Bangladesh has signed a $500 million financing agreement with World Bank to improve livestock and dairy production as well as provide better market access to 2 million household farmers and small and medium-scale agro-entrepreneurs.
The agreement was signed by Monowar Ahmed, secretary to Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Dandan Chen, acting country director of WB for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, at the ERD in the capital.
By 2021, the country is likely to face an annual shortage of 1.5 billion eggs and nearly 6 million tonnes of milk, according to World Bank.
By enhancing the availability of dairy, egg and meat products, the project will help improve nutrition for citizens, especially children, pregnant women and new mothers, the global lender said in a statement.
“Through improving market linkages and ensuring good practices, Bangladesh can increase livestock production significantly. Growth in livestock productivity potentially leads to growth in jobs for women, youth, and other vulnerable groups,” said Chen.
According to the WB, the project will help small-scale livestock farmers—half of whom are women—adopt improved agricultural technologies.
The project will promote climate resilient and emission-saving practices in the sector and will address issues related to food safety, environmental pollution, anti-microbial resistance and animal welfare, Ahmed said.
“The project will contribute to achieving the government's plan to substantially increase livestock production to feed the growing population.”
The credit, coming from the WB's International Development Association, has a 30-year term, including a five-year grace period, and carries a service charge of 0.75 percent and an interest of 1.25 percent.