Connecting Bangladeshi rice farmers to commercial buyers

USAID BangladeshThe project aims to empower farmers to produce high value varieties of rice in bulk quantities. (Image source: Trung Hieu Dang/Pixabay)A USAID-funded project, Feed the Future Bangladesh Rice Value Chain (RVC), aimed at improving the rice value chain is helping 365 farmer organisations in southern Bangladesh to grow premium-quality crops to gain access to national buyers

The project works towards developing the capacity of the farmer groups who grow the same high-value rice varieties, composed of 10,500 farmer members, to produce their crops in bulk in order to improve opportunities to do business with millers and food companies.

RVC was present at the recent 3rd Rice and Grains Tech Expo along with another project, Stress-Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia (STRASA), led by the International Rice Research Institute. STRASA said that it is is speeding up dissemination of seeds of improved rice varieties to farmers in areas prone to drought, flooding, and other severe environmental conditions.

“South Bangladesh is one of the country's poorest areas and most vulnerable to cyclone-induced disasters. It also has a much lower level of industrialisation. So, all the national food processing companies have their bases, including mills and factories, in the northern and western parts of the country,” said RVC project leader Tim Russell.

The organisation commented that after RVC spearheaded the creation of farmer groups with the capacity to grow crops and varieties in demand throughout the country, processing companies have begun to set up buying operations in southern Bangladesh.

At the Expo, the farmer organisations and their members had the opportunity to link with national companies that produce agriculture and forestry products, farm machinery, and new technologies for rice production and marketing. The buyers are primarily interested in purchasing Chinigura rice from the farmers who now have the capacity to grow this Bangladeshi aromatic variety in bulk, .

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