra Modi’s eventful two-day visit ended on the 7th June, 2015 in Bangladesh. Mr. Prime Minister is a vegetarian and therefore as a host Bangladesh government, particularly Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself took special care to select different kinds of vegetarian foods. The Hindustan Times reported on 7 June, 2015 titled “100 veg dishes for Modi” including special daal, khichdi, dhokla and Bangladesh’s special sweets. In The NDTV news it was elaborated further, such as for starters, there was a Gujarati speciality - Kaman Dhokla, accompanied with a yoghurt corriander chutney. For main (Read More)
Mark Lynas is amusing. He visited the field of ‘Mohammed Rahman’, of Krishnopur, Bangladesh and claimed: “but improved seed genetics can make a contribution in all sorts of ways - It can increase disease resistance and drought tolerance, which are especially important as climate change continues to bite; and it can help tackle hidden malnutrition problems like vitamin A deficiency”. The claim is quite flowery like the title, ‘Why I got converted to GMO food’. Amusingly, (Read More)
Since the beginning of the Bangladesh government clearance for field cultivation of GM food crop Bt. Brinjal, it has been a scandal. The genetically engineered crop failed miserably in the chosen farmers fields of Bangladesh, despite the careful selection and training of the farmers. Promoters of GMO adopted more scandalous options. They refused to review the experiment by the normative standard of strict scientific experiment and the international ethical standard of precautionery principle obligatory for potential hazards from GMOs. Instead the promoters took more aggressive attempts to carry out propaganda based on false claims. The a (Read More)
A discussion meeting of over two thousand farmers was held on 6 May, 2015 against the aggressive extension of tobacco cultivation in Chakaria Upazila, Cox’sbazar district at Majherparas Bazar, Kakara union at 5pm. The farmers and their representatives shared their sufferings due to oppressive treatment of tobacco companies at the time of procurement of tobacco leaves. On the otherhand, if they grow food crops, the lack of storage facilities for perishable ones, they suffer economic losses. In this situation the farmers suffer in the horns of dilemma, either to grow food crops or tobacco. Today, the farmers have united under the assur (Read More)
A Report on” innovative rice farming in the north” was published in the Daily Star on 11 February 2015. It was mentioned in this report “people in the low lying districts of northern Bangladesh suffered from a devastating flood, submerging traditional Aman rice varieties for 15 days, causing full or partial damage”.
The information about the flood is a fact but the last part of the above sentence “submerging traditional Aman rice varieties for 15 days, causing full or partial damage” has created a space for debate.
It is well known that the life and livelihood of the people of the norther (Read More)
Arsenic is a poison. It is a significant health risk to millions of people worldwide when it is there in food and drink. It is highly poisonous at higher doses but chronic exposure to lower levels increases the risk of cancer of skin, bladder, lungs, kidney ,liver, colon , prostrate; cardiac disease, pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease ,diabetes; diseases of arteries and capillaries ; increased sensitivity to Hepatitis B infection , infertility, and other ailments .Observable symptoms to the arsenic poisoning can be thickening and discoloration of skin, stomach pain ,nausea , vomiting , diarrhea , paralysis and blindness (Islam,M.S. (Read More)
Bangladesh is one of the unfortunate countries in Asia, where GM food crops are being forced for introduction without properly following the precautionery principle to protect biological environment and health and proper rules as laid down by international obligations and domestic bindings, particularly related to Biosafety. Genetically modified Bt. Brinjal is one such crop which is a very common vegetable across class, culture and geographical location, and also known to be in the centre of origin, yet the government has approved it for field cultivation in October, 2013 through the national gene bank run by Bangladesh Agricultural Resear (Read More)
Women’s struggles against discrimination, inequality and violence is global and strong. However, women’s dis-empowerment is not an isolated consequence independent from colonial legacies and neo-liberal global arrangement of economic, political and cultural relations. From what is happening through corporate control over seeds, agriculture and food system, none better than women know well that women’s struggle is instantly and directly related to the question of biological survival and regeneration of the conditions of life. Women have historically been keeping seed , engaged in food production, ensuring nutrition (Read More)
On January 8, 2015, Deneb Sumbul, daughter of Najma Sadeque sent an e-mail in the listserve that Najma Sadeque used to use with the subject “My Najma Sadeque no longer with us” . The mail said, “With the greatest sorrow, this is to inform you that my mother, Najma Sadeque passed away last night around 12:30. She was suffering from kidney failure. In how many ways can I describe my wonderful indomitable mother - she wore so many hats - an activist to the last, journalist for over 35 years, one of the founding members of WAF and someone who had so many interests and never short on wonderful ideas and new perspectives. For (Read More)
