BAPA is conducting a project targeting the capacity building of target agro-processing clusters of Bangladesh through enhancing ‘Entrepreneurial Ability’ and ‘Technical Skills’ in order to enhance the strength of the agro-processing sector. For the project, it was necessary to collect the base line information of the selected agro-processing clusters. The objective of the study was to carry out a comprehensive baseline survey in the project areas of Agro Food Processing Sector of Dhaka-Savar-Gazipur, Narayangang-Munshiganj, Rajshahi-Bogra-Pabna-Natore, Hill Tracts (tribal) and Chittagong area in Bangladesh to generate first hand information to be used for Project Planning Monitoring and Evaluation.
To conduct the study, both the primary and secondary data were collected. Extensive desk study was conducted after collecting related available documents from web sites, related all public sector, private sector and NGOs. This study was planned to have more information on the existing status on cluster SMEs’ entrepreneurship ability, sales, jobs, priority occupations, skill gap, product range, export, attitude towards social responsibility and gender sensitivity etc. which would help to get information about the present situation of SMEs to compare the targets achieved during midterm and final evaluation for impact analysis. A questionnaire was prepared. The data collection tools were used to capture crosscutting issues particularly gender and minority accountability to the entrepreneurship business. The tools developed was pre-tested to ensure that enumerators and the study population alike have the same understanding of the study topics, and was duly revised based on identified shortcomings.
The project target areas were clustered geographically into the four regions as stated above where the survey was conducted. 50 Samples was drawn from the four regions. The respondents comprised agro-processors of 3 categories – medium, small and micro level agro-processing enterprises. The prepared questionnaire was used to collect the primary data. The qualitative study was collected using Key Informants’ Interview. Field data collection was implemented by enumerators from target regions of origin. Applicable tabular analysis technique was used to analyze data. A list of 10 prominent/ concerned people was prepared and interviewed through a structured checklist.
The desk study covered the information on the existing overall situation of the agro-processing MSMEs of Bangladesh.
The baseline survey incorporates survey and interview findings. Specific observations are made by the survey team which are as follows:
The specific constraints observed from the key informants’ interview which are mostly concerned with the project are as follows:
On the basis of the study findings, the following major re commendations are made:
Finally, the interventions on increasing cluster SMEs’ level of entrepreneurship ability, productivity, job opportunities, emphasis on priority occupations, skill of the factory personnel, product range, export, positive attitude towards social responsibility and gender sensitivity will make a positive change in the agro-processing subsector of the country.