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World Bank lends US$500 million to B’desh for dairy, livestock productivity

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Cattle traders gather at a market in Dhaka to take part in a livestock auction. Xinhua

DHAKA (NNN-BSS) – The World Bank has approved US$500 million to improve livestock and dairy production in Bangladesh, so that the country can meet growing demand for egg, meat and milk, and thereby improve the nutritional intake of its citizens.

The Livestock and Dairy Development Project will improve agricultural productivity and market access of two million smallholder household farmers, and small- and medium-scale agro-entrepreneurs, said the Washington-based lender in a statement.

By stimulating growth and improving livestock production systems, livestock farmers in Bangladesh will have better access to livestock services and practices.

“By increasing livestock productivity, Bangladesh will be better able to meet the food demands of its population,” said Fan Qimiao, World Bank country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.

“Livestock development also has the potential to create more and better jobs for women, youth, and the vulnerable in rural areas.”

The livestock sector employs 14 percent of the total labour force, but more than 70 percent of rural households are engaged in livestock production, said the lender and added, currently 68 percent of the agricultural labour force are women, and they are mainly involved in livestock and poultry production.

“Climate change impacts on livestock production threaten to hamper the development of livestock,” said Manievel Sene, World Bank Team Leader for the Livestock and Dairy Development Project.

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