“8 Years of Char Development: Lessons and Way Forward”- an Experience Sharing Event jointly hosted by M4C & CDRC

Making Markets Work for the Jamuna, Padma and Teesta Chars (M4C) project in collaboration with the Chars Development Research Centre (CDRC) organised an experience sharing event titled “8 Years of Char Development: Lessons and Way Forward” at RDA, Bogura on 25 September 2019. Besides sharing project’s implementation experience; M4C & CDRC unveiled two publications “Char Agro-input Potentials” & “Char Information Book” and launched the newly developed website of CDRC (cdrc-rda.org).

After almost eight years of implementation in the Char areas, M4C has accumulated an inventory of contents i.e. demographics of Char population, cropping patterns, demand-supply information of agro-input and produce, sales data etc. To disseminate this knowledge among the private and public sector organisations and the development practitioners; CDRC and M4C jointly published these books.

Considering the interest of private agro-input companies, the publication “Char Agro-input Potential” aimed to help readers understand the potentials and challenges of char markets. The content includes information like number of farming households, cropping patterns, acreage wise sales, major haat (local markets), area wise sale of seeds, fertilizer, pesticides, and micronutrients. Agro-input companies and other agricultural value chain actors can benefit from these to penetrate and expand their businesses in the char markets.

The scope of the other publication “Char Information Book” is wider than the previous one; it has highlighted topics like characteristics of northern Chars of Bangladesh, agro-input potentials in the Char markets, potentials of post-production services and Char produces, livestock market potentials in Chars, potentials of microfinance services and development initiatives by the Government and Non-government Organisations.

Honorable Director General of RDA, Bogura Mr. Md. Aminul Islam was present in the program as chief guest. Mr. Shaikh Yusuf Harun, Honorable Secretary, Medical Education and Family Welfare Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare appeared in the event as Guest of Honour. At these events, stakeholders from different sectors appreciated this initiative of compiling all these Char related information in a publication and shared their opinion how the content of these publications can be further enriched. The participants insisted on publishing these books every year with updated information.

These events included interactive sessions where M4C’s private sector partners, beneficiaries, and representative of local government interacted and suggested way forward to continue growth and development and uplifting the living standards of the marginalised char people.

M4C is an eight-year, market development project. The project aims to reduce poverty amongst the northern char dwellers by facilitating changes in the market systems enhancing income generating opportunities. The project 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 and implemented by Swisscontact in collaboration with Rural Development Academy (RDA).