Outgoing US Ambassador to Bangladesh recently wrote an article in Dhaka Courier uncritically promoting genetically modified Bt Brinjal in a country considered belonging to the bioregion where global wealth of biodiversity originated. He often expresses his love for Bangladesh, and we, as a humble nation, never failed to acknowledge his feelings. Nevertheless, his article stands absolutely contrary to the prem (love) he often likes to explicitly project. ( See 'From Iowa to Bangladesh (Read More)
The environmental, farmers and women’s groups are outraged at the news that despite the failure of the first field cultivation scheme, the government of Bangladesh has taken a programme to distribute saplings of genetically modified Bt brinjal among over 100 farmers. Dr. Rafiqul Islam Mondol, Director General of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), told The Dhaka Tribune “We selected 106 farmers in 17 districts to distribute the saplings. The distribution began in October 2014”. Each farmer is given saplings of two varieties for half bigha (16.5 decimal) land, though BARI initially decided to suggest one bi (Read More)
The World Health Organization (WHO) took the lead in 2003 to formulate a global treaty called the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is an evidence-based treaty that reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health. It was the first treaty that was designed in developing a regulatory strategy to address addictive substance, such as tobacco and that asserted the importance demand reduction strategies as well as supply issues. The FCTC was unanimously adopted on 21 May 2003, at the 56th World Health Assembly, and was opened for signature, for a period of one year, from 16 June 2003 to 22 June 2003 at WHO h (Read More)
Policy making in a country like Bangladesh is not an easy task, a meaningful policy position is impossible without serious efforts from the policy makers to involve stakeholders; secondly, it is necessery to involve various groups and organisation active through empirical reserach or programmes that government wishes to address. Without a meaningful base of empirical reseach and participation of relevant stakeholders, a policy document could hardly be of any value. If policy makers ignore these very basic essentialities policy documents are reduced into statements related to few projects, lacking conceptual clarity and coherence with (Read More)
The global hand washing day was organized by UBINIG on behalf of Bangladesh Food Safety Network (BFSN, Bangladesh. Discussion meeting, demonstration of hand washing and rally were organized at 10:00 am on 15 October 2014 at Nabapran Akhrabari, Kushtia in connection with the observation of Global hand washing day 2014. About 1000 participants from academic institutions, government offices, NGOs, farmers organizations, cultural institutions, farmers and weavers participated in the event.
Dr.M.A. Sobhan, Research Consultant, UBINIG Chaired the Discussion Meeting. Mr. Naimul Islam, Panel Mayor, Kushtia Municipal Corporation graced the (Read More)
The Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institution (BARI) is a public institution under the agriculture ministry and is obliged to serve public interest. As a public research institution, its primary task is to decide research priorities that must contribute to the benefit of the farming community, enhance the formal and informal scientific knowledge base of Bangladesh and strictly protect natural, biological and intellectual property of the people of the country.
Unfortunately, the institution has miserably failed to meet to its obligation and responsibi (Read More)
An analysis of safe food act and right to safe food, the Dhaka divisional workshop was organized in UBINIG Ridoypur Biddaygho, Tangail on 30 June, 2014. The workshop was organized by UBINIG on behalf of Bangladesh Food Safety Network (BFSN). The objective of the workshop was to create public / consumer awareness on food safety issues and increase awareness on food safety matters among different stakeholders.
There were 57 participants including farmer/ farmer organizations, consumer organizations, local government, DAE, NGOs, academic institutions, food producers, food sellers, lawyers, Upazila and district administration, religiou (Read More)
A training workshop on Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB) for food Sovereignty and sustainable Agriculture was jointly organized by UBINIG (Policy research for Development Alternative) and PBGSB (Plant Breeding and Genetics society of Bangladesh) at Bangladesh Jute research Institute (BJRI), Manik Mia Avenue, Dhaka during 22-24 July, 2014.
The training workshop was organized in relation to Community based Biodiversity Management (CBM) program which has been implemented in 4 countries in South Asia under CBM regional coordination unit by Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) from Nepal. In Bangladesh (Read More)
Selling Without Label: Breach of Terms of Approval, Immediately stop cultivation and marketing of Bt Brinjal. Stop selling GM crops without public awareness of adverse impacts, demand by Bt Begun Birodhi Morcha (Coalition against Bt Brinjal)
Bt. Begun Birodhi Morcha (Coalition against Bt Brinjal) expressed concerns over the open selling of Bt Brinjals cultivated in few districts of the country. According to the approval given for limited cultivation of Bt Brinjal at the farmers’ field it was mandatory to label Bt Brinjal at the time of selling. This in line with the intern (Read More)
School campaign workshop for creating awareness of safe food was organized by UBINIG in Upazila Parishod Auditorium of Shahjadpur upazila under Sirajganj district on 24 June, 2014.
