Off-farm Income Generating Activity (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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
House CWN (A) 35, Road 43, Gulshan 2, Dhaka 1212