WB to provide $500m to improve Bangladesh’s livestock sector

DHAKA, The World Bank will provide $500 million assistance to improve livestock and dairy production in Bangladesh in a bid to meet the country's growing demand for egg, meat and milk and thereby improve the nutritional intake of its citizens.

In this regard, a loan agreement will be signed tomorrow between the

government and the World Bank at the NEC2 Conference Room in the city's

ShereBangla Nagar area, said an Economic Relations Division (ERD) official

today.

The official told BSS that ERD Secretary Monowar Ahmed and World Bank

Acting Country Director for Bangladesh Dandan Chen will sign the agreement on

behalf of their respective sides.

The credit from the World Bank's International Development Association,

which provides grants or zerointerest loans, has a 30year term, including a

fiveyear grace period.

Through implementation of this project, growth will be stimulated as well

as livestock production systems will be improved and thus livestock farmers

in Bangladesh will have better access to livestock services and practices.

According to the ERD and the World Bank, the Livestock and Dairy

Development Project will improve agricultural productivity and market access

of 2 million smallholder household farmers and small and mediumscale agro

entrepreneurs.

The lending agency also said livestock sector employs 14 percent of the

total labor force, but more than 70 percent of rural households are engaged

in livestock production. Currently 68 percent of the agricultural labor force

is women and they are mainly involved in livestock and poultry production.

Climate change impacts on livestock production threaten to hamper the

development of livestock, said Manievel Sene, World Bank Team Leader for the

Livestock and Dairy Development Project.

The official also said rural households' livestock assets are highly

exposed to risks, including loss of livestock, associated with natural events

and major disease outbreaks.

Mitigating risks by creating an enabling environment for livestock

insurance will reduce the vulnerability of smallholder farmers as well as

enhance productivity. added the official.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)