The Feed the Future Bangladesh Rice and Diversified Crops Activity, funded by USAID and implemented by ACDI/VOCA, signed an agreement with two private sector companies, Chaldal.com and Ghazi Commodities Limited, to launch a commodity trade portal in Bangladesh.
In Bangladesh, the current state of grain procurement by large firms is disparate, opportunistic, and inefficient. Processors or retailers rely on a network of in-field traders or aggregators for their supply. The network is limited in size and scope, and pricing is opaque.
To address these issues, the USAID-funded Feed the Future Bangladesh Rice and Diversified Crops (RDC) Activity signed a memorandum of understanding with Chaldal.com, the country’s largest online grocery delivery platform, and Ghazi Commodities Limited, an importer and broker operating in the commodity market.
Through this partnership, the two companies agreed to collaborate with the RDC Activity to enhance access to markets for smallholder farmers and agri-business owners who are currently operating in rural southwestern Bangladesh.
The RDC Activity’s overall goal is to increase incomes and improve food security and nutrition in this region through systemic market changes that promote a diversified farm management approach oriented to intensified rice production and higher-value, nutrient-rich crops. The initial focus of this partnership will be to establish a virtual commodity trade platform that focusses on making grain trade more efficient and transparent. Thereafter, this initiative aims to lead to the establishment of a commodity exchange servicing all people in Bangladesh as well as providing commodity trade opportunities in the wider region
“The RDC Activity is pleased to have initiated and supported this important intervention to establish supply chain efficiencies and improve market access and incomes for smallholders. Indications are that there is significant buy-in from the private sector, including commodity traders, processors, and financial institutions. We are pleased to continue working with Chaldal.com and Ghazi Commodities to advance this effort.” said Cuan Opperman, Chief of Party of the RDC Activity.
The establishment of a trade platform will also lead to the introduction of approved quality standards, which will benefit the whole agricultural sector and provide better marketing opportunities that not only help producers but also help to stabilize markets with known volumes and qualities of commodities.
Innovation in creating trading platforms to promote farmers’ products and deliveries as well as the greater use of data and cost-efficient market channels could positively impact 15 million smallholder farmers, including the six million in southwestern Bangladesh alone. This could result in expanded commercial opportunities for the agri-industry and financial markets and improve market opportunities for the rural poor.
This article was originally published by ACDI/VOCA.