The objective of the workshop was to create public awareness on food safety issues and increase awareness on food safety matters among different stakeholders. There were 43 participants attending in the event including school teachers, Unazila administration, Department of Upazila Education and Journalists. Mr. Shamim Ahmed, Upazila Nirbahi Officer, Shahjadpur inaugurated the school program creating awareness for safe food as the chief guest. Jahangir Al (Read More)
Creating school awareness program for safe food organized by UBINIG and Bangladesh Food Safety Network (BFSN). The event was organized at Upazila Parishod Auditorium, Chilmari upazila, Kurigram district on 26 June, 2014. The aim of the workshop was to create and increase public awareness on food safety issues at respective stakeholders. The event was represented by 36 participants including Chilmary Upazila administration, Department of upazila education and representatives from 11 government primary school teacher
Mr. Ahsan Habib, Upazila Nirbahi Officer, Chilmary inaugurated the school program creating awareness for safe food as (Read More)
Public Health service: Budget 2014 – 15 and health Management “Health care is much broader than treatment of diseases”
Shasthya Andolon Network (Health Movement Network) organized an open discussion meeting on “Public Health Service: Budget and health management" at the VIP Lounge, National Press Club Dhaka on 29 June, 2014. A total of 108 participants attended the discussion meeting. The participating organizations included Naripakkho, Bachte shekho Nari, Adibashi Forum, Narigrantha Prabartana, NIPSOM, Dhaka Community Hospital, Jatiyo Shasthya Odhikar Andolon, Chikitshak Songsad, Nirapad Development Foundat (Read More)
BARI has miserably failed in its attempt to show that Bt brinjal is resistant to fruit and shoot borer (see the series of article in UBINIG).
It should have been investigated by independent qualified geneticists, entomologists and agronomists in order to unveil the mode of inheritance and heritability of attributes linked with FSB (Leucinodes orbonalis).The BARI, claiming to be one of the most prestigious institution of Bangladesh, is now lost its vision, blindly following the political directives instead of scientific wisdom. Such mindless act of dea (Read More)
Bt brinjal is a GMO or Genetically Modified Organism. Crystal gene from Bacillus thuringiensis has been inserted into brinjal genome to increase the resistance of brinjal against Fruit and Shoot Borer (FSB) insect. Bangladesh Agricultural research Institute (BARI) has conducted this research with the support of ABSP II of USAID. BARI received the seeds of Bt brinjal from Maharastra Hybrid Seed Company (MAHYCO), India. There was no innovation by BARI scientists, they only used the Monsanto-Mahyco technology to conduct experiment with the genetically modified Bt. Brinj (Read More)
The International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22 is observed to increase understanding and awareness on biological diversity that include ecosystemic variability and indigenous knowledge and/or cultural practices. In December 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted this day to commemorate the adoption of the text of the Convention on 22 May 1992 by the Nairobi Final Act of the Conference for the Adoption of the Agreed Text of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
In Bangladesh, the Ministry of Environment and Forest hardly observes the day, though Bangladesh has signed the CBD. Despite many valid critique of the text, (Read More)
On 22nd January, 2014 twenty farmers from four districts were given the saplings of Bt Brinjal in ceremony organized by Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) at the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC). The Agricultural Minister Matia Chowdhury gave out the trays of saplings along with a booklet. The farmers selected by BARI were happy because they thought they were fortunate ones to be chosen for such a ceremonial distribution of saplings. Matia said while addressing as the chief guest, “We have decided to start cultivating Bt brinjal after different necessary tests at home and abroad. We took long time to exp (Read More)
'Currently most research is invested in new technologies rather than in making better use of existing knowledge. Much more research is needed to turn existing knowledge into practical application.' (WHO 2013)
UBINIG’s commitment to biodiversity-based approaches to agriculture, health and nutrition is based on a critical understanding of various technological approaches to solve some of the major problems of poverty, hunger and malnutrition. Recent interest in biofortification, particularly of staple crops, is of critical interest (Read More)
Bangladesh is one of the 11 countries in South and South East Asia Region, which comprises 90 percent of global smokeless tobacco users. Given the high number of users and the serious health consequences of tobacco use, these countries have set a target to reduce 30 percent in prevalence among persons over 15 years of age. In terms of number, almost 250 million adults consume smokeless tobacco in these 11 countries. These countries are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor (Read More)
The Feminist International Network of Resistance to Reproductive and Genetic Engineering (FINRRAGE) was formed as a network of feminists from 20 countries who were critically concerned with the development of reproductive and genetic engineering technologies and their effects on women. These technologies force a variety of different forms of reproductive control over women. FINRRAGE emerged with a growing awareness that it was time to question the assumptions that contraceptives, new reproductive technolgies (Assisted Reproductive Technolgies) and genetic engineering are benign and neutral.
The (Read More)
Rice production in Bangladesh is a crucial part of the national economy. The main food crop of the country is rice. Rice cultivation covers about 80 percent of cultivable land and production varies according to seasonal change based on water supply. The largest rice crop is aman, accounting for more than half of annual production. Some traditional varieties of aman rice are sown broadcast in spring on low land. The plants thrive in summer and rainy seasons. The matured crop is harvested in late autumn. The other group of aman rice varieties is grown by raising seedlings in seed bed in summer. The seedlings are transplanted in the main fiel (Read More)
The Bangladesh Bank (B B) has recently expressed concern for defaulting agricultural loans (the Shokaler Khabar 12 March 2014). The B B has also instructed the concerned scheduled banks to take effective step for reducing the defaulters in agricultural loans. The defaulted farm loan in the banking sector had increased by 44 percent as of January 31, 2014 from the same date a year ago.
