Agriculture is the prime source of livelihood of a great number of people in the country. Milk and dairy products are considered as the potential agro products. So, Pastoral community or smallholder milk producers are the integral part of extended agriculture sector. The members of pastoral community or small milk producers maintain their livelihood based on milk or milk products. In terms of milk based agro products, the small producers find difficulties with collecting, storing and preserving the raw milk. Moreover, the technological disadvantage, lack of infrastructure support and marketing are the major challenges for these small milk producers. Moreover, multifaceted environmental and climatic challenges make it difficult for the small milk producers to maintain their life and livelihood.
The impacts of climate change like the excessive salinity in soil and water are already noticed in the life and livelihoods of the people of this area. Along with climatic induced challenges they are the victims of the market aggression devised by intermediaries and the unstable market price and situation favors the intermediary instead of real producers. As a result, the smallholder milk producers and pastorals do not get fair price of their produce. They encounter lack of financial support and transport facility to carry their product in the nearest wholesale market. All of these effects have threatened the food and nutritional security and economic development of these smallholder milk producers and pastorals. In addition the financial risks and vulnerability in lean period adds more trouble to these small holder milk producers.
Amidst this reality INCIDIN Bangladesh has initiated a project titled “Inclusive Economic Development Through Integrated Food Production and Income Security” in 30 villages of Kulia, Atjhuri and Chunkhola unions of Mollahut Upazila under Bagerhat district with 2500 small milk producers and members of pastoral community with the support of Christian Aid and Scottish Government. This project is aiming to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger and improving living conditions of smallholder milk producers as well as ensuring their food and nutritional security. It is to be mentioned that about 70% project beneficiaries are female smallholder milk producer. In addition a good number of beneficiaries are from Socially Excluded Community and member of Hindu religion.