A three-year USD 2.5 million initiative supported by the GAFSP’s MMI aims to improve Bangladeshi farmers’ access to markets, technical knowledge, and finance.
The Centre, which helped design the project, is in charge of overseeing it. The project builds on a previous GAFSP-funded, FAO-supported program that, among other things, boosted farmer organizations in Bangladesh.
MMI distributes GAFSP grants to farmer organizations in order to better contact small-scale farmers. The majority of the organization’s members – approximately 8 000 women and men – are small and marginal farmers who live in isolated communities.
Farmer groups choose and pay for their own business facilitators. The project team provides governance, financial literacy and management, leadership, negotiation, and communication training to these business facilitators. Following that, the facilitators train and support three organizations in their particular areas.
RuralInvest was developed as part of the initiative to assist organizations in developing bankable business plans and in obtaining technical consulting services to carry out those plans.
A buyer-seller meeting was also organized by FAO, Sara Bangla Krishak Society, and the Bangladesh Potato Exporters’ Association for small-scale potato farmers to meet exporters for the first time, with exporters then communicating orders to the farmers. Pre-production, inspection, and post-harvest techniques were taught to 60 potato growers from three cooperatives by the FAO. These cooperatives recently sold their first consignments of premium potatoes to exporters.
Every six months, the initiative uses Collect Mobile to review the effectiveness of farmer organizations, resulting in a strong participatory M&E system. The goal is to build long-term organizations that can assist members in accessing financial services, technical expertise, and lucrative markets.