BRAC USA

Our mission is to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease and social injustice. Our interventions aim to achieve large scale, positive changes through economic and social programs that enable men and women to realize their potential.
Sep 30, 2016

Greater yields, better lives

LEAD farmer members in Tanzania.
LEAD farmer members in Tanzania.

In 2013, BRAC began a project to raise incomes for 105,000 smallholder farmers in Tanzania. How do you break down barriers to the market for thousands of rural, subsistence farmers, most of them women, and improve the quality of the product the farmers offer? Those are the challenges the Livelihood Enhancement through Agricultural Development (LEAD) project, now in its fourth and final year, seeks to address. We are excited to share our progress with you.

To improve the quality of the product offered, BRAC used demonstration farmers and community poultry promoters (CPP) to spread knowledge about modern techniques for corn and chicken production. To accomplish this, more than 600 CPPs have been trained. Additionally, BRAC specifically trained almost 100 community members to become veterinary and agriculture technical experts who are also supporting farmers.

In our last report, we also discussed farmer field days, during which demonstration farmers showcase modern techniques and tools for community members to learn new farming innovations. Nearly 450 field days have been recorded, and the results are stunning:

Corn farmers reported that the following practices were adopted:

  • Line sowing, which helps farmers grow more crops, saw an increase of 56 percent, with 94 percent of farmers participating in the practice after training;
  • Modern weeding techniques swelled 17 percent, to 99 percent after training;
  • Using a crop calendar, which can help farmers keep production costs low, increased 37 percent, with 96 percent using a calendar after training;
  • and fertilizer use jumped 28 percent, to 92 percent after training.

With your support, the LEAD project also created farmer groups, helping them share resources, boost production and improve bargaining power to sell crops at market prices. In a country where few smallholder farmers are able to transition to commercial farming practices, farmer groups can help individual farmers access local, regional and national buyers. More than 8,000 groups have been formed.

Another key factor limiting access to markets for most smallholder farmers is capital. Without cash, farmers cannot gain access to modern seeds and chicks or pay for pesticides and immunizations. We are proud to share that more than 20,000 farmers have financed their businesses with small loans, totaling more than $8 million.

More specifically, 50 entrepreneurs from 12 regions received cumulative investments of $722,375 to support their ongoing businesses. Results show their income increased by 99 percent, their production by more than 50 percent, and that repayment rates are at 99 percent.

Access to cash and new techniques and technologies also paid off. While corn farmers, on average, cultivated slightly less land after receiving trainings, their average yield per acre actually increased 62 percent. The greater yield and better access to markets contributed to a growth of 131 percent in yield sold. Overall, corn farmers earned 78 percent more per farmer than prior to their trainings.

For poultry farmers, the results have been equally inspiring. On average:

  • the number of eggs produced in a month rose 161 percent;
  • the number of eggs sold skyrocketed 362 percent;
  • and the average amount of capital from selling eggs jumped 274 percent.

For poultry farmers, overall, yield and income increased 400 percent and, for corn farmers, 194 percent after involvement in the LEAD project.

Nowhere is this more evident than with Josia, a 40-year-old resident of Kihesa who was previously a carpenter before trying his hand at poultry farming.

Prior to joining the LEAD project, Josia produced roughly 500 chicks each month, despite owning an incubator capable of hatching 1,000 chicks. Due to outdated techniques and disease, many chicks would die, and he would end up with only 200 to bring to market.

After joining the LEAD project in February 2015, Josia received training in modern techniques, access to veterinarians trained by BRAC and took out a loan to expand his business.

With new incubators, access to vaccines and a variety of eggs, Josia began producing nearly 3,000 chicks a month, and lowered the number of chickens that were dying. This increased his income from $183 a month to more than $2,250. After demand skyrocketed, he bought another incubator, and now sells an average of 10,000 chicks a month.

With the growth in business, he has hired three employees to help manage the hatcheries, and he has built a house for his family.

Thank you for supporting Josia and farmers like him in the LEAD project. Together, we are improving the lives of thousands of smallholder farmers in Tanzania, one crop at a time.

A corn farmer in the LEAD program in Tanzania.
A corn farmer in the LEAD program in Tanzania.
Sep 26, 2016

In Nepal, quiet leadership

FCHVs meet in Shyampati.
FCHVs meet in Shyampati.

In the 18 months since the Gorkha earthquake devastated much of the country, Nepalis have joined together to support each other in the recovery. Nowhere is that more evident than with Female Community Health Volunteers.

Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs) are a key component to the public health system in Nepal, especially in rural areas of the country. Started in 1988 by the government of Nepal, the FCHV program provides health services to communities, often coordinated through Village Development Committees (VDCs).

Since the earthquake, BRAC has started providing trainings to strengthen the capacity of existing FCHVs so that they can better provide educational, preventive and curative health services to their community members, particularly for mothers and young children in 850 households in the Shyampati VDC in the Kavre district.

Women and girls are an instrumental part of another BRAC program in Shyampati.

The Empowerment and Livelihood for Adolescents (ELA) program is one of BRAC's most successful initiatives worldwide. The first of its kind in Nepal, 10 ELA clubs are being set up as safe spaces for adolescent girls, age 13-21, to read, play and socialize. In keeping with the BRAC model, older adolescent girl members will receive training in life skills, livelihoods and financial literacy. They will also have the opportunity to take out small loans.

ELA clubs feature strongly in a one-year pilot project, along with health and sanitation components, that BRAC recently initiated as a step toward rehabilitating the earthquake-affected community.

Sanitation is a real concern in Shyampati, an open-defecation free zone before the earthquake, as community members now are compelled to use the forest to relieve themselves. BRAC continues to make progress restoring and constructing new toilets to replace the 265 damaged in the earthquake.

After a natural disaster, it is often the quiet leadership of women and girls that remains unbroken, a pillar on which communities rebuild. In Nepal, after Gorkha, they are once again providing the foundation. We hope you are as honored as we are to stand with them.

One of the first ELA clubs in Nepal.
One of the first ELA clubs in Nepal.
Jul 1, 2016

Working together, achieving more

Sophia, a rural corn farmer in Tanzania.
Sophia, a rural corn farmer in Tanzania.

As the Livelihood Enhancement through Agricultural Development (LEAD) project rounds out its third year, we are excited to share a more in-depth and comprehensive update. As a supporter of this program, we want you to know exactly what you’ve helped achieve.

The ultimate goal of the LEAD project is to improve the lives of more than 100,000 poor Tanzanians – the majority of whom are women – by targeting rural, smallholder farmers and livestock keepers. Here is our progress on that goal.

During the most recent reporting period, BRAC Tanzania found particular success with its strategy of utilizing group-based learning and organizing.

One key tactic has been to form organizations of farmers called producer groups to share technical information and improve the flow of goods to the market. Comprised of 10-15 farmers and led by an experienced farmer, groups determined the roles and responsibilities for their members independently. Besides improving market access, the groups also encouraged better adoption of new farming techniques by meeting each month to discuss challenges and opportunities.

This past quarter alone, a total of 528 poultry producer groups were organized, bringing the cumulative total to 96% against the overall project goal. For corn farmers, BRAC is at 98% of the project goal. In total, a whopping 1,190 producer groups were formed.

In addition, BRAC also relied on workshops to connect farmers with markets. At these workshops, farmers shared information about their product and learned about new farming supplies and services they could engage. Overall, 12 workshops were held.

Finally, LEAD organized Farmer Field Days to help train farmers and encourage the adoption of best practices and new technologies. The 21 separate Field Days included demonstrations by farmers to share information about their own successes with each other. Equally important, the Field Days also created a platform for farmers to buy and sell products at reasonable prices.

During this period, trainings on improved farming and poultry-keeping practices, including the Field Days, were completed for 98,427 farmers. This is 94% against the project goal – with more than a year still to go.

These are some of the successes BRAC has found with the LEAD project in Tanzania. Ultimately, the most important achievement is that, with your continued support, LEAD will meet its goal of increasing the household income of 78,000 corn and poultry farmers this year alone.

That includes farmers like Sophia (pictured). Sophia farms corn in Kikuyu, part of the Dodoma district in Tanzania, and she is one of the thousands of local, rural smallholder farmers who benefits from your donation. As Sophia’s income rises, so too does her access to better health care, education for her family, and so much more.

Thank you for supporting Sophia and thousands of Tanzanian farmers like her. When we all work together, we can achieve so much more.

Sophia, in her corn field in Kikuyu.
Sophia, in her corn field in Kikuyu.
 
   

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $10
    give
  • $25
    give
  • $50
    give
  • $75
    give
  • $150
    give
  • $10
    each month
    give
  • $25
    each month
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $75
    each month
    give
  • $150
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of BRAC USA

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about BRAC USA on GreatNonProfits.org.
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.