Aarong and Tipra Community Producers Group signed a deal to create a direct value chain, where the local community will directly send products to the chain store by eliminating middlemen.
Nishorgo Network, established by the government to benefit local communities through conservation of forest and wetland biodiversity, helped facilitate the deal with support from USAID's Integrated Protected Area Co-Management (IPAC) Project.
A memorandum of understanding was signed between Ambalika Deb Borma from the Tripura Community and Aziza Sultana Mukta from Aarong at Lakeshore Hotel yesterday.
The deal will particularly be beneficial to the Tipra community that is forest and wetland dependent. They will no longer need to turn to these protected areas for livelihood options, as they will find alternative sources of income.
"This is a great step towards nature conservation, mitigating the negative impacts of climate change in Bangladesh, and towards food security," said IPAC Chief of Party Reed Merrill.
The network has been formalised precisely to allow local communities to work hand in hand with the government to conserve nature in ways that benefit the poor, a statement said.
Representatives from the Tipra Community Producers Group, Aarong, forest department, fisheries department, environment department, USAID, IPAC and beneficiaries were present on the occasion.
Nishorgo Network focuses on collaborative management, or co-management, which is an approach used by government technical agencies to collaborate with local communities and other stakeholders in the conservation of forestlands, wetlands and other natural resources.