Dr. Kazi Abdutr Rouf
Grameen Motsho O Pashusampad (Fisheries and Livestock) Foundation (GMPF)-is a sister organization of Grameen Bank (GB) involves in livestock and fish culture, mobilizing poor people engage in livestock and fish production, agriculture, horticulture, homestead gardening, social forestation and bio-gas plants and other community green income generating economic activities to bring improvement in the quality of life of the poor, in particular of poor women. GMPF is managing leased of 1035 Khas (public) ponds having 2557.3 acres of water bodies and 20 fish seed farms leased from the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) for 25 years. The objectives of this study is to examine the policies, strategies and approaches of GMPF community economic development (CED) and to link CED concept with GMPF activities if it benefits to local poor people in Bangladesh. The study research questions are is Grameen Motsho O PashuSampoad Foundation (GMPF) a CED program in Bangladesh? If so, how it works, what approaches and strategies it follows, what are challenges it faces in implementing its programs in Bangladesh. The author writes this paper from his pre-and post-GMPF working experience. The paper contains author’s live experience, review literature, secondary data and interpretative method of analysis. GMPF has seven projects- Joygagor farm (JF), Dinajpur farm (DF), Jamuna Borrow-Pits Farm (JMBA), Empowerment of Coastal Fishing Community for Livelihood Security Project (ECFC), Community Livestock and Diary Development Project (CLDDP), Livestock Development Fund (LDF), Livestock Insurance Fund (LIF), Feed Supply and Fodder Cultivation Program (FSFCP) and Community Dairy Enterprises (CDEs). A total of 14451.22 metric ton (MT) of fish was produced by Joygagor farm since inception up to 2006. Fifty percent of the fish went to the share of poor beneficiaries. The Dinajpur farm production of fish during the period 1988- 1989 was only 18.60 MT per ha, which increased to 260 MT in 2006. Jamuna borrow-pits farm (JMBA) is a unique example of integrated farming through fish-crop-livestock and social forestation model. It has 1005 women village group members (VGMs)-the only one of its type in Bangladesh. The empowerment of coastal fishing community for livelihood security project (ECFC) developmental objectives are to promote livelihood security of the poor coastal fishing communities. Community livestock and dairy development project (CLDDP) has organized 3275 village group members (VGMs)-2750 male members and 525 female members in 655 villages. Total TK 183, 09, 305 ($2.2 million) deposited to livestock development fund (LDF) and total Tk 31, 05,554 insurance premiums deposited to livestock insurance fund (LIF) by VGMs. Out of 5445 cow heifer 177 died, GMPF compensation paid against 148 dead cow heifers. GMPF has set up 6 community livestock centers (CLC), 5 livestock sub-centers and 85 trevice points had been equipped with all veterinary facilities including mini laboratory, which are managed by Community Livestock Officers (CLO), Livestock Field Assistants (LAs) and Veterinary Compounder s(VCs) located at the livestock service centers (LSCs). The veterinary clinical laboratory and vaccination services are given free of cost to project clients. GMPF has feed supply and fodder cultivation program too. Under this program, it cultivated 1396 decimal Napier plots, 125 decimal Guinea plots, 6.03 decimal Ipilipil plots and 445 decimal maize plots. GMPF has initiated two community dairy enterprises (CDs) with milk cooling two tanks of 2000 liter each were established at Nimgachi and Dinajpur. GMPF has also been executing shrimp farms at Chokoria, Cox’s Bazar and Satghira. GMPF had 8 fish seed multiplication farms with total area of 11.16 hectors across Bangladesh. Modern fish culture and livestock production technologies has introduced in the project. GMPF has conducted many workshops on fisheries and livestock management, community forestation and micro-credit management for local people that has impacted increasing local fish and livestock productions and community forestations in Bangladesh. Many local green jobs are created by GMPF projects by expanding/ creating green smallbusinesses like agricultural and artisan jobs there. GMPF runs all these projects/programs by 435 staff in Bangladesh. GMPF initiatives embrace the distinctive characteristics with a strong social mission. It earns revenues from the market and covers its costs from the revenues, which is hard for it to sustain financially. Moreover, the shock news is the Government of Bangladesh did not extend ponds lease agreement period to GMPF. Hence GMPF returned all ponds and fish seed farms to GoB in 2010. As a result community members’ access to these ponds management has declined. Hence these community members face challenges to continue their community green economic development in future.