$29,935 needed of $60,435
This is the second phase of the Bangladesh Kendua program and it builds upon the learning from the first phase and expands to one additional community. Local partner SATHI starts with primary self-help groups of men and women meeting separately. These groups are each represented at the “Union Committee” level and the various union committees come together to form a “People’s Institution”. The People’s Institution and Union Committee both have Agriculture sub-teams and the program is designed to equip those teams to improve community food security.
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected community life in Kendua despite the success of the first phase. In a recent survey, 92% of respondents reported that their livelihood has been in critical condition due to COVID-19. 53% said they did not have enough food. 78% of respondents had reduced income and 22% had no income. Extreme poverty in the country has increased from 24% to 48%.
The program is working to assist and equip the communities to regain their strength and ability to cope with the crisis while reducing the gaps created because of COVID-19. Farmers groups focused on fish, vegetables and poultry are being established in each union to make a variety of food locally available, even in challenging times.
Program Update: Khadija's Story
Small Business, Big Success
Six women – Angura, Rubi, Johura, Eti, Rumela and Najma – report that the first year of their first joint venture, a small vegetable farm, has been a success. Not only is there a high demand for their produce, they are also receiving kudos from their communities for their courageous initiative in a sector traditionally dominated by men.
After initially showing promise in kitchen gardening through the program, they received additional training as Model Farmers so they could teach other women about growing vegetables, composting, organic pest management, and running a small business. They became so proficient that, when local partner SATHI and their government’s Agriculture, Livestock and Fishery Department challenged them to start a small business, they had the confidence and know-how to develop a plan for their Vegetable Farming Group.
The group selected Angura as their farm manager, took out a loan to lease a tiny plot of land (4/100 of an acre) and began preparing the soil with their own organic compost. They worked together, keeping production costs low, and made up their own organic pesticides to protect their tomato, okra and amaranth plants.
Their community was eager to buy their vegetables, once it became known that they were reasonably priced and the flavor was excellent due to the organic growing techniques. They made a profit even after paying for the lease and seeds. Within a short time, they were known in the market, and a wholesaler contacted Angura to buy from them directly.
Their own families have benefited from the additional food and income, and they may soon create earning opportunities for other households as well. The six women are hoping to expand the operation by leasing more land and hiring others to assist with the work. Their efforts have increased the amount of food available within reach of neighboring families. Not to mention motivating more women to take up growing vegetables in earnest. With nutritious food in great demand, the opportunities are ripe for small businesses like theirs!
Bangladesh Kendua Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner SATHI