A roundtable discussion on ‘Challenges and Opportunities of Private Sector Organisations working in Chittagong Hill Tracts’ was held by The Market Development Forum Bangladesh (MDF) with the support of Katalyst in Chittagong on 26 December 2014.
The Chittagong Hill Tracts is one of the disadvantaged and isolated areas of Bangladesh. Despite the challenges, several private organisations are now venturing into the region with different types of business models to avail innovative business opportunities in the region. These agribusinesses have great potential to help the lives of the poor. The participants in the roundtable talked about the challenges from their experiences. Several factors that are currently impeding the agribusiness are market linkage, communication, security, mobile network, proper documentation and education of the personnel designated at the hill tracts. Participants also discussed that there is a need for guidelines on correct agricultural practices and also exposure from different campaigns and workshops for the farmers. Private companies can take initiatives to ensure security companies operating in the hill tracts. New and improved agriculture practices can be introduced to the farmers so that they can break away from traditional ones. Awareness programmes, group meetings, and other promotional campaigns can also be arranged in areas such as Banderban, Khagrachori and Rangamati.
The joint discussion was moderated by Mr. Quazi M. Ahmed, Lead Consultant and CEO, FutureLeaders. Representatives from Syngenta Bd Ltd, Enroute International Ltd, Integrated Development Foundation (IDF), Auto Crop Care Ltd, CP Bangladesh Co. Ltd, Supreme Seed, Ispahani Agro Ltd, Laal Teer Seed Ltd, Brac Bank Ltd, Concern Universal Bangladesh, Nestle and Sanofi took part in the discussion.