Program Support Enterprises
A number of Program Support Enterprises (PSE) have been set up by BRAC that are strategically linked to its development programmes, providing timely supplies of quality inputs required by BRAC members and beneficiaries for their enterprises or acting as safety nets, protecting them from market failures. Profits made by these PSEs are diverted back to BRAC’s poverty alleviation programmes and hence, they also contribute towards making the organization self-sustaining

Aarong is an established fashion and home décor brand in Bangladesh. As a fair trade organization set up by BRAC in 1978, with a goal to alleviate poverty, Aarong plays the crucial role of the protector and promoter of Bangladeshi handicrafts and craft producers. By creating and sustaining a market for innovative and trendy products through its nationwide network of eight lifestyle stores and worldwide exports, Aarong supports and ensures the livelihoods of more than fifty thousand rural artisans, mainly women. In 2006, Aarong successfully achieved a sales growth of 38.42% resulting in Tk. 1.7 billion (USD 25 million) in annual sales

Dairy and Food Project
In order to provide a fair price for milk to BRAC’s VO members who had invested their micro loans on cows, BRAC set up a diary plant in 1998 for milk chilling centres all over Bangladesh where over 70,000 litres of milk is collected every day. The BRAC Dairy plant is situated in Gazipur and has a 10,000 litres per hour production capacity. A milk powder plant was also set up in 2005

Bull Station
BRAC has developed 940 artificial inseminators (AI) of bulls to provide door-to-door AI services in the rural areas. To supply good quality livestock semen to AI works, BRAC has established a bull station in Mymensingh. A total of 305,197 doses of semen were sold and inseminated in 2006

Tissue Culture Laboratory
BRAC established a tissue culture laboratory in 1998 with four green houses to produce diseases free plantlets. A large part of the demand of the country for high yield variety is met through imports. The lab was set up to overcome this problem and to empower the poor farmers by increasing their productivity and income. In 2006, the laboratory produced about 600,000 potato plantlets, 20,000 fruit plantlets, 200,000 ornamental plantlets and 50,000 medicinal plantlets.

Vegetable Export
The vegetable export programme was started in 1997-98 in collaboration with the HORTEX Foundation to link poor farmers with international markets. The programme focuses especially n vegetables that have a high demand in European markets. BRAC provides training and technical assistance to small farmers in the production of particular crops and arranges necessary packaging and transportation to the wholesalers in Europe. In 2006, 213.7 tonnes of vegetables and over 1,150 tonnes of potatoes were exported

BRAC’s 17 nurseries in Bangladesh work to produce quality seedlings of different species and have been producing and distributing fruit, timber, ornamental and medicinal plants. Parts of the nurseries are used for mother-tree preservation purposes and for variety trails. BRAC nurseries have also placed emphasis on production of year and off-season fruit bearing

Feed Mills
The success of the poultry programme depends significantly on the availability of balanced feed. In response to increased demand for balanced feed, BRAC established three feed mills in Manikganj, Nilphamari and Gazipur. The total production capacity of these feed mills is 40,000 metric tonnes per year. In 1999, BRAC set up a Feed Analysis Laboratory in Gazipur to determine the quality of feed. BRAC feed is marketed under the name “Surma Poultry Feed.” In 2006, 39,240 metric tonnes of poultry feed were produced

Poultry Farms & Disease Diagnosis Lab
BRAC has established six poultry farms and hatcheries to produce good quality chicks. In 2006, these farms produced and distributed 12.47 million day old chicks. BRAC’s Poultry Disease Diagnostic Lab, set up in June 1999, provides support to the BRAC poultry programme participants and other poultry rearers with services to detect various poultry diseases and their treatment

Broiler Production & Marketing
BRAC set up a broiler processing plant in Gazipur in July 2001 to meet the extensive demand for dressed chicken. Currently, BRAC’s broiler processing plant is the largest and the only automated plant in Bangladesh. The plant purchases chickens from BRAC’s own rearing farms and some contract farms. About 838 metric tonnes of dressed meat were processed and distributed in 2006

