MICROFINANCE

This component is known as Rural Microcredit (RMC). Key goal of RMC is to alleviate poverty among poor rural people with credit and training support.
ARS-Bangladesh disburses agriculture credit in various sub-sectors of agriculture. Components of this program include:

(a) Seasonal Agro Loan: Seasonal agro loan is distributed for seasonal crops production, vegetables production and flower cultivation. This loan is allocated for a period of 4 to 6 months.

(b) Loan for Spice, Oil Seed and Maize: This loan is disbursed among farmers involved in production of onion, garlic, ginger, mug beans, sesame, mustard oil seed and maize with financial support of AB Bank Limited at the rate of 4% service charge.

(c) Agriculture Sector Loan: This loan is disbursed for purchase of power tiller, paddy picker machine, small irrigation equipment for good agricultural cultivation and harvesting; poultry, cow fattening and dairy production and fish culture.
This loan is provided to create micro entrepreneurs. ARS-Bangladesh categorizes any loan given to its members exceeding Taka 30,000.00 (thirty thousand) as Small Enterprise Loan. This loan may go to both agriculture and non-agriculture sectors.
This loan is provided to create micro entrepreneurs. ARS-Bangladesh categorizes any loan given to its members exceeding Taka 50,000.00 (Fifty thousand) as Small Enterprise Loan. This loan may go to both agriculture and non-agriculture sectors.

Development

  • Vulnerable Group Development
  • Training Program
  • Survey and Research Program
  • Fish Culture Program
  • Human Rights Program
  • Disability Development Program
  • STIs/STDs and HIV/AIDS Program
  • Health, Hygiene & Nutrition Program
  • Water & Sanitation Program
  • Environment Protection & Disaster Response Program
  • Education Program
As Partner Organization (PO) of IDCOL, ARS-Bangladesh has undertaken this sub-program of Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Development Project II Part B to install IDCOL�s approved Improved Cook-stoves (ICS) to rural households for 5 (five) years. ARS-Bangladesh installs or ensures the installation of the ICS as per the specification. Warranty to the households for the ICS installed is provided for a period of 1 (one) year from the date of Installation as per the terms and conditions set out in Warranty Card. Promotional activities are conducted to disseminate the ICS program and train up the owners of ICSs in the Project Areas. ARS-Bangladesh has been implementing the sub-program activities in clusters that include Jessore Sadar Upazila and Chowgacha Upazila under Jessore district. The overall objective of the ICS Program is to further develop and disseminate ICS in rural areas with the ultimate goal to increase the energy of the fuel used for cooking while reducing exposure to indoor air pollution. The results of the use of ICS include reduction of workload especially of women; improvement in health through reducing indoor air pollution; employment generation; saving fuel sources such as firewood, agriculture residues and dried dung cakes; and reduction in green house gas emission especially of CO2 CH4. Beneficiaries pay BDT 500 for each ICS throughout a period of 5 (five) months by giving monthly installments of BDT 100. ICS is made of clay, brick, cement, sand, concrete etc. This cooker consumes less fuel and produces more heat. Advantages of ICS include 50 percent fuel-cost reduction, smoke and pollution free kitchen, reduction of risk of asthma, headache and cancer, reduction of risk of fire accident and reduction of green house effect.

Renewable Energy

ARS-Bangladesh started to transform off-the-grid Howlipara village of Kaligonj upazilla under Jhenaidah district and Arkandi village of Chowgacha upazilla under Jessore district into solar villages by installing Solar Home Systems (SHSs) at homes of villagers under Joint Initiative of Bank-MFI. This program of ARS-Bangladesh has been appreciated as an innovative lead in terms of introducing green energy at green villages for household illumination, cooling, TV watching and mobile phone charging. Under this program a total of 3452 SHSs have been installed that brought changes in lives of village dwellers. ARS-Bangladesh has installed 3452 solar home systems (SHSs) with financial support of NCC Bank Limited, Trust Bank Limited, AB Bank Limited, NRB Global bank Limited, The Farmers Bank Limited and Mercantile Bank Limited in hard-to-reach areas of Jessore, Jhenaidah, Magura, Norail, Satkhira and Chuadanga districts as the piloting part of a large scale renewable energy project. This task helped the organization to have an idea about acceptance, affordability, benefit and profit of providing Solar Home Systems (SHSs) to households of project area.
ARS-Bangladesh has been selected as a Lending and Construction Participating Organization (LCPO) by IDCOL under its Biogas Program. As LCPO, ARS-Bangladesh has initially constructed 263 Biogas Plants of different sizes by 31 December 2015. ARS-Bangladesh strictly follows IDCOL Model in constructing biogas plants for ensuring increased efficiencies and longer performance. Six sizes of digester are used for plant construction. These are applicable for both types of plants fed by poultry litter or cow dung. Upon completion of the plant, ARS-Bangladesh as LCPO provides to the households two warranties (one) year warranty for all pipes, fittings and appliances and five year warranty on the structure of the plant. It also provides after construction services (ACS) to the plants for 3 years from the date of construction. Target groups of this program include all households who own at least 3 bovine (30 kg of dung per day) or keep at least 200 poultry birds (20 kg of litter per day) permanently and resides relatively in non-flooding areas. The results of the use of biogas plan encompass reduction of workloads especially of women; improvement in health and sanitation condition; increase in agriculture production with proper utilization of slurry; employment generation; saving of conventional fuel sources and reduction of green house gas emission.
ARS-Bangladesh initiated this program in Chowgacha upazilla of Jessore district under Public-Private Partnership Program (PPP) of Bangladesh Government channeled through IDCOL. Key goal of this program is to ensure timely and cost effective irrigation for agricultural farming by exploiting solar-powered irrigation technology. Under this program, ARS-Bangladesh has set up 7 (seven) solar irrigation pumps that brought 420 bighas of agricultural land under constant irrigation facility and benefitted over 245 farmers. Those pumps displaced high-priced diesel and electricity with energy generated from sunlight by PV solar panels. PV systems are used to pump water for livestock, plants or humans. Since the need for water is greatest on hot sunny days the technology is an obvious choice for this application. Pumping water using PV technology is simple, reliable, and requires almost no maintenance. For farmers with a creek running through their properties, using a solar powered water pumping solution means less fouling of waterways and far less erosion of banks. It can also lead to better pasture management as livestock will be able to access water via multiple distribution points. Solar powered water pumping systems are similar to any other pumping system, only the power source is solar energy. PV pumping systems have, as a minimum, a PV array, a motor, and a bore pump. Solar water pumping arrays are fixed mounted or sometimes placed on passive trackers (that use no motors) to increase pumping time and volume. AC and DC motors with centrifugal or displacement pumps are used. ARS-Bangladesh has been awarded with a Term Loan Facility of BDT 7,930,954 Grant of BDT 7,930,954 by IDCOL through a Partnership Agreement for installation of seven solar irrigation pumps. As per the conditions of the agreement, ARS-Bangladesh has successfully installed 2 pumps in Arkandi, 4 pumps in Sanchadanga and 1 pump in Sworupdha villages located in Chowgacha upazilla under Jessore district. As prescribed equipment suppliers, Rahimafrooz Renewable Energy Limited (RREL) has supplied equipments for 5 pumps and Electro Solar Power Limited (ESPL) has supplied equipments for 2 pumps.