Boosting food security for indigenous communities in Bangladesh

Chanmoni on her farm in Bangladesh. Photo credit: Caritas Bangladesh.

Despite Bangladesh’s economic growth over the past decade, inequality in the country continues to impact the most marginalised groups, particularly women, children and indigenous people.

Chanmoni is part of the 70 per cent of people in Bangladesh who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. With the health and bounty of harvests heavily dependent on the weather due to limited water supplies and a lack of infrastructure, people like Chanmoni often experience hunger and food shortages.

“I always relied on limited income from seasonal agriculture and often had to borrow money from local money lenders with high interest rates. It was a struggle to make ends meet.”


After years of financial hardship, her life took a turn for the better when she joined the Sustainable Livelihood Program for Indigenous Communities in Dinajpur, an initiative supported by Caritas Australia and implemented by our partner, Caritas Bangladesh.

Chanmoni gained the necessary skills to support livestock and aquaculture development, as well as new approaches to generate income. With additional financial support, she was also able to purchase two goats and five chickens.

“In over a year, I have a total of 12 goats, and got eggs from the chickens all year round. I was also able to provide nutritious food for my children from the organic vegetables I cultivated. We can now have three meals a day.”


Chanmoni’s hard work and dedication to learn and apply new skills have made her a leader in her community. She is now the Chair of the Handful of Rice Group in her village, through which members save and exchange rice to ensure very family has enough food to eat.

“My life began to change when I joined the program,” Chanmoni says. “I feel empowered and hopeful that I can ensure higher education for my children.”

The Sustainable Livelihood Program for Indigenous communities in Dinajpur has supported:


vulnerable indigenous families to increase their food security, improve their livelihoods, and strengthen traditional community ties.


project participants to take part in training sessions on livestock-rearing and


women to participate in the “Handful of Rice Groups” in 60 villages, providing them with some financial security.

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*This program is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) and public donations to Caritas Australia.