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Improving the lives of dairy farmers in Bangladesh

Dairy farming is the only way many of the poorest and marginalised people in Bangladesh can make a living, yet extreme weather and a lack of animal care can be detrimental to their produce.

Challenges for farmers

A Bangladeshi woman feeds a group of cows For women and men dependent on small cattle holdings, keeping cattle healthy is a challenge.

A lack of veterinary services and quality fodder – often ruined by frequent flooding - means that the quantity and quality of milk produced is regularly affected, and with it, the farmers’ income.

A reliable means of transport, access to processing facilities and having a market to sell to, are just some of the other challenges dairy farmers are facing.

Animal health training

Working with the Rishi community – a minority group discriminated against because of their caste - our partner, Integrated Community and Industrial Development (INCIDIN), has improved the livelihoods of 1,250 dairy farmers and their families in Bagherhat, south-west Bangladesh.

INCIDIN provided veterinary services - alongside a de-worming initiative - to improve the health of cattle. Local people were also trained as community-based animal health workers and now have the skills to provide crucial animal care. 

Earning more for milk

Also, since the project began, Milk Vita – the biggest milk production cooperative in Bangladesh – has established a 5,000 litre milk chilling plant in the neighbouring district of Gopalganj. This means farmers can deposit their milk in return for weekly payments.

With healthier animals comes better quality milk, and with access to more lucrative markets farmers in Rishi have seen their incomes surge. 

Thanks to the support of INCIDIN, farmers are now earning up to 75% more for their milk. 

They have also received important training in business and accounting; improving their ability to negotiate, organise and manage their finances.

Find out more

More on our work in Bangladesh

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