More than two million people live in northern chars* of Bangladesh who mainly depend on agriculture (crops, livestock) and seasonal labour opportunities for their livelihoods. Weak market institutions, lack of information and higher costs of operation make the chars "less attractive" destination for public and private investment. Building local market institutions and enhancing private and public services to improve the economic conditions of the char dwellers is therefore central to M4C's approach.
M4C aims to reduce poverty and vulnerability of northern char households, by facilitating market systems for enhancing opportunities of income generation. M4C is mandated by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, Government of Bangladesh.
M4C promoted 20 business models and supported more than 1 500 service providers e.g. agro-input companies, distributors, retailers, trailers, microfinance institutions, etc. to promote 60 services e.g. distribution and promotion of quality agro-inputs, post-harvest/processing information and services, seasonal loans for crops and livestock, etc. 25 of these services were DDR-relevant and 20 services targeted women.
Until November 2019, M4C benefitted 124 000 char households with an additional income of 20.7 Million CHF which is equivalent to BDT 154.4 Crore.
Benefitted char housholds used the additional income to reduce their vulnerability and improve family wellbeing i.e. house renovation, better consumption, sending childern to schools: reinvestment in agriculture and trading, cultivation area expansion, asset/capital accumulation.
Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
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