Improving Productivity in the Poultry Sector in Bangladesh



In partnership with Norway and the United Kingdom


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IFC worked with Bangladeshi farmers to help them adopt clean energy technology that converts cow and chicken waste to biogas, which is then used to generate electricity. By using local clean energy, farmers save on energy costs and generate extra income from the sale of fertilizer and excess electricity. Simultaneously, IFC helped build the capacity of the local supply chain. With IFC support, dozens of farmers were able to access bank financing to install small waste-to-energy plants on their farms, helping to create a market for biogas equipment and generators.


The Opportunity


In Bangladesh, the poultry sector employs over 5 million people, making it the second largest source of rural jobs. Despite continuous growth over the last decade, low productivity and poor waste management do not allow the sector to reach its full potential.


Ninety-five percent of poultry farmers lack awareness of farm management and struggle to survive and stay profitable. Poultry farmers face two key problems in Bangladesh: the large amount of animal waste on their farms—about 4,500 million tons generated daily by poultry farms—and the high cost of using diesel-based back-up power whenever their unreliable grid electricity failed


Although biogas could address both of these problems, there were a few barriers to overcome first. For instance, there were few commercial suppliers of biogas equipment in Bangladesh for farm use. In addition, bankers were reluctant to provide lending to farmers interested in purchasing biogas waste-to-energy plants because their commercial viability was untested in the local market.


IFC's Approach


IFC helped identify biogas as a clean energy alternative to the diesel fuel the farmers were previously using to provide electricity on their farms, and provided technical expertise in building, operating and maintaining small-scale biogas energy plants.
IFC also worked with farmers and SMEs to improve productivity through training and capacity building.


More specifically, IFC developed and disseminated Poultry Workbooks—good practice guides for farmers and SMEs, and conducted training sessions on farm management, disease and bio-security management.
IFC also organized events and demonstrations of the biogas technology to illustrate the technical and commercial feasibility of the biogas technology.


In addition, IFC worked with market stakeholders to promote clean energy by introducing waste-to-energy technologies.
Overall, IFC helped build linkages between farmers, SMEs, service and technology providers, and financial institutions. In particular, IFC works with:


  • Farmers, SMEs and energy providers to install small scale waste-to-energy generation plants.
  • Service providers to develop capacity to tap the upcoming market demand.
    • Government, industry, NGOs and other stakeholders to create awareness and a business-enabling environment.
    • Financial institutions to educate them on the financing of renewable energy projects.
    By catalyzing investment in this type of clean energy in Bangladesh, IFC helped create a market for the materials needed to build the waste-to-energy plants.



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  • Now, Unifrutti and other companies are replicating the success of getting bananas certified by the Rainforest Alliance, with plans to certify 8,000 hectares of Philippine coconut farms. So far, 400 hectares of smallholder cocoa farms have become certified
  • Highland farmers command 5 to 25 percent higher prices for their crops as a result of Rainforest Alliance certification and meeting other premium market requirements.


















Print a two-page fact sheet on this project [PDF] »