“Char Agri-Business Fair: Enriched Chars, Developed Country”- hosted by M4C
Making Markets Work for Jamuna, Padma and Teesta Chars (M4C) project hosted the first edition of “Char Agriculture and Business Fair” in Fulchari Upazila, Gaibandha, Bangladesh at the Fulchari Government College premises from 2 November 2018 to 4 November 2018. The fair was jointly organized by M4C’s partner organizations, SKS Foundation and Char Development Research Centre (CDRC). Fullstop Solutions Limited supported the event as the event management partner.
The primary objective of the fair was to triumph the slogan ‘Enriched Chars, Developed Country’. M4C works to reduce the poverty and economic vulnerability of northern char dwellers by facilitating market system changes to enhance income generation opportunities. The fair aimed to catalyze the exposure of Bangladesh’s private and public sectors to the northern char region’s business potential and the access of the char dwellers to better quality agricultural inputs and lifestyle products.
In this three-day-long event, 26 private companies exhibited their products and services to the char dwellers. The product portfolio of these companies encompassed advanced and scientific agricultural equipment, motor vehicles, agri-machineries, cosmetics, mobile handsets and mobile banking services. The Department of Agricultural Extension and Department of Livestock Services of the Government of Bangladesh set up stalls to raise awareness on the advanced agricultural technologies and veterinary techniques for cattle fattening developed by the departments. CDRC set up a stall to display their brochures, booklets and other publications. The beneficiaries of M4C displayed their harvest at the fair. The fair also included a free medical camp, an agricultural information booth, a hybrid cattle exhibition and a raffle draw ceremony for the visitors. The fair was attended by more than 7000 visitors, who came from various chars and mainland locations of Gaibandha district.
Since 2012, M4C has partnered with seven leading agro-input companies and facilitated them in improving the supply of quality agro-inputs and production services in the chars. This has resulted in 107,000 char households being able to access high quality agro-inputs and production services between 2012 and 2018. This has, in turn, contributed to an increase in income of the char households by BDT 990 million. To leverage this increase in income, M4C project aimed to create further linkage between char dwellers and private and public sector market actors operating in Bangladesh through this fair.
The Honourable Deputy Speaker of Bangladesh Parliament, Md. Fazle Rabbi Miah, MP was present as the chief guest and Dr. Md. Abdur Rashid, Director, CDRC and Project Director, M4C was present as the special guest of the inaugural ceremony of the fair.
M4C is mandated by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.