Krishi Utsho is a program that gets the products people need to the people who need them, particularly fertilizer, feed, and veterinary services. Krishi Utsho served 46,555 farmers in four districts of Bangladesh. With the support of the Finn Brooks Family Foundation and the Royal Embassy of the Netherlands, the program improved access to goods for the poorest families in Bangladesh.
- Set up shops with a quality brand standard: Krishi Utsho helped set up 218 shops that have a common brand but are individually owned businesses – a franchise approach. To be a Krishi Utsho franchise, shop owners had to stock quality products and provide high-quality services.
- Build better businesses: Krishi Utsho trained shop owners in business skills and helped them make connections with providers of quality agricultural products. The project also helped businesses expand their product lines to 16 different types of products – up from two types when the project started.
- Try before you buy: Krishi Utsho first lab-tested the products it was going to add to the branded package, then conducted field testing in a few stores to get customer feedback before rolling them out. The program also collected rigorous feedback from customers on products and services that was then reported back to consumers with an improvement plan.
- Take advantage of technology: Krishi Utsho’s cloud-based inventory management system connected to tablets in stores, so restocking was fast and easy. That way, customers could always access the products they needed.
- Build demand: By training poor, rural farmers in improved agricultural techniques and the need for services, and then connecting them to solutions that work, CARE helped strengthen local markets. CARE’s careful monitoring and evaluation and its technology platforms also helped track demand and see what needs to change in the future.
- Higher incomes: Farmers in areas covered by Krishi Utsho increased their incomes by 81%, and vendors were able to earn $1,480 per month. That’s more than eight times what the average farmer makes in a month, so being a vendor is an attractive option.
- More empowered women: In Krishi Utsho areas, women were 84% more likely to be able to influence household decisions in 2015 than they were in 2012. They were 250% more likely to be able to make decisions about income-generating activities at home.