CLP Participants Begin to Supply Livestock to National Meat Company
Bulu stands bargaining with the buyer in the yard of her homestead for a long time. She is stubborn; she refuses to reduce the price of her bull from 50,000 taka (£383). After half an hour of haggling, she agrees to a price of 46,000 taka (£352). “I think I got the right price” she says. “It’s a lot of money; I am feeling happy”.
Bulu lives on the chars, in a remote village called Char Pirpur. She joined the CLP one year ago. She received the bull from the CLP’s asset transfer project, a key element of the package the programme provides to its participants. Eight months ago, the bull cost 19,000 taka (£145), of which 16,000 taka (£122) was provided by the CLP.
The buyer, Nurul, is a supplier to Bengal Meat, the largest meat processor in Bangladesh. The purchase of Bulu’s bull is the first step in a relationship between char livestock farmers and the company.
Over the past six years, the CLP has demonstrated that its support helps the extreme poor on the chars to build an asset base. Now, through market development interventions, it is also making markets work better for the extreme poor, a method of ensuring that the changes to livelihoods that the CLP has created are sustained after the end of the project.
Nural’s purchase from Bulu is a result of discussions between the CLP’s Market and Livelihoods Unit and Bengal Meat. Bengal Meat supplies meat to local and international markets, marketing high quality meat through retailers in Bangladeshi cities, the Middle East and Malaysia.
The CLP has shown that char livestock farmers can produce bulls of the quality required by Bengal Meat. In the future the chars could represent a valuable supply base for the company. Though Nural has only bought two bulls on this visit, he says that most of the bulls he has seen in the chars would be suitable for purchase.
The nascent relationship with Bengal Meat is only one element of the CLP’s market development activities. The programme is implementing an ambitious range of projects aiming at changing markets in the meat, cattle feed and milk sectors. In September the CLP officially contracted an international consultancy, International Development Enterprises (iDE), as a partner in implementing the meat and cattle feed interventions.
In the meat sector, the CLP aims to improve both the quality and the quantity of meat production on the chars, allowing livestock farmers to increase their income. The CLP is also creating better links between char producers and mainland service providers and buyers; as Nural’s visit to Bulu demonstrates.