Creating job opportunities for the rural poor in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is one of the world’s poorest countries, and in rural areas, poverty is especially widespread and severe. Here, agriculture is the main source of income and employment, giving it considerable potential to alleviate poverty as well as improve food security – but the sector’s growth is inhibited by a shortage of skilled labour and gaps in the business capabilities of local food-processing enterprises.

The SHAMERTO project aims to address these problems across seven regions of Bangladesh by improving the efficiency of local food-processing enterprises and supporting more people from poor and disadvantaged groups to learn the necessary skills to gain employment with these businesses.

Project name: SHAMERTO (Sustainable Skills & Employment in Small Scale Agro-Food Processing)

Where are we working? Across the North West, North East, and South-West of Bangladesh

How long for? February 2017 – January 2020 (3 years)

Who is benefiting? 25,000 people working in small, micro and cottage food processing enterprises. With an average household of 4-5 people, around 112,500 people will directly benefit in total.

What are our aims?

  • For 60% of people in targeted areas to be in employment

  • For 35% of women in targeted areas to be in employment

  • For 200,000 farm households to have improved access to market for their produce

  • For 40% of skilled workers in targeted areas to earn at least BDT 8,250 (£81) per month through employment in small food-processing enterprises

  • For participating small enterprises to increase their sales revenue by 30%

Who are we working with? The SHAMERTO project is the joint endeavour of a consortium led by Swiss NGO Helvetas, of which Traidcraft Exchange is a key partner. The project is funded by the European Commission.


For more information about this project, please contact

Go back to ‘Programmes’