Bangladesh Rural Development Board

Bangladesh Rural Development Board

Bangladesh Rural Development Board
The Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB) under the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (LGRD & C) is the largest service oriented institutional setup of the Government of Bangladesh (GOB), is directly engaged in rural development and  poverty alleviation activities in Bangladesh.    
It's Head Office based in Dhaka the capital city of Bangladesh .With 64 District Offices and over 482 Sub-District (Upazila) Offices across the country. BRDB boasts coverage unmatched by any other Governmental or non-Governmental organization working in rural development and poverty alleviation in Bangladesh. BRDB closely follows reflects, supports and reinforces the GOB goal, vision and policies for socio-economic development vis-à-vis rural development and poverty reduction in particular.

It operates by organizing small and marginal farmers, asset less men, women and destitute freedom fighters into cooperative societies and/or informal groups and provide  them with short and long-term credit, technology for their  socio-economic wellbeing and training. In its provision of services and support, the BRDB seeks to promote self-sufficient, fully sustainable income-generating activities amongst the landless, the rural poor and the marginalized.

The BRDB was established in 1982 and has since then successfully mobilized 5.3 million beneficiaries into cooperative societies and informal groups. It pioneered the two-tier cooperative system and continues to successfully implement it to alleviate the endemic poverty of Bangladesh's rural populace.

History of  BRDB

In the early sixties the Comilla Model was evolved in rural development by Dr. Akhter Hamid Khan (1914 - 1999), a renowned social scientist and social reformer, through an action research work at the Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD) in Kotbari, Comilla. This model is known as the Two-Tier Co-operative system, which has become the main vehicle of Rural Development in Bangladesh...    

The origins of the BRDB lie in the erstwhile Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP), launched in the early 1970s to replicate the Two-Tier Cooperative System, popularly known as the TCCA-KSS System. The TCCA-KSS System – based on the Comilla Approach to rural development – became the keystone of the IRDP. At the most fundamental level, its application sought to promote economic growth through increased agricultural production and ensure that the rural poor attained self-sufficiency in food production.

The IRDP utilised the TCCA-KSS System to deliver a portfolio of poverty alleviation initiatives, including capital accumulation, training, credit provision, sales and marketing assistance, and extension and technological support.

The Integrated Rural Development Programme was dissolved with the promulgation of the Bangladesh Rural Development Board Ordinance LIII, which came into effect on January 13th,1982. Under this Ordinance, a board  to be called the Bangladesh Rural Development Board  was established to carry out the purposes of the said ordinance. That is, to formulate policies, coordinate activities and supervise the implementation of various projects and programs relating to rural development, and to strengthen the rural economy of Bangladesh

Vision Of BRDB
Poverty free and self-reliant rural Bangladesh       

Overview of BRDB
Bangladesh Rural Development Board is the  prime government agency engaged in rural development and poverty alleviation. BRDB basically operates by organizing the small and marginal farmers into cooperative societies for increasing agricultural production through improved means and by forming formal or informal groups of landless men and distressed women to promote income generating activities in the rural areas. The origin of BRDB lies in the erstwhile Integrated  Rural Development Program (IRDP) which was launched in the early 70s to replicate Two-Tier Cooperative, popularly known as the Comilla Model the Upazila Central Cooperative Association (UCCA) - Village based farmer cooperatives (KSS) system. The system is based on the "Comilla approach" to rural development, as conceived by the Bangladesh Academy for rural Development (BARD) in the early 1960s. IRDP was introduced to promote economic growth through increased agricultural production

Two-Tier Cooperative as the core component of IRDP together with other elements such as capital accumulation, training, credit, marketing, extension and technological support promoted IRDP to help attaining food autarky in the country. In view of IRDP success the program was transformed in 1982 into a nation- wide institution called Bangladesh Rural Development Board. gradually, the activities of BRDB expanded beyond its originally  mandated functions to the task of alleviation of endemic rural poverty by reaching the poorest of the poor through group- based self employment and income enhancing initiatives.