The situation of much acknowledged microcredit is not so different from agricultural loan. A BBC report said, in Bangladesh poor people are selling organs as a last resort to repay their microcredit debts. The report said:”Kalai, like many other (Read More)
This is a report on “GMOs - A THREAT TO FOOD SOVEREIGNTY” which is a part of regional case studies conducted in Asia, Africa and Latin America. UBINIG was part of it for Bangladesh Case Study. It Studied the process of introduction of GM Rice, Maize, Bt Cotton in Bangladesh and the responses from farmers during June 2006 – January 2007. The case studies were supported by EED Joint Advocacy project, Germany.
Farmers’ varieties have been the foundation of agriculture for centuries. Conventional plant breeding has had considerable succes (Read More)
Dais (Traditional Birth Attendants)) have renewed their commitment towards their responsibilities to ensure care for mother and child health in their respective communities. Dai representatives from 22 Upazilas in 14 districts gathered in Kushtia prior to Lalon Dol Festival to attend in Dai Conference 2014. It was a two day long conference and over 200 Dais and people from different social groups joined there.
Dr. Md. Mustafizur Rahman, the Civil Surgeon of Kushtia inaugurated Dai Conference 2014. The Civil Surgeon expressed his high satisfaction for the extra-ordinary role of Dais in the community.. He said, the nation also acknow (Read More)
During 7 to 18 December, 2009, the world leaders from 192 countries will meet in Copenhagen, Denmark to negotiate an agreement at the COP 15 of the UNFCCC to keep global temperatures below catastrophic levels. The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in 1992 as the basis for a ‘global’ response to the problem. The COP 15 conference claims that the ultimate objective of the Convention is to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent disastrous human interference with the climate system.
Various studies (Read More)
Dai self-assessment: want to improve services for reducing maternal & infant deaths
On 14th March, 2014 the traditional birth attendants (Dai) from 14 districts came to Kushtia to attend the Dai ma conference held on 15th March. Thirty six women came from various districts, including those as far as southern part of the country, Cox’sbazar, travelling in bus for over 18 hours and some from the northern district, Kurigram, where the Dai mas had to cross the big Brahmaputra river for two hours and another 9 hours from Chilmari to Kushtia by bus. Each and every Dai had tr (Read More)
Shasthya Andolon discussion meeting on Increasing Drug prices and the healthcare system was held on 11 March, 2014 at 3 pm in Chayanaut meeting room, Dhaka. Palash Baral, Director of UBINIG conducted the meeting with Farida Akhter, Joint Convenor of Shasthya Andolon as the chair. It was attended by some government officials, health activists, Allopath and Ayurved practitioners, representatives of pharmacy shop owners association and health researchers. Any discussion on health usually ends up in treatment of diseases and the treatment means only prescription and use of medicines. So the meeting focused the discussion on very practical expe (Read More)
The Nayakrishi farmers at Rajendrapur and adjoining villages in Baraigram upazila of Natore district have been maintaining indigenous genetic resources. They have been maintaining the seeds of local varieties of crops in cultivation. The seeds are maintained on farm as well as in the Nayakrishi Seed Hut at community level. The Nayakrishi initiative aims to ensure the livelihood of the rural community through community based biodiversity management by safeguarding genetic resources and environment against the introduction of invasive genotypes, hazardous technologies and the climate change variations. This initiative ensures secured access (Read More)
In 1910, Clara Zetkin declared 8th March as International Women's Day. Subsequently the day became an integral political and symbolic legacy of women's movement around the world. The day has the origin in the workers movement and therefore symbolises the converging moment of both working class and women's movement. We know that the women’s day was declared to demand and intensify the movement of women workers, particularly women in the garment factories. Later on, the movement was extended to demand for voting rights of women and other social and political rights. Women's struggles are continuing irrespective of race, class, colour, (Read More)
Biotechnology includes a wide range of technologies such as tissue culture, protoplast fusion, cell mutagenesis, genetic engineering, etc. Together these comprise a powerful technical force to produce or modify biological products according to specific objectives. The development of in vitro technique and genetic engineering for crop improvement has progressed in the last 30 years.
