Bangladesh, WB ink $500m deal to improve livestock, dairy productions
The government of Bangladesh on Wednesday signed a $500 million financing agreement with the World Bank to improve livestock and dairy production as well as provide better market access to two million household farmers and small and medium-scale agro-entrepreneurs.
Acting World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal Dandan Chen and Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD) Monowar Ahmed, on behalf of the World Bank and the government of Bangladesh respectively, signed the agreement at the ERD Bhaban in the city.
The credit is from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), 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.
By 2021, according to the WB, the country is likely to face annual shortages of 1.5 billion eggs and nearly 6 million tonnes of milk.
The Livestock and Dairy Development Project will help stimulate private sector investment and sustainable, development of livestock value chains in Bangladesh, said the Washington-based lending agency.
It will help address the country’s current shortages in eggs, dairy, and meat production.
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.
“Through improving market linkages and ensuring good practices, Bangladesh can increase livestock production significantly,” said Chen.
“Growth in livestock productivity potentially leads to growth in jobs for women, youth, and other vulnerable groups,” said the acting WB Country Director.
The project, according to the WB, will help small-scale livestock farmers—half of whom are women—adopt improved agricultural technologies.
It will support basic livestock infrastructure, including processing and marketing as well as value change development, said the WB.
It will help the government strengthen the coverage of livestock insurance aimed at protecting the assets and livelihoods of the small and medium producers.
In Bangladesh, climate change affects livestock production and the project will promote climate resilent and emission-saving practices in the sector and will address issues related to food safety, environmental pollution, anti-micribial resistance and animal welfare.
The project will directly contribute to the national climate change policies and commitments.
“The government recognises the importance of livestock in its National Livestock Development Policy and in the 7th Five-Year Plan,” said Monowar Ahmed.
He said the project will contribute to achieving the government’s plan to substantially increase livestock production to feed the growing population.