Kuwait Goodwill Fund for Promotion of Food Security in Islamic Countries Program
In view of Bangladesh Government’s expression of special interest, Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), under its program known as Kuwait Goodwill Fund for Promotion of Food Security in Islamic Countries (in short, Kuwait Goodwill Fund or KGF) provided a grant of US$ 10 million for the purpose of funding Microcredit and Small loan for farming and small business activities in the areas of food production and provision of related supporting services, including, without being limited to, food processing, storage and marketing. A tri-partite grant agreement was signed among the Government of Bangladesh, KFAED and Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) on January 30, 2011. The overall goal of the program is to raise household income, reduce vulnerability, improve food security and provide technical assistance to the targeted population.
- To provide demand-driven and appropriately timed Microcredit and Small loan to the people involved in farming and farming related small business and micro enterprises;
- To provide assistance to the acquisition of knowledge in modern, effective and sustainable technologies, to adopt and practice these technologies to enhance production to ensure food security;
- To channel the lending initiatives related to production, processing and storage of food into the mainstream program of PKSF;
- To create employment opportunities at the grass root level.
All regular and prospective members of Jagoron (Rural microcrddit), Agrosor (Micro-enterprise) and Sufolon (Agricultural loan) of 33 POs of PKSF who have good track record of receiving and utilizing comparatively higher amount of credit, are eligible to be the beneficiaries of this program.
At the initial phase, the programme is being implemented at Dhaka, Mymensingh, Faridpur, Chittagong, Comilla, Jessore, Nawabganj and Joypurhat districts. Gradually, the coverage has been extended to 30 districts of Bangladesh.
Features of KGF Program:
- Credit assistance is made available in favor of food production, processing, storing and marketing of agricultural products and by-products and in small business and micro enterprises related to similar initiatives.
- A maximum amount of BDT 3,00,000 in the form of Microcredit and BDT 3,00,001 to 15,00,000 as Small loan can be approved under this program.
- Since the members are entitled to use higher ceiling of credit, they are enabled to increase cropping intensity by diversification of crops through extension of agricultural activities; effective use of seed, fertilizer and pesticide; mechanization of farms and to extend the coverage area under irrigation. Besides, they can invest their funds in the storage and marketing of crops and expansion of markets.
- 50% of the service charge income accumulated from the program at PKSF-PO level is used for the running cost of KGF program; training for the beneficiaries, PO and PKSF staff; implementation of different technology dissemination methods like demonstration, field days, farmers’ rally, mass gathering, exposure visits etc.; distribution of inputs related to expansion of technologies at farm level and supervision and monitoring of the program.
- A part of the income from the service charges earned by the POs at PO-Beneficiary level can also be used for the capacity building of the credit recipients and other technical assistance.
- The members enjoy flexible loan repayment facilities in the implementation of various income-generating activities with a seasonal cash flow. Such facilities include the repayments after an extended grace period with weekly/fortnightly/monthly/quarterly or one-time and balloon or modified balloon terms.
- Under this program cattle insurance facilities are offered to the beneficiaries to protect their cattle from various diseases and mortality in order to minimize their financial loss under such situations.
Performance of the Program
i) Credit Assistance
Since the inception of the KGF Programme, a total of 2,76,200 members of which 74.85% are female, have been organized in 10,250 groups. Savings of the beneficiaries under this programme stood BDT 223 million in the field. Up to November 2016, 33 POs has disbursed BDT 7800 million to nearly 276 thousand (cumulative) member. Current loan outstanding is nearly BDT 1360 million having a recovery rate of over 99%. Nearly 60% of this laoan is used in crop cultivation, 30% in livestock production and rest in fish and other farm-related activities.
ii) Capacity Building and Technical Assistance
a) Beneficiaries training: Nearly 48,900 members have been trained on new technologies related to crop production, livestock rearing and fish production. These training were conducted with the help of central and local level resource persons from Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Department of Livestock (DLS) and Department of Fisheries (DOF). Specialized training (4-5 days long, residential) on Modern Livestock Rearing, Modern Fish Production and Management, Vegetative Propagation and Fruit Tree Management, Mango Orchard Management and Judicious Use of Pesticide to Control Manage Pest and Diseases were also arranged for 775 progressive members in different research and educational organizations.
b) Staff training: Over 3,000 PO level officers have been trained on Implementation strategy of KGF Programme and Basic Agriculture and Technology Update. Besides, 210 PO level technical officers were trained on Modern Fish Cultivation and Management, Integrated Pest Management and Organic Fertilizer Management and Modern Rice Production Technology in the Horticultue Center of Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Bangaldeh Fisheries Research Institute (FRI), Bangladesh Agicultural Research Institute (BARI), Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) and Bangalsdeh Agricultural University (BAU), respectively.
c) Technology dissemination: KGF set 1276 demonstrations (473 result demonstration, 186 block demonstration and 617 method demonstration) using area specific, locally adopted, environment-friendly, appropriate, sustainable and inexpensive technologies at farmers’ field. Besides, 98 field days and 52 exposure visits to successful technologically dessimination farm and 22 mobile cinema shows at field level were arranged under the programme.
d) Technology support: KGF Programme has distribute 27,716 pheromone traps and 3,737 lures for insecticide free vegetables production and 775 porous pipes for irrigation water saving rice production. Besides, 503 USG applicator and 170 power sprayers were also distributed for easy and effective application of USG to rice field and judicial use of pesticide to produce quality mango respectively from this programme.
Activities undertaken for the FY 2016-17
For the FY 2016-17, a budgetary allocation of BDT 153 crore (150 crore for credit assistance and 3 crore for capacity building activities) has been made for a total of 26 Partner organizations (PO) under this programme. The working area of this programme covers 58 upazilas of 21 districts of Bangladesh. In the 2016-17 fiscal year a diversified work plan has been made under this programme. Major activites under this programme are-
- Cluster based approaches have been undertaken to disseminate low-cost sustainable technologies through establishing demonstrations at farmers field;
- Introducing high yielding and stress tolerant/resistant crop varieties of high value crop such as- spices, oilseed, pulses, fuits and flowers;
- Introducing integrated crop management practices including mechanical, cultural and biological control of pest and disease management for safe vegetables production;
- Introducing cluster based vermi-compost, semi intensive goat rearing and mixed aquaculture along with dyke vegetable cultivation;
- Developing technology related knowledge, skill and practices for both staff and members by arranging training, workshop, exposure visits at different agricultural research and educational organizations; and
- Arranging field days for effective extension of proven technologies of the best practices established by the farmers at different demonstration sites.