The United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Grameen Euglena, a joint venture between Japan’s Euglena Co Ltd and Bangladesh’s Grameen Krishi Foundation, are collaborating on an initiative that supports smallholder farmers to cultivate mung beans.
This high-value crop will help them to increase their income and tap into international markets.
The collaboration was launched on Wednesday (Sept 21) in Dhaka with a letter of intent signed by both parties. The partnership aims to strengthen public-private partnerships with IFAD’s implementing partners in Bangladesh.
It will enable farmers supported by IFAD-financed projects to access international markets, while Grameen Euglena will also have access to good quality mung beans produced in large volumes by Bangladeshi farmers.
As part of this initiative, coastal farmers will be trained in technology used in Japan and given technical assistance to access international mung bean value chains.
“IFAD values collaborative initiatives. This renewed partnership will spur engagement with the private sector in Bangladesh. If interests are aligned and the proposed activities improve rural farmers’ conditions, we will endeavour to engage in more collaboration like this,” said Arnoud Hameleers, IFAD Country Director, Bangladesh.
During the six-year partnership from 2022 to 2028, IFAD and Euglena will work together to ensure availability of good quality agricultural inputs at an affordable price, and train farmers to efficiently use inputs for safe, nutritious and diversified production.
“Grameen Euglena is eager to eliminate the poverty and malnutrition of the farmers in rural areas. A key factor to achieve this goal is to generate synergies between the public and private sectors. The collaboration between IFAD and Grameen Euglena will help both organizations achieve their respective goals. We are convinced that it will become an innovative model for new forms of international cooperation,” said Yukoh Satake, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Grameen Euglena.
The joint initiative will focus on facilitating market access for producers in climate-vulnerable coastal regions, especially women and smallholders, and support farmers to meet quality standards and gain access to the export market.
Emphasizing the value that IFAD brings to these partnerships, Hameleers noted that, “IFAD supports working with partners towards joint solutions that use IFAD expertise in extension and micro-finance to help smallholder farmers achieve their full potential. The overarching goal is to build a resilient, diversified and inclusive food system.”
IFAD investments are implemented by partner ministries in the government and IFAD collaborates with other UN organisations and international financial institutions to implement projects.
IFAD has been investing in poor rural women and men in Bangladesh for over 40 years through 35 projects aimed at enabling rural people to better adapt their livelihoods to climate change; help small-scale producers and entrepreneurs benefit from improved value chains and greater market access; and empower marginalized groups, especially poor rural women. So far, IFAD has invested US $973.5 million, reaching 11.7 million households.