Nearly 23 per cent of Bangladesh’s total population is aged between 10 and 19. This large population group is termed as adolescent and considered the most potential source of country’s future labour force. However, a larger portion of them has limited scope for acquiring knowledge and skills for self-development and participate in income generating activities. Particularly, in south-western region of Bangladesh adolescents are much more disadvantaged in this regard as there agricultural based livelihood system has been shifted from traditional paddy cultivation to aquaculture and homestead based small scale agricultural activities due to the erroneous effects of climate change. Considering the present context, BRAC has implemented a pilot project titled ‘Skills Development Initiatives for Adolescents (SDIA) on climate adaptive livelihoods’in two districts of south-western Bangladesh to promote some agricultural technologies among the adolescents so that they can develop their skills and engage in income generating activities (IGAs).
Under this project, 100 adolescent members from different BRAC adolescent clubs were trained on three agricultural technologies namely fish feed production (FF), compost fertiliser preparation (CF), and orange fleshed sweet potato cultivation (OFSP). It is believed that these skills would be helpful to develop climate adaptive livelihoods among the adolescents in this region. Fish feed is necessary to cultivate shrimp and prawn in south-western region. Additionally, market demand for fish feed has been increasing rapidly there. Compost fertiliser is effective to reduce dire impacts of salinity to produce vegetables in homestead gardens in this climate affected region. There is also a growing market for such natural manure. Again, in this region, households’ dietary diversifications are considerably lower and suffer from
poor nutritious food supplies in their diets. Cultivating OFSP can help adolescent households to improve dietary diversification and nutrition level in this area. It could also be sold in the local market if adolescents cultivate it commercially. BRAC has been expected that the training on over mentioned climate adaptive agricultural technologies would potentially help the adolescents to acquire some knowledge and develop their skills to participate in IGAs in the changed livelihood system at climate affected south-western region. However, available literature does The ISD for Adolescents on Climate Adaptive Livelihoods in Southwestern Bangladesh not provide adequate information about the effectiveness of such training programme on adolescent. Moreover, BRAC has no earlier experiences related to such activities as well. So, it is important to evaluate the effectiveness of such activities prior to scale it up. Therefore, this study evaluated the impact of this pilot project to comprehend the effectiveness of such activity in promoting climate adaptive technologies among the adolescents.