In July last year we worked with United Purpose on a project to help improve food security for 20,000 smallholder farmers and their communities in Khulna and Bagerhat, Bangladesh.

Our 1% funded training for 100 micro-entrepreneurs, selected by their local community to provide agricultural training and business skills to other local farmers. This month they’ve shared with us a success story from a programme like the one we sponsored.

Rita Begum is a small-scale poultry farmer from Rupsha Upazila in Khulna who has seen her business flourish in just 12 months.

After marrying her husband, Rita’s role and identity in society quickly slipped into that of a homemaker with limited opportunities to scale up the livestock she kept to feed her family.

Rita attended a United Purpose workshop and was nominated by the community to become a micro-entrepreneur. As a small-scale poultry farmer, the project gave Rita training to expand production as well as business planning. She was put in touch with traders and private companies to improve community access to services and supplies.

Starting with 16 hens, Rita has grown her business. She now owns 143 hens and 97 ducks, conducts on-farm demonstrations for other farmers, grows seasonal vegetables and sells seeds purchased from private companies to community members at a competitive price. Farmers no longer need to spend time and money traveling to markets to purchase goods. Rita has brought these services to the community.

Rita is now thriving. Able to contribute to the household income, Rita feels more like an equal partner in her household as well as a well respected member of the wider community.