Bangladesh on Wednesday signed a $500 million financing agreement with the World Bank to improve livestock and dairy production, said a press statement.
Economic relations division secretary Monowar Ahmed and acting World Bank country director Dandan Chen signed the deal on behalf of their respective sides in the city.
Under the agreement, a ‘livestock and dairy development project’ will help provide better market access to 2 million household farmers and small and medium-scale agro-entrepreneurs.
“The project will contribute to achieving the government’s plan to substantially increase livestock production to feed the growing population,” said Monowar Ahmed.
The project, the press statement added, will also assist to stimulate private sector investment and sustainable development of livestock value chains in Bangladesh to overcome the country’s current shortages in eggs, dairy, and meat production.
By 2021, according to the World Bank, Bangladesh may face annual shortages of 1.5 billion eggs and nearly 6 million tonnes of milk.
“Through improving market linkages and ensuring good practices, Bangladesh can increase livestock production significantly,” said Dandan Chen, acting World Bank country director for Bangladesh.
“Growth in livestock productivity potentially leads to growth in jobs for women, youth, and other vulnerable groups,” Dandan Chen added.
The project will also work for adopting improved agricultural technologies for small-scale livestock farmers - half of whom are women.
The WB also said as the climate change has an effect on livestock production in Bangladesh, the project also will promote climate resilent and emission-saving practices in the sector and will address issues related to food safety, environmental pollution, antimicrobial resistance and animal welfare.
The credit is from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), has a 30-year term, including a five-year grace period, and carries a service charge of 0.75 per cent and an interest of 1.25 per cent.
Bangladesh currently has the largest IDA programme totalling $12.4 billion.