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COVID-19 Response: Protecting the Livelihood of Mango Farmers in Shibganj through E-commerce Platforms

Thousands of mango farmers from the Shibganj district were on the brink of being pushed to extreme poverty as the lockdown, imposed to prevent further spread of the coronavirus, limited their access to physical markets. As a result, Swisscontact-implemented PRABRIDDHI project, funded by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), is helping these mango farmers by connecting them with e-commerce platforms.

The local economy of Shibganj is highly dependent on mango production and trade. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 induced mobility restrictions and limited access to physical markets, the demand for most agricultural products including mangoes has declined. Subsequently, farmers have been in fear of losing their investments. Meanwhile, social distancing and mobility restrictions have also compelled urban consumers to switch to online shopping and home delivery services for groceries and food items. According to the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh, currently, there are more than 40,000 home deliveries taking place every day in Dhaka.

 

Helping mango farmers go digital

 

In this context, PRABRIDDHI helped mango farmers from Shibganj to broker deals with two leading e-commerce companies in Bangladesh (Chaldal.com and Parmeeda). These companies are now procuring, branding and marketing mangoes on their e-commerce platforms to meet growing consumer demand.


It is estimated that Chaldal and Parmeeda, in partnership with the Shibganj municipality and local mango farmers’ associations, will procure 200 metric tons of mangoes from more than 100 farmers in Shibganj this year.

 

Income security for farmers in times of crisis


“Thanks to PRABRIDDHI. It is a great relief to have these renowned e-commerce companies beside us during this uncertain time.” Mr. Ahasan Habib, Member Secretary of the Mango Foundation of Shibganj, expressed his gratitude to the project and SDC.

 

In addition, Tenu Khan, a mango farmer from Shibganj said, “For us, the collaboration with the e-commerce companies has created an alternative way to sell mangoes during this difficult time. We hope to continue this business relationship in the coming years as well”.


“Sufficient demand has made it worthwhile for us to hire larger trucks to collect mangoes in bulk from farms in Shibganj.” said the Founder and CEO of Parmeeda, Mr. Abu Darda. “At the same time, for Shibganj farmers, this will result in assured market and income from their mango farms during this crisis period” he added.

News Bangladesh Enterprise