M4C disseminates the results of market system based poverty reduction models in addressing the challenges of extremely vulnerable communities

Making Markets Work for the Jamuna, Padma and Teesta Chars (M4C) had recently organised a Knowledge Dissemination Event titled “Market Systems Changes for Sustainable Vulnerability Reduction in Challenging Contexts” on Thursday, June 20th, 2019 at CIRDAP International Conference Center (CICC).

Through the event, M4C shared project’s eight-year-long experience of developing the agricultural market system which generated pathways for reducing vulnerability for poor/extremely poor households living in the hard-to-reach char areas of northern Bangladesh.

Mr. Md. Kamal Uddin Talukder, Secretary, Rural Development and Cooperative Division, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. The esteemed guests of the program included Mr. Derek George, Deputy Director Cooperation, Embassy of Switzerland, Bangladesh; Dr. Md. Abdur Rashid, Director, Char Development and Research Center, RDA, Bogura as well as well as S.M. Mahmuduzzaman, Team Leader, M4C, Swisscontact. Mr. Talukder during his speech mentioned “The unique approach of M4C has proven that these poor people with their fortitude, and if they are provided with right skills set and right business linkages, they can also become active agents in the market system and develop their social economic status and become resilient”. Mr. Anirban Bhowmik, Country Director, Swisscontact Bangladesh presented M4C’s eight-year worth of findings and highlighted how M4C’s  model challenged the conventional notion that extremely vulnerable people can only be mere recipients of assets and technical support. Rather, they can also be economically self-reliant when backed with the  right enabling environment.

A panel discussion was also coordinated by SM Mahmuduzzaman where the  invited experts discussed the commendable results and lessons M4C has achieved, especially on bringing in investments from private and public sectors actors to design, test and extend services to benefit poor, char dwellers. The panellists emphasised on the sustainable improvement of livelihood options for these char dwellers.

M4C is an eight-year, market development project. The project aims to reduce poverty amongst the northern char dwellers by facilitating changes in the market systems enhancing income generating opportunities. The project is mandated by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and implemented by Swisscontact in collaboration with Rural Development Academy (RDA).