The development of gene vector systems and various genetic transformation techniques have catalyzed progress in plant genetic engineering in the recent past. Transgenic plants refer to those plants in which functional foreign genes have been inserted in (Read More)
On October 30, 2013 Bangladesh National Committee on Bio-safety (NCB) approved the application of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) for limited-scale cultivation and marketing of genetically modified eggplant, known as Bt Brinjal amid protests by environmental and farmers groups. The resistance against Bt Brinjal is increasing on issues related to serious threat to bio-safety and health. The authorities have failed to prove any agronomic value of the genetically engineered product and the claims are based on faulty methodology. The farmers are squarely resisting against patenting and explicit attempt of bio-piracy through t (Read More)
The Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) organised a formal distribution of seedlings of Bt Brinjal to selected farmers on 22nd January, 2014 following the approval for limited cultivation on 30 October 2013. Begum Matia Choudhury, Agriculture Minister has formally handed over the seedlings of Bt brinjal among 20 farmers at Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC), Dhaka. The selected farmers were from of four districts Gazipur, Jamalpur, Rangpur and Pabna. There were protests against such initiative and it seemed that the government cared less about any criticism against Bt Brinjal. In Dhaka, the Coalition against Bt (Read More)
Mamudpur Nayakrishi Seed Hut (NSH) started its journey in 2001. UBINIG has been holding training session, exposure visit, farmer exchange, festival in Mamudpur and adjoining other villages on biodiversity based farming. Rina Begum along with other farmers of Mamudpur village received Nayakrishi (Biodiversity based farming) training conducted by UBING. Since then they have been practicing Nayakrishi. Gradually the other farmers started joining Nayakrishi. These activities have created awareness for conservation and management of PGR at community level. Rina Begum along with other Nayakrishi farmers realized the importance of seed conservati (Read More)
Bt. Brinjal, (also known as eggplant or aubergine), a genetically modified food crop, inserted with a gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis has been approved by the National Committee on Biosafety (NCB) in Bangladesh for limited scale cultivation by farmers. In a notification (in bangla) of October 30, 2013 bearing a reference No.22.00.0000.073.05.003.2012-271 the Environment Section-2 of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry provisionally approved the petition of BARI to cultivate Bt Begun varieties 1,2,3 and 4 in a limited scale at the field level by following seven conditions:
1. BARI Bt. Brinjal 1, 2, 3 & 4 (Read More)
Shortage of doctors and nurses: Dismal picture of the rural healthcare in Bangladesh
In the rural Bangladesh, people go to “Sorkari Haspatal” (the government health facility) because they know that the ‘Daktar shaheb’ (doctor) is qualified. In times of sickness, they prefer government hospital over a private one, because it is “free” or much less costly than the private treatment. Most importantly, they trust the doctors. They feel it is their right to receive services from a government hospital. For a village patient, the nearest sophisticate (Read More)
It is very unfortunate that Bangladesh government, which is now in Poll time period (next election is in January, 2014) has taken a step for a policy disregarding public opinion and which has serious implications for its people as consumers, for farmers and for environment. The National Committee on Biosafety (NCB) officially released four Bt brinjal, which is infused with pest-resistant gene. According to newspaper reports, the four varieties of BtBrinjal — Bt Brinjal-1 (Uttara), Bt Brinjal-2 (Kajla), Bt Brinjal-3 (Nayantara), and Bt Brinjal-4 (Iswardi local) — would first be released on limited scales as per a production manu (Read More)
There are evidence of connection between the birth of autistic babies and the GM soybean. Autism is a life- long developmental disability that manifests itself during the first three years of life. A diagnosis of autism can be one of the most devastating diagnoses a parent can hear. At worst, children diagnosed with autism will never be able to function as a normal human being in society.
Cause of Autism
There are several factors researchers have looked at in attempting to uncover the cause of autism. These include genetics and infe (Read More)
Despite indefinite moratorium on Bt Brinjal trial in India and Supreme Court ban in the Philippines, it is alarming that Bangladesh is preparing for the approval for commercial release.
In India, similar attempts to introduce Bt. Brinjal in the market led to controversy and on February 9, 2010, the ministry of environment and forests imposed a moratorium on Bt Brinjal. In the absence of scientific consensus and opposition from state governments and others, the ministry decided to impose a moratorium on the commercialisation of Bt Brinjal u (Read More)
Weapon Producer's Concern about Food insecurity in Bangladesh!! Dupont, the producer of weapons and killing chemicals sponsors Global Food Security Index!
On August 10, 2012 a news item came up on various news media wiith headlines such as 'Bangladesh least food secure S Asian Nation' (Bdnews24.com) which was quite disturbing (also see, 'food security situation poor in Bangladesh'. It said, Bangladesh is the least food-secure among the six South Asian countries according to Global Food Security Index 2012, released by Th (Read More)
UBINIG (Policy Research for Development Alternative) and the biodiversity-based farmers’ initiative “Nayakrishi Andolon” expressed concern over promotion of technologies that are direct threat to biodiversity and the food sovereignty of the country.
In a discussion meeting titled ‘African NERICA rice and Bt. brinjal are threat to bio-diverse agriculture in Bangladesh’ UBINIG and Nayakrishi Andolon farmers presented field based information to show how these are going to pose a threat (Read More)
Future of farming in Bangladesh depends on the capacity of the government to insist on the priority of detoxicating agriculture and stop further erosion of agroecology and environment.
