Business picks up for Bangladesh smallholders
Our Bangladesh colleagues are hard at work in many directions. New business for smallholders is a major focus. Here's the team's activity review for 2016-17*.
Contrary to what some organizations suggest, business is great news for smallholders. And many of them are natural entrepreneurs, if given the chance. Meet Nural Islam, winner of the Spark Acceleration Program.
A recent report by Spark includes news of our Farmers' Hubs. These are a major Syngenta Foundation initiative enabling smallholders to pick up more business.
Sometimes, however, business can't be "as usual". Last August, heavy flooding devastated many areas of Bangladesh. They included those in which we work, particularly with poor Santal communities. In a concerted effort from Dhaka and Basel, the Syngenta Foundation moved rapidly to help. Thanks in part to these efforts, the Santals have - often literally - picked up their shattered livelihoods. Here is what they and we did together.
In most countries, business as a foundation requires official approval from the authorities. That's true in Switzerland, and it's true in Bangladesh. In December, our status picked up in the latter. We're now officially an "International NGO". That enables operations as a fully-fledged Syngenta Foundation country office. This registration change helps our team to, for example, explore external funding to scale up initiatives. We'll keep you informed!