MMPIRA aimed to develop market services in isolated and remote, disaster-prone (annual floods) areas by establishing linkages with the mainland buyers and facilitating the provision of services. A low-cost approach was implemented by GUK. The market analysis conducted prior to project start-up indicated that milk producers in remote char villages received lower prices for their produce, due to lack of a milk collection system, lack of market linkages, absence of milk chilling and processing plants, absence of animal health services, and unavailability of processed feed.
CLP and GUK therefore developed a programme that: a) introduced a Gwalia (milkman) to collect milk from a collection point in the village rather than collecting it from each producer; b) trained a group of para-vets from local areas to provide animal health services and sell animal feed; c) introduced high-yielding grass varieties to increase green grass output as cattle feed; and d) established linkages with a milk processing plant, Milk Vita.
Livestock Service Providers (LSPs) assist with the formation of associations and technical training. The programme is projected to increase the quantity of milk marketed to large liquid milk processors. Small dairy farmers are encouraged to form informal milk marketing collective centres to organize their own transportation to markets or to negotiate with local collectors. These simple organizational techniques sought to increase the sale and supply of marketable milk, improve the bargaining power of producers, and ultimately increase the sale price of milk. The LSPs also provide training and diet supplements to increase milk production and fat content and to prevent calf stunting. The milk collected from the char producers was competitive with that produced on the mainland. The product flow can be seen in the Figure 1 below.