Rio plus twenty means a decision about our future. Somehow the declaration of the Heads of States and Governments, knick-named as Zero Draft, has the title “The Future We Want”. But whose future? The governments do not seem to be willing to address the various crises, created by the systemic failure of global economic order resulting in increased (Read More)
Chatka is made from bamboos to tame river, an effective but simple indigenous innovation of the local community to reduce river erosion that also helps in reclaiming land. The bamboo binding resists soil erosion, turn silt, deposit soil formation and helps accretion of land.
The farmers of Sonat (Read More)
JAMRUL: TheTree Symbolising the Future Women Aspire
Women's Conference and Festival 2012 was organized in the context of developing a perspective about future that women want. JAMRUL, or the Rose Apple (Syzygium samarangense)) Tree - a very sweet juicy fruit tree, favorite to women, came out as the symbol to depict the desires of women for their future they dream for all.
Women are concerned about establishing their rights as (Read More)
Twenty years after the Earth Summit, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) will take place in Rio from 20-22 June, 2012. For two decades, peoples movement have worked hard for social, economic and environmental justice but yet the global economic system only resulted in a billion people starving from hunger. The gap between the rich and poor is widening with 70% of world’s resources enjoyed by top 20% and those in bottom quintile get only 2%. Climate justice (Read More)
Sale of body parts for overcoming poverty and indebtedness!
In a country where over 40% of the population lives below poverty line and 13% (or 20 million) of the total population suffer from kidney diseases, the link between kidney trade and poverty is not very difficult to establish. The recent incidents of kidney trade, by some unscrupulous ‘brokers’ buying the kidneys from the poor people for transplantation within and outside the country, has raised serious concern among the general public and also (Read More)
Impact of Tobacco Cultivation and Policy Advocacy for Shifting to Food and Other Agricultural Crops
The concerns about the harmful affects of consumption of tobacco products and tobacco cultivation in Bangladesh have drawn considerable attention over last few years. Since the efforts at the global and national level to regulate the use of tobacco products which include the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) entering into force in Bangladesh on (Read More)
Inspired by Nawal in Egypt
This year (2011), on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, perhaps the most interesting thing to discuss is the uprising in the Arab world particularly in Egypt and Tunisia. It was really inspiring to see the young generation active in the movement and not giving up till they have achieved their goal. In Cairo, there were hundreds of thousands of men and women in Tahrir Square. Some of my feminist friends, living in other countries, raised issue of the visibility of women in Tahrir square compared to (Read More)
In the month of Agrahayan, the eighth month of Bengali calendar, (early December) over 500 Nayakrishi farmers from 19 districts got together in Tangail to exhibit the rice varieties in their own collection and to discuss the issues that has caused threats to the preservation of rice varieties. It was a festival organized by UBINIG and Nayakrishi Andolon held during December 2 – 4, 2010 in Bishnupur village of Tangail. Climate change and natural disasters are being used as an excuse to introduce hybri (Read More)
Robert G. Edwards is awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize for physiology/ medicine for the development of human in vitro fertilization (IVF) therapy. According to the Press release of the Nobel Committee “His achievements have made it possible to treat infertility, a medical condition afflicting a large proportion of humanity including more than 10% of all couples worldwide”. This may seem to be a “good news”, but the question is, for whom? From a wom (Read More)
Ten years younger than the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) has observed its 40th founding anniversary in Gazipur, Dhaka on October 1st, 2010. The institution even had a birthday cake cut to celebrate its forty years. BRRI officials had a colourful procession and discussion sessions to mark the achievements of the institution during last 40 years since it was established in 1970.
