ERAS was established in 2008 with the aim of developing and selling products related to environmental safety issues. ERAS, therefore, developed low-cost soil testing facilities and piloted the micro (village) level laboratory in collaboration with local NGO (Aprokashi) based in Bogura. The facilities include a low-cost soil testing equipment and affordable chemical reagents capable of testing the six essential parameters of soil (pH, organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium & sulfur). The pilot project included the establishment of a model laboratory at Bogra, where the new laboratory technology and reagents have been used on a trial basis with local farmers.
The new and innovative features of ERAS model lie in its approach and the technological innovation of the low-cost reagent product. In using private sector supply chains to deliver affordable products to poor farmers, the potential scale of the target market is enormous (there are 6.5 million small-holder farmers in Bangladesh). At present market, supply is negligible with the government-led delivery of subsidized products reaching less than 10,000 farmers in the field, and few in the remotes areas where this technology can have the greatest impact. The development of a formula for low-cost reagent by ERAS is a substantial innovation in the soil testing sector.
We are always trying to support the farmer's need for their agricultural development
Knowing of 'plant available' nutrients in the soil helps the farmer to apply actual doses of fertilizer that results with the optimum yield of crops and increases in income. There are no large-scale commercial soil-test operators in the market of Bangladesh. The government provides soil tests through the Department of Agriculture Extension’s (DAE’s) Soil Resource Development Institute (SRDI) at a subsidized rate through take-up of this service has proved to be neither scaleable not far-reaching into the market. The main commercial opportunity is the potential to establish soil testing businesses in the low margin, high volume market for low-cost soil testing. Environmental Resource Advancement Services (ERAS) has taken an initiative providing technical support for developing the private sector small entrepreneur to support soil testing service market.