Kuwait Goodwill Fund for Promotion of Food Security in
Islamic Countries (KGF) Programme

The Programme

In view of Bangladesh Government’s expression of special interest, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), under its program known as Kuwait Goodwill Fund for Promotion of Food Security in Islamic Countries (in short, Kuwait Goodwill Fund or KGF) provided a grant of US$ 10 million for the purpose of funding microcredit and small loans for farming and small business activities in the areas of food production, with the provision of related supporting services. These services include but are not limited to the following: food processing, storage, and marketing. A tripartite grant agreement was signed among the Government of Bangladesh, the KFAED, and Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) on January 30, 2011. The overall goal of the program is to raise household income, reduce vulnerability, improve food security, and provide technical assistance to the targeted population.

Programme Objectives

  • To provide a demand-driven and appropriately timed loan to the people involved in farming, small business, and micro enterprises
  • To provide assistance to the acquisition of knowledge in modern and sustainable technologies and to adopt and practice these technologies to enhance production to ensure food security
  • To create employment opportunities at the grassroots

Features of KGF Programme

  • Credit assistance is made available in favor of food production, processing, storing, and marketing of agricultural products, and by-products in small business and micro-enterprises.
  • A maximum amount of BDT 3,00,000 in the form of microcredit and from BDT 3,00,001 to BDT 15,00,000 as Small Loan can be approved under this program.
  • The members enjoy flexible loan repayment facilities in the implementation of various income-generating activities with a seasonal cash flow. Such facilities include the repayments after an extended grace period with weekly/fortnightly/monthly/quarterly or one-time and balloon terms.
  • Since the members are entitled to use higher ceilings of credit, they are enabled to increase cropping intensity by diversification of crops through extension of agricultural activities. In addition, they can invest their funds in the storage and marketing of crops and expansion of markets.
  • Fifty percent of the service charge income accumulated from the program at PKSF-PO level is used for the capacity building for the members as well as the PO and PKSF staff. This can be done by implementing training, demonstration, field days, farmers’ rally, mass gathering, exposure visits etc., and distribution of inputs/tools at the farm level.
  • Part of the income from the service charges earned by the POs at the member level will also be used for the capacity building of the members and other technical assistance.
  • As part of technical assistance, a part of service charge income is also used for climate-resilient livelihood innovation for climatically vulnerable communities.

Performance of KGF Programme

i) Credit Assistance

Since the inception of the KGF Programme, a total of 6,36,716 members (79% female) have been organized in 12,767 groups. Savings of the beneficiaries under this programme were BDT 320 million in the field. Up to January 2020, 38 POs has disbursed BDT 18682 million to nearly 637,000 members. The current loan outstanding is nearly BDT 1824 million, with a recovery rate near to 100%. Nearly 60% of this loan is used in crop cultivation, 30% in livestock rearing, and the rest in fish and other farm-related activities.

ii) Capacity Building and Technical Assistance

a) Farmer (member) training: Nearly 96,300 farmers (members) have been trained on new technologies related to crop production, livestock rearing, and fish production. These training sessions were conducted with the help of central and local level resource persons from the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), the Department of Livestock (DLS), and the Department of Fisheries (DoF). Specialized training (4-5 days long, residential) on modern livestock rearing, modern fish production and management, vegetative propagation and fruit tree management, mango orchard management, and judicious use of pesticide to control manage pest and diseases were also arranged for 1,075 progressive members in different research and educational organizations.

b) Staff training: Nearly 3,800 PO-level officers have been trained on ‘Implementation Strategy of KGF Programme and Basic Agriculture and Technology Update’. In addition, 410 PO-level technical officers were trained on modern fish cultivation and management, integrated pest management and organic fertilizer management, summer tomato, onion, and country bean production technology and modern rice production technology in the Horticulture Center of thw Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (FRI), Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), and Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU), respectively.

c) Technology dissemination: KGF has set up 5,560 demonstrations (1,432 result demonstrations, 1,468 block demonstrations, and 2,660 method demonstrations) using area specific, locally adopted, environment-friendly, appropriate, sustainable, and inexpensive technologies at farmers’ fields. In addition, 400 field days and 78 exposure visits to successful technologically dissemination farms were arranged under the programme.

d) Input/machinery support: The KGF Programme has distributed 54,000 pheromone traps, 46,000 lures for insecticide-free vegetables production, and 775 porous pipes for irrigation water saving rice production. In addition, 576 USG applicators and 330 power sprayers were also distributed for easy and effective application of Urea Super Granules (USG) in rice fields and judicial use of pesticide to produce quality safe mangoes respectively from this programme.

iii) Suitable agricultural technologies implemented under KGF Programme

  1. Production and post-harvest management of the mango variety of Gouromoti and Malta fruit under a two-storied orchard system has been established. A 2.5-acre orchard has been established using the very late mango variety Gouromoti in the first layer and the promising Malta variety BARI Malta1 as a second layer crop. A quality nursery has also been set up to raise quality saplings of promising vegetables and fruit varieties.
  2. Under interventions on dairy cluster development and milk processing for safe Mozzarella cheese production, members are producing whey at the required temperature of pasteurization, so the quality of cheese has improved.
  3. Through integrated agricultural production and market linkage services using coco-dust, 15,00,000 quality vegetable seedlings have been raised and members have earned Tk 21,00,000 by selling 13,00,000 seedlings.
  4. Pumpkin and other suitable crop production on sandbars have been established. Each of the 120 members produced 120-160 pumpkins on an average and each earned about Tk. 8,000 from it.
  5. Semi-intensive native chicken rearing initiatives for small-scale commercial production have been established. Five hundred farming families are implementing this technology successfully and as a result the mortality rate of chicks has dropped to 10% from 80%. A parent stock farm with hatchery has been established where 175 growers and layer groups are working.
  6. Under alternative income generating activities through floating cage fish culture, dyke dwellers are producing mono-sex tilapia using 75 cages and are able to earn 25-30% more than monoculture.
  7. Through best quality betel leaf production for income and employment generation, betel leaf growers have got 10 shed net each covering 10 decimals of land for quality and pest and disease-free betel leaf production.