On 30th September, 2 (Read More)
While the farmers organisations around Asia were demanding that 50 years of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is Enough, and during this time it has contributed more to the destruction of our rice diversity than to increase it; it is heartening to see that in Bangladesh it was celebrated with much high importance with the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurating the ceremony held on 14 July, 2010. The celebration was marked by an event attended by ar (Read More)
Bangladesh is placed on Tier 2 Watch List, according to the 9th Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) 2009 published by the Department of State of the United Stated of America. Every year the Department of State is required by law to submit to the U.S. Congress a report on foreign governments’ efforts to eliminate "severe forms of trafficking in persons". The United States’ Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), amended in December 2008, guides efforts to combat human tra (Read More)
The Budget speech by the Finance Minister, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, on 10th June, 2010, touched upon Health and Family Welfare in the 139th paragraph; it clearly indicates health sector unfortunately is not a priority sector, not even the health service delivery to the people. The neo-liberal paradigm denies that government has responsibility to ensure health service delivery 'free of cost' to the people. The introductory remarks of the Finance Minister were pathetically dry on this vital sector which is important not only for soc (Read More)
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith made a Power Point presentation of the National Budget for 2010-11 fiscal year in the parliament on June 10, to spend Tk 1,32,170 crore or US$ 19 billion, with a target of 6.7 % GDP growth as against 5.5 percent for the current year. The proposed Budget will have a deficit Tk. 39,323 crore or 5% of proposed GDP. The prevailing mainstream responses to the budget miserably reflect the poverty of thought on macro-economic policy (Read More)
Declining quality of public health services is leading to increased use of private healthcare services
20 May 2010. DHAKA: Shasthya Andolon, a network of researchers, physicians, and health and environmental activists organised a "Dissemination & Discussion Session" on sharing of findings of the study Reality Check Bangladesh 2009: Listening to Poor People's Realities about Primary Healthcare. Shasthaya has organised this event on behalf of Sida (Swedish International Development Agency) as their commitment to engage with the policy makers and development partners to create (Read More)
Seminar on National Health Policy, 2009
Shasthya Andolon (Health Movement) is a group of health activists involving health practitioners, researchers, policy advocacy groups, journalists and, women’s groups, environmental groups and social activists formed in 2000. UBINIG (Policy Research for Development Alternative) has been acting as the secretariat of the Network. The two co-Convenors are Dr. Naila Zaman Khan, Professor of Child Development and Neurology, Dhaka Shishu Hospital and Farida Akhter, executive Director of UBINIG.
As a network Shashtya Andolon first m (Read More)
Protest against the producer of Paracetamol syrup
Shasthya Andolon organized a human chain in front of the National Drug Administration office in Motijheel, CA in Dhaka. They demanded immediate arrest of five officials of the Rid Pharmaceuticals, including its managing director, accused of causing the deaths of children with poisonous syrup.
Twenty-seven children have died of renal failure after the intake of "Temset" paracetamol syrup of the company. Shasthya Andolon in collaboration with Shasthya Odhikar Andolon o Jote (Health Right Movement) Human Rights orgnisation (Read More)
Seminar on Health Policy, 2008 under Caretaker Government
The care taker government (2007-2008) of Bangladesh with the mandate of giving a free and fair election by December, 2008 came up with the National Health policy – Update, 2008 in August 2008. The draft was prepared by a committee formed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and was given in the website for suggestions from relevant quarters within September 15, 2008, later extended to September.
Shashthya Andolon, a group of health activists inv (Read More)
"Begoon" (Brinjal or Eggplant) is a very common and favourite vegetable in Bangladesh. It is even becoming an international vegetable along with okra and cauliflower because of the Indian Restaurants in Europe and North America. But for us in Bangladesh, it is not just a vegetable, it has more link with the social, cultural and economic lives of rural people, particularly women. It is cultivated in the agricultural fiel (Read More)
Kushtia. 30 March. A farmers' meeting in village Boro Gangdia (Union Khalisha Kundi) of Daulatpur upazilla on 30 March, 2010 expressed grave concern over the aggrssive extnsion of tobacco production in the district of Kushtia, threatening serious crisis in food and destruction of environment, ecology, bodiversity and livelihood of local communities. The meeting was organized by UBINIG with participation of farmers, NGO, journalists, college teachers and local government leaders. The Chief Guest was Afazuddin Ahmed Member of Par (Read More)
Chakoria 24 March: Food and water crisis is going to be severe in areas where tobacco cultivation is expanding. Tobacco companies are facing resistance from the farming communities in old plantation areas and are moving to fertile lands such as the rich envivironmnet and ecology of the Matamuhuri complex. Unlike other rivers of Bangladesh, Matamuhuri is unique; it has originated within the political boundary of Bangladesh and created a fabulous environmental and ecological complex to support life forms that obviously (Read More)
Kushtia: 25 March. Farmers of Kushtia are outraged. Tobacco farming is not only destroying soil, forsts, environment, ecology and conditions of survival, but financially ruining the farming community. The tobacco companies are now refusing to pay farmers what was originally promised to allure them to cultivate tobacco, instead of food crops. Both local and transnational companies are using fertile lands for non-food cash crop creating severe food crisis and environmental disaster. This is an issue that must be addressed immediately by the policy maker.The Tobacco companies particu (Read More)
In Bangladesh population is seen as the cause of all problems including socio-economic, political, environmental and security in the conventional or mainstream discourses. In recent years it is being related to risks associated with climate change. often with bizarre arguments to control number of peoples in Bangladesh. Consequently it is argued that fertility of women must be controlled as a "solution" through use of temporary and permanent contraceptive methods.
While fertility of women is being controlled by the (Read More)
This is SANFEC Policy Brief # 1 prepared for sharing our findings on uncultivated food and its relation to biodiversity, livelihood, culture and food sovereignty. SANFEC members, along with the farmers have conducted research on this issue and have enough empirical information to substantiate statements made in this policy brief.
