Agriculture Program
BRAC's Agricultural Program aims to improve the livelihoods and nutritional status of small and marginal farm households through technology transfer. Our agricultural extension activities cover horticulture and crop farming.We have also established a modern soil-testing laboratory. By the end of December 2007,we had tested 553 soil samples supplied by farmers from different locations of the country. BRAC targets mostly landless and marginal land owning households as clients for our program. We are also engaged in the marketing of vegetable seeds and tree saplings to help poor women increase their income through intensive use of their home gardens.We contribute to the development of the fisheries sector by establishing hatcheries for the supply of fish fingerlings and spawn. In the crop sector,we are involved in the production and distribution of improved varieties of rice, maize and vegetables. BRAC currently controls 60% of the seed market for hybrid maize and 20% for hybrid rice

Support program and businesses
BRAC has identified six sectors in which large numbers of lowincome women can be productively engaged.These sectors are poultry, livestock, fisheries, sericulture, crop farming and social forestry. For each of these sectors,we have developed an integrated set of services including training in improved techniques, provision of improved breeds and technologies, supply of technical assistance and inputs, organizing participatory farmer experiments with new technologies, and marketing of finished goods. A number of Programme Support Enterprises (PSEs) have been set up by BRAC that are strategically linked to our farm programmes.They provide timely supplies of quality inputs required by our members for their enterprises and act as safety nets, protecting them from market failures. Surpluses generated from these enterprises are diverted back to our poverty alleviation programmes and help contribute towards making the organisation financially sustainable.

Poultry and Livestock Program
In Bangladesh, approximately 70% of landless rural women are directly or indirectly involved in poultry rearing activities. The poultry and livestock sector accounts for approximately 3% of the country's GDP . BRAC's poultry and livestock programme is composed of several components: poultry and livestock extension programme, poultry farms and hatcheries, feed mills, bull station, feed analysis and poultry disease diagnosis laboratories.The programme was started in the early eighties to protect poultry and livestock from disease by developing skilled village-level poultry and livestock extension workers (para veterinarians).We produce and distribute good quality day old chicks as well as poultry, cattle and fish feed.To date, 2.1 million people have been involved in this programme.The government has taken up our livestock development model for widespread implementation.

Support enterprises for livestock and poultry farming
Bull Station: BRAC's artificial insemination programme for breeding dairy cattle aims to improve the quality of the livestock sector and increase the production of milk per head of cow.To date,we have trained 1,189 artificial inseminators to provide door-to-door artificial insemination services for dairy farmers.To supply good quality livestock semen,we have established one bull station and a network of storage facilities of bull semen across the country. A total of 441,480 doses of bull semen were sold and inseminated in 2007.

Dairy and Food Project: BRAC now has 70 milk chilling centres across Bangladesh where 72,000 litres of milk are collected every day to supply the BRAC Dairy plant in Gazipur which has a 10,000 litres per hour production capacity. A powder milk plant was also set up in 2005.

Poultry Farms & Disease Diagnosis Lab: BRAC has established six poultry farms and hatcheries to produce good quality chicks. In 2007, these farms produced and distributed 11.2 million day old chicks. BRAC's Poultry Disease Diagnostic Lab, set up in June 1999, provides disease management support to our poultry programme.

Broiler Production & Marketing: Currently, BRAC's broiler chicken processing plant is the largest and the only automated plant in Bangladesh.The plant purchases chickens from BRAC's rearing farms and contract farms. About 1,102 metric tonnes of dressed meat were processed and distributed in 2007.

Support enterprises for agriculture
Seed Production, Processing and Marketing: The use of high quality seeds is one of the requirements for increasing the productivity in crop farming. In 1996, BRAC started producing high quality seeds for distribution to farmers. We now produce seeds of high yielding varieties of rice, maize, vegetables, and potatoes through specially trained contract growers. Currently, we have 23 seed production and processing centres throughout the country, which are marketed through a network of 285 seed dealers. In 2007, BRAC produced 1,337 metric tonnes of hybrid and 61 metric tonnes of inbred rice seed; 868 metric tonnes of hybrid maize seeds; 71 metric tonnes of vegetable seeds and 3,815 metric tonnes of potato seeds.

