Making Markets Work for the Chars (M4C) in Northern Bangladesh (Phase II)

Progetto concluso

Women and men living on riverine islands will increase the productivity of their farms as a result of better access to quality inputs and services, processing and output markets. The 25’000 benefitting farm households are likely to invest additional income into the diversification of their farm businesses and basic needs. This will result in reduced poverty and vulnerability of men and women on riverine islands and an increase in their well-being.  

Paese/Regione Tema Periodo Budget
Impiego & sviluppo economico
Industrial policy
Supporto commerciale & inclusione economica
Sviluppe rurale
01.02.2017 - 30.06.2020
CHF  3’300’000

The three major rivers, Jamuna, Padma and Teesta, in Northwest of Bangladesh continuously erode and deposit soil to form riverine islands (so called chars). Some of these chars are seasonally attached to the mainland while others are very remote. Chars are largely affected by geographic isolation and they are more vulnerable to natural hazards like flood and erosion which cause damage to crops, livestock and housing. The northwest chars contain more than 1’200 villages with over 500’000 households comprised of above 2 million women, men and children. Despite the potential of livestock rearing and crop production, char households suffer from weak market systems due to lack of access to basic market services.


Poverty and vulnerability of char dwellers in Northern Bangladesh is reduced.

Gruppi target
  • The key target beneficiaries are the men and women in the farming households on the Chars who are engaged in small-scale crop and/or livestock production. The financial service interventions will particularly target women.
  • To reach the beneficiaries, the project will work in a facilitative manner with local service providers, collectors, wholesalers, retailers, processors and local line agencies on the chars.
  • On the main land, the project will facilitate market actors such as private agri-input companies, micro-financing institutions, and institutional buyers and processors to stimulate their service provision on the chars.
  • To institutionalise key learning, the project will collaborate with selected public institutions, who have a mandate to work for the char (Char Development Research Centre, line agencies). 


Effetti a medio termine

1.  Char households (30% poor, 30% disadvantaged and 25% women) use better services (input, production, output).

2. Service providers adapt and expand their services to the chars.

3. Public and private sector actors are more aware about the potential of the chars and undertake initiatives for an enabling market environment.


Risultati principali attesi:  

As evidenced in Phase I, access to quality inputs, information, markets and financial services results in increased income for the char farming households. These access channels require further strengthening and scaling up in Phase II through the following main outputs:

  • Char households access better services in input, production and output market channels;
  • Service providers have improved capacity to offer  and continue delivery of services;
  • A public institution becomes a knowledge hub and exchange platform and advocates for public or private sector initiatives on the chars.

Risultati fasi precedenti:  

M4C interventions have benefitted in phase I around 90’000 small farming households and contributed to additional accumulated income of CHF 13 million. Incomes increased mainly based on an average increase in yield by 20% due to use of char-suitable and disaster mitigating inputs and practices and linkages to new market actors.

Direzione/Ufficio responsabile DSC
Credito Cooperazione allo sviluppo
Partner del progetto Partner contrattuale
  • Swisscontact

Altri partner

Diverse Local Government and private sector partners and NGO sub-contractors

Coordinamento con altri progetti e attori

Various smaller projects addressing safety nets, cash grants, community development, etc. funded by World Food Program, Manusher Jonno Foundation, USAID- SHOUHARDO, are currently operating on selected chars. Also, M4C will incorporate relevant lessons and tools from the Chars Livelihood Project of DFID. The project may also collaborate with the market development components in the upcoming large-scale extreme-poverty project of DFID. Among the SDC-funded projects, M4C will coordinate and seek synergies with Shomoshti, BADIP and with the pipeline project on local economic development. 

Budget Fase in corso Budget Svizzera CHF    3’300’000 Budget svizzero attualmente già speso CHF    3’200’000
Fasi del progetto Fase 3 01.07.2020 - 30.06.2024   (Fase in corso)

Fase 2 01.02.2017 - 30.06.2020   (Completed)

Fase 1 01.12.2011 - 31.01.2017   (Completed)