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Practical Action Bangladesh won the first ever World Soil Day award

The first World Soil Day Award was given on Wednesday 5 Dec. 2017 to Practical Action Bangladesh, for organizing the most outstanding World Soil Day event in 2017

07/12/2018

This year’s commemoration of World Soil Day 2018 saw the inaugural presentation of the World Soil Day Award, which was presented to Practical Action Bangladesh for its work in raising awareness on the topic of soil health and organizing the best World Soil Day celebrations last year.

Practical Action Bangladesh, jointly with the Soil Resource Development Institute (SRDI), celebrated World Soil Day on 5 December 2017 in Dhaka and in twenty-two districts  countrywide, engaging with farmers, topmost soil scientists and technicians, extension workers, crop, fisheries  and livestock professionals, engineers and agricultural entrepreneurs, government and NGO officials, community activists, policy makers, youth, media personnel,  practitioners and the general public. Their remarkable joyful and participatory approach, which is in line with the official FAO Global Soil Partnership celebrations, followed the theme of the World Soil Day, ‘Caring for the Planet starts from the Ground’.  

Both Practical Action and SRDI organized many different attractive events. Colourful rallies were held in the morning from Manik Mia Avenue to the SRDI Office, Krishi Khamar Sarak Dhaka as well as in Rangpur, Rajshahi, Jessore, Tangail, Khulna, Comilla, which raised the general public’s awareness on soil.

They organized the first ‘Soil Care Award’ ceremony held at Gias Uddin Milki Auditorium, Farmgate, Dhaka. The organizations promoted three prizes assigned per category: academicians, scientists and farmers, to recognize outstanding contributions on soil health improvement in Bangladesh. The prizes were won by Late Professor Emeritus Aminul Islam, Mr. S M Saheed, Eminent Scientist, and Ms. Kabija Begum, a dedicated farmer. A national seminar on soil was organized under the theme ‘Global and Bangladesh Soil - present status and future prospects’ to stimulate institutional sharing, engagement, cooperation and linkages on soil-related issues. Dr. Z Karim, former Secretary presented the keynote paper. This paper was further discussed by Dr. Zahir Uddin, from the Bangladesh Agricultural University and by Dr. Sirajul Haque, from the Dhaka University. Mr. Mohammad Moinuddin Abdullah, the Honourable Senior Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Bangladesh was the Chief Guest, while Ms. Hasin Jahan, Country Director, Practical Action Bangladesh, Dr Bhagya Rani Banik, Executive Chairman, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) and  Mr. Aziz, Director General,  Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) were present as Special Guests. A thorough account was given to participants about the importance of protecting and improving soil health and the impact of sustainable soil management on the challenging situation for food and nutrition security as well as livelihoods in Bangladesh.

In addition, Practical Action and SRDI organized a ‘Farmers Dialogue’ and field visits in the transitional riverbed of Himalayan foot hill remote area. This was an occasion for farmers and soil specialists to exchange their views on the work in the field.  Local Newspapers, Radio and TV channels published and broadcast the event activities, disseminating the news through countless print and electronic media.  

The Selection Committee of the World Soil Day award, after careful evaluation of the 40 applications received, decided to grant the prize to Practical Action Bangladesh.  With the participation of more than 5000 people and an amazing outreach at the national level, Practical Action Bangladesh was deemed to comply with the criteria set out to evaluate the success of WSD events in terms of operability, awareness, participant satisfaction, outreach, digital awareness an inter-institutional engagement. Relevant supporting material, such as communication material, photographs, links, and press releases, demonstrated and supported the results and associated impacts of their WSD event, which contributed to strengthen the candidature of the nominee. 

The award ceremony, held in Bangkok, Thailand, ended with the actual granting of the 1st World Soil Day Award Prize from the Honorable Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative of Thailand to Practical Action Bangladesh in the person of Mr. Habibur Rahman. 

Practical action website in Bangladesh