Sabina Begum builds a business while boosting the dairy sector of Bangladesh
Mini-agribusiness concept empowers women entrepreneurs
Traditionally in Bangladesh, women play a significant role in household livestock nurturing. And now through a three-year U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded Bangladesh Dairy Enhancement Project (BDEP), women entrepreneur like Sabina Begum are undertaking new role in the dairy sector as owner of mini-agribusiness.
As dairy farmer herself, Sabina Begum took a series of BDEP trainings on animal nutrition. Here she learned about how to secure the best quality of ingredients for feed concentrate and how to make appropriately blended ratios for milking cows. With is information and an entrepreneurial drives, Sabina sought and received a small grants from Uttaran in March 2016 to start her own concentrate business.
From blending the concentrate by hand, to marketing the concentrate door-to-door, to providing advice to customers to how to use the product, Sabine lives and breathes the business. And her hard work is paying off. In Sabina’s third month of operation, she sold 1.4 tons of concentrate, with monthly sales revenue reaching more than BDT 50,000. Sabina’s operation cost is around BDT 45,000, leaving her with a profit more than BDT 5,000. This is a significant result for a start-up.
Through her sincerity and quality of products, she is getting positive customers responses and thus profit in the long run. “I am becoming well-known within my community. Women farmer respect me when I provide them easy solutions of cow farming and mini dairy development, which I learnt from BDEP”, she remarks.
As sales of businesses like Sabina’s grow, BDEP will be investigating in equipment to supplement the need of hand-mixing. For now, Sabina doesn’t mind. She thinks it’s a good starting point as it helps to teach her how to recognize the best quality of ingredients.
Sabina has also been able to reinvest BDT 150,000 back into her business. She has own maize for fodder on just over an one acre of land, and when this is harvested her sales revenue will increase.
Sabina Begum feels empowered as a women entrepreneur building a real business in the dairy sector in Bangladesh. She says, “I don’t feel tired in my dairy related work. Rather I enjoy it a lot as I can contribute to my family income. My sales are increasing every month, since I started the business and as BDEP is providing training farmers around my village. “
BDEP looks forward to the day when Sabina’s concentrate and fodder business grow to the extent that the concentrate blending will be mechanized and will have more land for fodder cultivation. She is confident to set a grand example of a dairy business in her locality.
Uttaran_BDEP, 2 January 2017