Off-farm IGA (Shitolpati)
Communities in Sylhet and Moulvibazar suffer from undernutrition and malnutrition due to food insecurity. A major factor contributing to food insecurity is lack of income and employment opportunities, particularly for women. Suchana promotes income generating activities to improve food security of beneficiary households (BHHs).
Income generating activities under Suchana help ensure that beneficiaries have resources to access nutritious food and improve their standard of living through increased income. Beneficiaries participate in technical training, linkage building workshops, and mentoring sessions. Beneficiaries gain knowledge on key issues such as climate resilience techniques, livestock rearing, and vaccination.
Jely Begum, 25, is from Isamoti village of Usmanpur Union in Osmaninagar Upazila under Sylhet District. She lives with her husband and their six-year-old daughter who regularly goes to school. Her husband works as a car driver. Jely’s family had been suffering from a financial crisis, and her husband’s income barely kept the family afloat. They could not meet the day-to-day household expenses. Two years ago, in 2019, Sultana Begum, Social Community Mobiliser (SCM) came to Jely’s village. Sultana scouted out Jely’s household and asked her to join the Suchana programme. Jely had learned how to make shitolpati bed mats, commonly made from strips of a green cane. Jely attended technical training, linkage workshops, and meetings under Suchana.
After becoming a beneficiary, Jely received BDT 8,000 as starting capital. She bought pieces of equipment for making normal and decorative mats. It takes almost 5 days to weave one normal mat and 10 to 15 days to make the decorative ones with colourful artwork.
Jely enjoys making mats, which have high demand in her village, so she sells them within her community. Jely now earns BDT 5,000 to BDT 6,000 every month. She uses her income to buy books and stationery for her daughter’s education. She is now able to buy clothes for her child and treat her with sweets and candies.
Jely recently leased 3 decimals of vegetable cultivation land and wants to buy a sewing machine to diversify her household income.
“I am grateful to have Suchana’s support. I am able to buy educational
materials for my daughter. I would like to learn more about tailoring and sewing and further increase my income.”
Jely Begum, 26
Jely’s family members also suffered diseases and malnutrition due to unhealthy lifestyles and lack of nutrition practices. This problem was solved when Jely received vegetable seeds from Suchana. She attended homestead food production training and began sowing seeds on a small piece of land around her house.
Jely now grows different kinds of leafy vegetables, which help to feed her family of six. Sometimes, excess harvest is sold at the nearby local market. Jely has been successful in improving the standard of living and her family’s overall diet. She now wants to improve her sewing and tailoring skills under the Suchana programme and improve her financial status.
Suchana supports off-farm IGAs by linking them to existing market actors. This promotes development of market-linkages between beneficiary households and existing value chain players.
Each IGA beneficiary household receives BDT 8,000 worth of support following Suchana’s assessment of their existing skillsets and assets. Suchana also provides business planning support based on beneficiary households’ daily income and expenditures.
House CWN (A) 35, Road 43, Gulshan 2, Dhaka 1212