A SANFEC International workshop on Uncultivated Food and Plants was held during 2 – 4 October 1999, which helped enormously in developing the concept and methodology of information collection of this relatively ‘un-noticed’ but profoundly important issue for food sovereignty.
The (Read More)
100 years of International Women's Day, Celebrating Women's Struggles
6 – 8 March, 2010. Jointly organized by: Narigrantha Prabartana, UBINIG and Odhikar
QUILT: EXPRESSING WOMEN… "SHOTO BOCHORER SHOTO KANTHA": HUNDRED QUILTS CELEBRATING 100 YEARS
Quilt making, commonly known as Kantha making is a very favourite collective activity of women in Bangladesh. On the occasion of 100 years of celebration of International Women's Day with the participation of women from rural and urban areas, it was considered very important to involve a gre (Read More)
100 years of International Women's Day. Celebrating Women's Struggles
6 – 8 March, 2010. Jointly organized by: Narigrantha Prabartana, UBINIG and Odhikar.
Venue: National Press Club, Date: 7th March, 2010. Time: 3 pm – 6 pm.
A Women's Tribunal was organized on 7th March at the Conference Lounge of National Press Club, Dhaka. Over 200 women and men participated as audience. There were two parts of the Tribunal. The first part was the Testimonies from women activists and the second part was the statement from the jury members. The audience had great intere (Read More)
Roundtable Discussion on International Women's Day
Venue: National Press Club, VIP Lounge. Date: 6th March, 2010 Time: 10 am – 1:30 pm. Organized by: Narigrantha Prabartana, UBINIG and Odhikar
Professor Latifa Akhand is presiding over second session of the roundtable discussion
The preparations for the Roundtable discussion started in early January, 2010, in the Monday regular meetings of women in Narigrantha Prabartana. Specific issues were selected for discussions and discussed in an informal manner to (Read More)
Global Green New Deal is on the road to make growth look green. How green it is for the southern countries; is an extremely important question. Policy Brief of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP March 2009)) on Global Green New Deal (GGND) is about the "worst financial and economic crisis'' and raises the question whether the response of financial (Read More)
W O M E N I N B L A C K On International Women's Day 2010
Over 300 women from 36 districts including the capital city Dhaka and from different organizations joined together on Mirpur Road, opposite to Narigrantha Prabartana (NGP) for the event of Women in Black. In black clothes, a symbol of protest, women reminded of the continued injustice, discrimination and violence that are going on not only to women but to all people in different countries and different situations. It was organised by Narigrantha Prabartana, Odhikar and Odhikar.
This event ook place on the occasion of the International Women's Day 2010. Women stood wi (Read More)
100 years of International Women's Day. Defend life, livelihood, dignity and community. 6 – 8 March, 2010, Jointly organised by Narigrantha Prabartana, UBINIG and Odhikar
We are happy to announce three day programme from 6th March to 8th March for the celebration of women's struggles and women’s movement in the country. We are proud of our strong base of the movement. However, we are yet to achieve our goal of women’s emancipation from patriarchal, economic, social and political oppressions. Therefore, the struggle continue (Read More)
Celebrating Women's Struggles (on the occasion of 100 years of International Women's Day)
The International Women's Day on 8th March, 2010 is going to be very significant for the women's movement around the world, and particularly for the women in Bangladesh as it is the completion of 100 years of declaration of the International Women's Day. This Day has become very familiar to the Women's Movement as "Antorjatik Nari Dibosh" and is celebrate (Read More)
The 2009 edition of The State of World Population has been released just before the 15th Session of United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP15) to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark during 7 - 18 December, 2009. It shows that climate change is more than an issue of energy efficiency or industrial carbon emissions; it is also an issue of population dynamics, poverty and gender equity. In Bangladesh, the UNFPA Representative, Mr. Arthur Erken launched the report at Hotel Sonargaon in the capital city Dhaka. It may be noted that the focus of UN (Read More)
Roundtable Discussion on International Women's Day, Venue: National Press Club, VIP Lounge. Date: 6th March, 2010 Time: 10 am – 1:30 pm. Organized by: Narigrantha Prabartana, UBINIG and Odhikar. Professor Latifa Akhand is presiding over second session of the roundtable discussion
The preparations for the Roundtable discussion started in early January, 2010, in the Monday regular meetings of women in Narigrantha Prabartana. Specific issues were selected for discussions and discussed in an informal manner to clarify the understandings of the women's issues. The theme for the Roundtable Discussion was "Struggles and Challenges fa (Read More)
Bangladesh health care system, both public and private, is facing serious ‘allegations’ of wrong treatment of diseases resulting in the death, casualty or disability of the patient. The news is published in daily newspapers coming from almost all the districts of the country. Although it is not a new phenomenon at all, but massive complains It indicate that wrong treatment is widespread and happening again and again with no solution in sight.
The recent incident of such “wrong treatment” in one of the private clinics in Rajshahi made another news headline not only for the death of the patient who died at (Read More)