Off-farm Income Generating Activity (Bamboo Crafts)

Off-farm IGA (Bamboo Crafts)


Income generating activities (IGA) under Suchana ensure that households can afford nutritious food for family members. These activities also help produce surplus income for the family and maintain a better standard of life.

Suchana works with beneficiaries skilled in bamboo crafts to ensure higher production, improved linkages, and year-round sales. This ensures adequate income and contributes to Suchana’s overall aim to improve nutrition in Sylhet.

Reponti’s Success Story

33-year-old Reponti Rani Biswas is a bamboo craft producer who lives in Laxmipur village in Moulvibazar district. Her family comprises 5 members and are engaged as day labourers, and in production of bamboo crafts. They have no productive land or alternative sources of income. Bamboo crafts include tools and essential items like tukri, faria, and tail/dull. Without established market linkages, these products often do not receive fair prices. The family business also suffered from barriers that include unavailability of quality bamboo, insufficient working capital, lack of market information and weak backward and forward market linkages. To manage the basics for her family, Reponti sometimes borrowed from microfinance institutes. Suchana selected Reponti to participate as an off-farm IGA beneficiary. Suchana’s support included:

  • Business planning meetings and linkage development
  • Local collaboration agreements
  • Support in the form of assets such as bamboo, bamboo cutting machine, and other relevant tools
  • Training on efficient production of bamboo crafts

With Suchana’s help, Reponti increased production by 33% and established strong linkage with input sellers and output buyers. Having been trained on market negotiations and competitive pricing, her profit margin increased by at least 40% with a monthly income of BDT 8,000 to BDT 10,000. She remembers to inject capital into the business to ensure steady expansion and frequently reinvests to ensure smooth operation of her business.


  • Through 2019 to 2020, 63% of all very poor beneficiaries who received training and input support to establish IGAs profited from their chosen IGA
  • 65% of Suchana beneficiary households accessed quality inputs from public/ private actors this year, indicating participation in market mechanism and strong interest to continue applying skills acquired through programme
  • 140,823 BHHs developed home gardens
  • 60% of beneficiaries from Phases I, II, and III introduced climateresilient technologies to their homestead production, comprising 94,937 beneficiary households

Reponti realises that her business is of a seasonal nature, and has thus diversified her income generating options. She purchased a cow and six chickens and plans to expand her livestock and poultry farming options. She is eager to ensure her child’s education throughout, and for the family to be able to invest in a larger house. Reponti and her husband have equal say in decision-making for the family. They have adequate disposable income to meet all their basic needs.


Purpose of IGA bamboo crafts

IGA under Suchana engages very poor households in climate-resilient, gender-sensitive, and market-led activities. These activities are supported by start-up grants provided by Suchana, and primarily aim to improve access to nutrition through increased income and food production. Income generating activities can include both on-farm and off-farm activities like bamboo crafts. Communities in Suchana intervention areas in Sylhet and Moulvibazaar suffer from food insecurity, resulting in severe malnutrition, especially among women and also children under 5 years. Food insecurity in the area is attributed to limited income and employment opportunities, particularly for women.


Facilitation of production and sales of bamboo crafts

The most notable barriers included unavailability of quality bamboo, insufficient working capital, lack of market information and weak backward and forward market linkage. With these barriers in mind, Suchana aimed to:

  • Provide raw materials and tools like bamboo cutter
  • Provide training on efficient production techniques
  • Arrange Business Planning meetings and linkage building events that connect local producers to retailers
  • Generate ideas for new products
  • Extend technical support to marketin products and ensure steady supply of raw materials
  • Establish market linkages

Contact us at:

House CWN (A) 35, Road 43, Gulshan 2, Dhaka 1212