A VALUE CHAIN ANALYSIS OF AGROFORESTRY PRODUCTS IN THE SOUTH-WESTERN REGION OF BANGLADESH
This paper explores the market linkages in a typical agroforestry value chain in Bangladesh, particularly the participation of the micro and subsistence level farming and household-community units in this chain. The study area is Dumuria Upazila which is a 30 square km land area in the outskirt of Khulna, Bangladesh's third-largest city which is the located in the southwestern part of the country. Agro-products produced in the Dumuria Upazila and subsequently marketed in the local communities of Dumuria Bazar and Gollamari Bazar which are peri-urban locations of Khulna city. The particular objectives of this study were to assess agro-products value chains within the region and observing relationship of various intermediaries in the value chain, and to explore the impact of agroforestry practices on the socioeconomic condition of the local population. A semi-structured questionnaire was implemented to conduct the evaluation and 30 intermediaries were included for convenience in order to trace the network of market connection and identify persistent issues with the sale of agro-products in the study area. Explored network elements of the value chain have revealed that both the marketing of agroforestry crops and timber, include the intermediaries that have contributed to different forms of value-addition to the original product and produced higher gains for the participants in the value chain. Farmers at the item's place of origin complained about price discrimination, but it was discovered that end-market middlemen absorbed the lion's share of the total gain generated by the value chain. Findings of this study contributes in generating understanding the process of value creation, power structure, and gain sharing in the localized natural resources-based value chains.
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