Vegetable Export: BRAC provides training and technical assistance to small farmers in producing vegetables for export. We arrange the necessary packaging and transportation for marketing to the wholesalers in Europe, UAE, Singapore and Malaysia. In 2007, 135 tonnes of vegetables and about 837 tonnes of potatoes were exported.

Cold storage facility: Established in 1980, the facility stores potatoes for farmers as the mid-eastern region of the country yields a good harvest of potatoes but lacks adequate storage facilities. Currently the unit has a capacity of 4,000 metric tonnes suitable for potato and potato seed storage.

Tissue Culture Laboratory: BRAC established a tissue culture laboratory in 1998 with four green houses to produce disease free plantlets. In 2007, the laboratory produced 600,000 potato plantlets and 130,000 other plantlets

Fisheries Program
BRAC Fisheries Program began in 1976 and has developed into one of the most attractive and promising income generating activities for rural farmers. Our involvement started with the re-excavation of derelict ponds and gradually extended to pond aquaculture, the establishment of hatcheries for production and marketing of fingerlings, and the organisation of open-water fisheries for landless people.The aquaculture activities have been extended to cover 277,000 households and 180,000 ponds. BRAC also supports the Government in the management of two open water fisheries that aim to practice ecologically sustainable production systems and an equitable distribution of benefits to stakeholders.

Support enterprises for fisheries
Fish and prawn hatcheries: Recognising the importance of the use of quality fry and fingerlings for high-productive aquaculture, BRAC has established over time several hatcheries for a range of species including carp, giant freshwater prawn and tilapia. In 2007, the hatcheries produced 6,007 kgs of spawn, 8.72 million fingerlings and 211.69 metric tonnes of fish and prawn, 18.67 million prawn post larvae (PL) and 1 million tilapia fry.We have also set up a Marine Fish Breeding Centre on the coast of Bangladesh at Cox's Bazaar and 780 sea bass have been stocked to develop brood stock for breeding trials.

Social Forestry Program
BRAC has been working since 1988 to promote the production of high quality fruit and timber species by engaging lowincome households.The program has created enthusiasm among our village organisation members, and the demand for seedlings has been increasing substantially. Our nursery program provides training to interested members to set up village nurseries on 7-10 decimals of land to raise good quality seedlings for the local markets. Supported by BRAC, each of these village nurseries produces 5000-10000 seedlings annually. BRAC's agro forestry activities aim to bring about ecological and socio-economic developments and are implemented on degraded private and government lands. To date,we have helped establish more than 20,000 agro forestry farms covering 8820 acres of land, and BRAC has emerged as an important player in the national supply chain for social forestry improvements in Bangladesh.

Support enterprises for social forestry
Horticulture Nurseries:We have established 15 large nurseries spread across the country for research, conservation of germplasm and production of quality seedlings. We have also established 8,099 smaller nurseries at the village level, which produced and distributed 16 million seedlings in 2007.

Sericulture
BRAC's purpose in promoting sericulture is to provide incomegenerating activities for poor, landless women.The main components of our sericulture programme are: mulberry cultivation, silkworm seed production, silkworm rearing and cocoon production, silk reeling and spinning,weaving and marketing. At present,we operate ten silk seed production centres, six sericulture resource centres and one reeling centre. We are also engaged in the expansion of mulberry bush cultivation with high yielding variety (S1635,V1) in the northern districts of Bangladesh. By 2007, BRAC had extended mulberry bush plantation to 2,961 acres of land.More than 7,500 silkworm rearers and 5,800 spinners were engaged in producing a total of 212 metric tonnes of silk worm cocoons and 21 metric tonnes of raw silk.

Solar Energy
BRAC has been promoting solar energy for rural households who live in the 50,000 villages outside of the national power grid. Through microenterprise loans, villagers choose from a selection of home packages that can provide up to four hours of power each night and are capable of running a television, a couple of light bulbs and mobile phone chargers. The system includes a solar panel, battery, charge controller, inverter, cable, switch and accessories. The programme is currently financed by the World Bank through the Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL). To date, we have successfully installed 36,830 solar panels bringing renewable energy to 180,000 rural people.