The first ever stakeholders update session of the Pushti Ambassador Partnership (PAP) was held recently at the Daily Star Centre in the presence of key stakeholders. The event saw the consortium partners sharing experiences and learnings of working on this project till date and how the project is impacting in the areas of women entrepreneurship & nutrition in Bangladesh.
The Pushti Ambassador Partnership is a consortium of Arla Foods Bangladesh Limited (lead commercial partner), Bopinc (Lead non-commercial partner), Dnet and iSocial, funded by Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). The program is aligned with numerous UN Sustainable Development Goals, as it empowers women in remote rural areas with new skills, training, and a sustainable source of income. The program is also helping Bangladeshi families who previously could not afford nutritious food intake on a regular basis.
Initiated in August 2019, the program aims to create 200 decent jobs and income opportunities for 5,000 female micro-entrepreneurs in rural areas over the life of the project by 2023. After the primary target is met, the project will be extended in the rural distribution networks using innovative tools with the ambition to scale up to around 22,000 women by 2030 and serve as a model for economic empowerment through increased income opportunities in Bangladesh and beyond.
The project has till date onboarded 1,021 ambassadors while reaching out to approximately 112,545 people with the goodness and knowledge of nutrition.
The event was attended by representatives of Arla Foods Bangladesh Limited, Bopinc, Dnet and iSocial along with key stakeholders such as The ICT Division, Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, Government of Bangladesh, Nestle, GAIN, SUN Business Network, Care Nutrition, Digital Bangladesh, Digital Healthcare Solutions, Bank Asia.
Muntasir Saqib Khan, Managing Director of Bopinc emphasized on the unique partnership and said, “The partnership among Bopinc, Arla, Dnet and iSocial is the most interesting part of this project to me, since the four organizations come with four different types of expertise and knowledge. But while working for the PAP project, they become one single team to resolve challenges and bring out successful outcomes.”
Dr. Ananya Raihan, Chief Executive Officer of iSocial stated “The Covid-19 had disrupted both people’s income and market price. Additionally, there were pre-existing nutritional imbalances, in urban and rural areas alike. Relying solely on the market will be insufficient and awareness on is very important. We believe that the issue is solvable if the female members of rural families have access to knowledge of nutrition and the required food.”
One of the Pushti Ambassadors Baby Begum from Jashore stated, “This project has actually helped me gain confidence and break social taboos of women working door-to-door. I am now more capable in caring for my family. I am thankful for this opportunity.”
Arla Foods is an international dairy company owned by 9,400 farmers from Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Arla Foods is one of the leading players in the international dairy arena with well-known brands like Arla®, Lurpak®, Puck®, Castello® and Dano®. Arla Foods is focused on providing good dairy nourishment from sustainable farming and operations and is also the world's largest manufacturer of organic dairy products. Dano® gives access to milk to millions of Bangladesh people at an affordable price. The company has already created over 1600 direct and additional indirect jobs with its operation in Bangladesh.