Delegates from The Ministry of Planning of the Government of Bangladesh Visits M4C Intervention Areas

Entrepreneurial ecosystems
As per the Mandate of the Government of Bangladesh the Technical Assistance Project Proposal  (TAPP) for the Making Markets Work for the Chars (M4C) project, implemented by the Rural Development Academy (RDA) in Bogura, in collaboration with Swisscontact and jointly funded by the Government of Bangladesh and the Embassy of Switzerland in Bangladesh, an Inter-ministerial Committee led by the Ministry of Planning was formed by the Planning Commission to inspect and assess the activities undertaken in the field in M4C project areas.

The committee, tasked with reviewing the project's progress and impact, recently conducted visits to char lands in five upazilas, spanning the districts of Rangpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram, and Lalmonirhat. During this visit from July 7 to July 8, 2023, project documents were meticulously reviewed at the respective district project offices, and comprehensive consultations were held with local beneficiary farmers, entrepreneurs, businessmen, traders, and public representatives. Additionally, on-the-ground visits were conducted to assess the tangible outcomes of the project in the char areas. During the visit of members of the intermediate evaluation committee Dr. Anjan Kumar Deb Roy, Additional Secretary, Rural Institutions and Coordination Wing, Planning Commission; Md. Zahir Raihan, Director General (Additional Secretary), Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Department (IMED), Planning Commission; Dr Md Golam Mostafa, Deputy Secretary (Plan-1 & Plan-6), Rural Development and Cooperative Department; Md. Saiful Islam Mondal, Deputy Chief, Rural Institutions and Coordination Wing, Planning Commission; Mst. Jesmun Nahar, Deputy Chief, Operations Division, Agricultural & Co-ordination Wing, Planning Commission; Sanchita Karmakar, Senior Assistant Chief, Rural Institutions and Coordination Wing, Planning Commission were present.

During their comprehensive field visit, the committee directly witnessed the formidable challenges that prevail in the char areas. Through the discussion with the local beneficiary farmers and traders, the committee learned about the transformation brought about by the concerted efforts of the project, notably through the establishment of a traders' outgrower scheme (TOS) group. The committee observed firsthand the facilitated linkages between farmers and traders, leading to improved marketing opportunities and enabling farmers to secure fair prices for their agricultural produce. Moreover, the committee observed the execution of the introduction of interventions such as portable storage for crops produced in chars and low-cost irrigation through portable solar systems for agricultural lands in chars.

The committee shared their feedback on the project's overall performance, offering valuable recommendations and remarks for improvement. The recommendations put forth by the committee offer valuable insights that will undoubtedly aid in the enhancement of the project activities.

Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Making Markets Work for the Jamuna, Padma and Teesta Chars (M4C)
To reduce vulnerability and increase wellbeing of vulnerable and marginalised char dwellers living in the northern char region of Bangladesh. Chars are riverine land, susceptible to erosion and soil deposition, which remain disconnected from mainland either seasonally or throughout the year. Due to this unique geographical positioning,...