In order to fulfill its lately assumed mission of reducing rural poverty. BRDB had to adopt a new strategy and undertake a number of development projects in addition to its normal programs. BRDB has so far implemented 114 development projects and 07 are know under implementation. Each project designed and implemented by BRDB includes in itself various social development issues such as Primary Health Care, HIV/AIDS, sanitation, environment, mass education and the like which has an indirect impact on reducing rural poverty. BRDB thus moved from a sect oral approach to a multidimensional  approach with the following goal, objectives and strategies.

Mission of BRDB
The outstanding mission of BRDB includes the followings:
1.     To organize Comilla type of cooperative for optimum utilization of human as well as material resources available to development.
2.     To organize rural masses into cohesive & disciplined group for planned sustained development.
3.     Accumulate/mobilize rural capital through thrift deposit & sale of shares.
4.     Ensuring proper utilization of institutional credit
5.     Developing human resources through training & motivation to the portfolio of demand driven as well as women empowerment.
6.     Integrate Supply & Services for effective utilization.
7.     Develop local leadership as community catalyst.

Strategies of BRDB
BRDB basically emphasis on institution building toward RD, which involves human element is by no means an easy job. As such, it has well defined strategical dimension.
BRDB’s efforts includes institutional building which act as a leading instrument to promote RD a package organizational human infrastructure with the following elements:-
1.     Institutions setting both formal & non-formal nature.
2.     Training of both beneficiaries & functionaries as animators.
3.     Credit as Micro/Farm loan /Rural Non Firm (RNF).
4.     Marketing & storage efforts.
5.     Other productive inputs.
6.     Implementing community & target based projects & programs.
7.     Encouraging rural capital mobilization.
8.     Multipurpose catalysts.
9.     Shift of assumption from time bound project to program approach.
10.   Collaborating with NBD’s, Local self government & NGOs.
11.   Gender development activity.
12.   Efforts towards sustainable track of activity.

1.Poverty Alleviation Programme

The BRDB was initially mandated to foster agricultural growth and reach self-sufficient food production. With the tremendous success of this approach (food production doubled within fifteen years from the early 1970s and the country reached near self-sufficient levels of production) the BRDB continued to focus its development efforts on those with production capabilities – that is, small and marginal farmers.
However, as it became clear that this approach to development largely neglected landless and ‘assetless’ people and that the socio-economic condition of such people was in fact continuing to worsen, the BRDB renewed its policies and placed the development of the rural poor at the top of its priorities.
By shifting its strategy and expanding its activities, the BRDB was able to couple its efforts to improve agricultural production with the active promotion of self-employment and income generating activities.
To this day, the BRDB places equal value on both the provision of financial and technological inputs and skills development, through training and education. With this approach, the BRDB continues to promote improvements in agricultural production and provide those with no means of production with opportunities to improve their standards of living.
As well as providing assistance to farmers and the rural poor, BRDB is implementing poverty reduction program for the Insolvent Freedom Fighters and their dependents.

Poverty Alleviation Related Projects  

  1. Integrated Poverty Alleviation Programme (IPAP) : D_64, U_ 443, CD_68020.77 Lakh taka
  2. Rural Poverty Alleviation Programme (RPAP) : D_22, U_123, CD_68020.77 Lakh taka
  3. Rural Livelihood Project (RLP) : D_23, U_152, CD_ 1705336.00 Lakh taka
  4. Insolvent Freedom Fighters and their dependents training and self- employment program (FF) : D_64, U_481, CD_ 3166.00 Lakh taka
  5. Minor Crops Production, Preservation, Processing and Marketing Programme (MCPP&MP) : D_26U_204, CD_
  6. Production and Employment Project (PEP) : D_5, U_27, CD_ 109026.04 Lakh taka
  7. Dostha Paribar Unnayan Samity (DOPUS) : D_21,U_22,CD_ 1257.94 Lakh taka
  8. Local Level Rural Poor Employment Programme (LORPEP) : D_3,U_16,CD_ 455.85 Lakh taka
  9. Socio - Economic Development Programme in Hill Tracts (SEDPHT) : D_3,U_25,CD_ 2732.64 Lakh taka
  10. Productive Employment & Development program for Rural Women (PEDPRW) : D_3,U_3,CD_ 88.77 Lakh taka