Seed Enterprise
a)    Seed Production, Processing and Marketing: The shortage of high quality seeds is one of the major constraints in increasing the productivity of agricultural products in Bangladesh. Only 4.5% of the seeds available to the farmers are produced in controlled conditions to ensure high quality. Therefore, in 1996, BRAC started producing high quality seeds with the aim of providing these seeds to poor farmers. At present, BRAC has 2 seed processing centres and 18 seed production farms with an annual capacity of 4,701 mts. BRAC has set up 50 depots through which it distributes different types of seeds to the farmers.

b)    Rice Seed Production: BRAC started organised rice seed production in 2000 and initially produced HYV (High Yielding Variety) rice seed. Later, in response to farmer demands, BRAC also started hybrid seed production and variety development research in 2001. Hybrid rice shows a minimum 20% more yield than HYV. In 2006, more than 400 metric tonnes of hybrid and 100 metric tonnes of inbreed (HYV) rice seed were produced through 1,000 contract growers.

c)    Maize Seed Production: In Bangladesh, due to suitable environment and increasing demand, the area under maize cultivation is expanding with an increased demand for quality hybrid maize seed. To fulfill the national demand, BRAC signed an agreement with Pacific Seed Company, Australia in 1997 to produce hybrid maize seed locally with their parent-line and technical assistance. In 2006, around 672 metric tonnes of hybrid maize seeds were produced on 378 acres of land through 575 contract growers.

d)    Vegetable Seed Production: BRAC has one vegetable research centre, in Gazipur, and three vegetable seed farms in Meherpur, Dinajpur, and Thakurgaon. The main activities of the research centre are variety development, parent-multiplication, pre-foundation seed production and variety screening. in 2006, BRAC produced 58.70 metric tonnes of vegetable seeds through the farms and 281 contract growers.

e)    Potato Seed Production: Potato Seed Production was started by BRAC in 2001 to address the national demand for quality potato seeds in Bangladesh. In 2006, a total of 982 metric tonnes of foundation seed was produced on 105 acres of leased land and 2,701 metric tonnes of certified seed have been produced on 682 acres of land through 981 contract growers.

f)    Seed Processing Centres : BRAC established 2 Seed Processing Centres in Bogura and Gazipur with an annual capacity of 5,200 metric tonnes. In each seed processing centre, a quality control team monitors the quality of the seeds. BRAC has set up 22 seed marketing outlets in different parts of Bangladesh, through which it distributes different types of seeds to 260 dealers

Fisheries Enterprise
Fish and Prawn Hatchery: Recognising the importance of quality fry/fingering for successful aquaculture, in 1988 BRAC established its first fish hatchery. Over the years BRAC has extended the activities on different commercially important aquaculture species and established several types of hatcheries.

Fish Hatchery: BRAC has established four “Crap Fish” hatcheries with an annual production capacity of 5,700 kgs of fish spawn in Gazipur, Pabna, Bogra and Moulovibazar. In 2006, the four fish hatcheries produced 5,169 kgs of spawn, 10.10 million fingerlings and 130.54 metric tonnes of fish/prawn. Considering the faster growth rate of male Tilapia fish, BRAC has established a Tilapia Fish hatchery in Magura, with an annual capacity to produce 10 million all-male Tilapia fry, which has started commercial production in 2007.

Freshwater Prawn Hatchery: Giant freshwater prawn is an important aquaculture species in Bangladesh. BRAC has established 8 freshwater prawn hatcheries with a total annual production capacity of 32 million post larvae (PL). In 2006, the eight prawn hatcheries produced 19.40 million PL.

Marine Fish Breeding Centre: BRAC established a Marine Fish Breeding Centre in Cox’s Bazaar sea beach to develop appropriate breeding technology of marine fishes, especially sea bass. Up to 2006, arund 780 sea bass have been stocked to acclimatise them with the pond environment and to develop brood stock for breeding trails and appropriate brood management technology.

Brood Development: To produce and supply quality brood, BRAC started selective breeding of carp and Tilapia.