2.Women's Development Programme

Women in Bangladesh, particularly those in rural areas, are severely disadvantaged. Inhibited by a low social status and lack of access to remunerative employment and educational opportunities, they have historically been unable to reap the benefits of development.
Since inception, the BRDB has been striving to improve the status of women within Bangladesh. It realises the necessity of involving all in the development process, and for that reason has undertaken steps to ensure women's participation.
In 1975, the BRDB launched a countrywide women's development project titled, "Strengthening Population Planning through Rural Women's Cooperatives". The project sought to mobilise women in the development process by organising them into cooperatives, which then granted members access to BRDB services. The success of the project led it to become established as a main scheme programme under the recurring revenue budget.

To this day, the programme seeks, as always, to reach the following objectives:
1.     Organise rural poor women into cooperatives for their participation in socio-economic development,
2.     Improve rural women's socio-economic condition by equipping them with skills and knowledge,
3.     Provide working capital to female co-operators, to allow them to undertake various income generating activities and entrepreneurial development projects.
4.     To provide training on different IGA's, various STD's and HIV/AIDS preventive measures, women rights, women empowerment, child abuse etc.
Key Achievements of the Women's Programme
  1.  Number of Societies Formed   7227
  2.   Members Enrolment     255406
  3. Total Shares Deposited     90.88 Million Taka
  4.  Total Savings Deposited     209.46 Million Taka
  5. Total Credit Disbursed     4708.75 Million Taka
  6. Total Credit Realised     4145.90 Million Taka
  7.  Loan Recovery Rate      96%

Women's Development  Related Projects
  1. 1.    Strengthening Population Planning through Rural Women's Cooperatives: M_ 255406,CD_ 4708.75 Million Taka
  2. 2.        Tangail Women's Training Centre : over 9,000
  3. 3.      Self Employment Project for the Poor Women (DAMAK) : U_21 in Jessore district.
  4. 4.      Mahila Bittaheen Kendrio Unnayan Samity (MOBIKUS) : U_20 in Dhaka, Manikgonj, Munshigonj, Narayangonj, Gazipur and Narsingdi Districts.
3. Main Scheme of BRDB

The BRDB's Main Scheme seeks to deliver an institutional development package that, at its heart, promotes the formation of cooperatives amongst the rural poor.
Main Scheme is the core program of BRDB which is funded by the Government of Bangladesh. The Main Scheme aims to develop the socio-economic condition of the small and marginal farmers, women and rural poor through two-tier cooperatives; which involves village based cooperatives linking with Upazila central cooperative Association.
Through this two-tier cooperative structure, BRDB provides development services; such as, short and medium term credit, training in modern agricultural and extension techniques, supplies of high-yielding varieties of seed, fertiliser, irrigation technologies, marketing and sales support. It is through the delivery of these services that the BRDB promotes rural development and seeks to alleviate poverty.

The BRDB Main Scheme activities are as follows:
1.     Organise farmers into village cooperative groups for providing support facilities aimed at increasing farm productivity and income.
2.     Unite village cooperative into Upazila Central Cooperative Associations – known as Upazila Central Cooperative Associations (UCCAs). Deliver essential services, such as supervised credit, training, agricultural extension, input supplies, technology and marketing support, to village  societies through UCCAs.
3.     Link UCCAs with national-level organisations.
4.     Develop local leaders.
5.     Ensure timely and sustained provision of required inputs.
6.     Organise training for BRDB officials (both for utilisation on development works and to strengthen the workforce of Government departments).
7.     Undertake continuous monitoring and evaluation for existing programs and projects, and research avenues of service expansion.

Extension Services
The extension services offered by BRDB help uplifting the status of the poor in various ways. Major achievements of such services are stated below :
Activities  Cumulative Total
1.     Tree Plantation                                                 169.221 million
2.     Psciculture                                                       1281.699 million
3.     Sanitary Latrine                                               0.100 million
4.     No. of Families using Improve Chulli               1.852 million
5.     Inoculation & Vaccination of Cattle/Poultry     271.630 million.
6.     Establishment of Nurseries                            0.002 million
7.     Coconut Plantation                                         0.855 million

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