Photo: Arne Hoel / World Bank
Bangladesh’s livestock sector provides vital opportunities for people in rural areas, women, youth, and vulnerable groups. The sector employs a significant number of Bangladeshis, accounting for 14.5 percent of overall employment and over one-third of agricultural employment.
An even stronger livestock sector could help meet the needs of Bangladesh’s growing economy and population. Given increasing demand for meat, poultry, and dairy products, the sector could contribute to food and nutritional security. As a labor-intensive sector that supplies key inputs for products with high export demand, it also could generate inclusive employment opportunities.
In this context, the Livestock and Dairy Development Project is modernizing the sector, promoting climate-smart production, and enhancing productivity and resilience of smallholder farmers. The project will contribute to the creation of new jobs both directly and indirectly through economic linkages – by alleviating intermediate input constraints, reducing seasonality, and increasing incomes of households engages in the livestock value-chain., The Supporting Effective Jobs Lending at Scale (SEJLS) program informed project activities aimed to help reduce underemployment, create jobs for youth and women, and improve jobs across the livestock value chains in Bangladesh.
Understanding potential job creation
SEJLS conducted an ex-ante estimation of LDDP’s job creation potential to explore how the project could improve jobs outcomes by estimating the number of jobs created through different activities. This was challenging given most livestock workers in Bangladesh are informal and work without contracts, many are underemployed and family workers, and they often split their time across several activities. Job estimates combined a survey of three livestock value chains – dairy, cattle, and poultry – and a social accounting matrix (SAM) multiplier model predicting potential national job creation by linking different sectors and economic actors.
Production farms generate on average 1.87 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs with slight variation across sub-sectors. Thus, employing 100 workers in livestock production creates 63 FTE jobs, with unpaid family labor accounting for 47 percent, self-employment for 39 percent, and wage employment for 14 percent.
Men have more opportunities than women for more full-time work in the sector. The employment of 100 male workers generates 66 FTE jobs against 58 in the case of female workers, indicating a disparity in work hours. This disparity is also reflected in the distribution of FTE jobs, with 65 percent of FTE jobs occupied by men and 35 percent by women on livestock farms. In non-farm activities, women are significantly underrepresented.
Livestock farms rely heavily on family labor (89 percent), with women accounting for 84 percent of unpaid labor. Few farms are formally registered (20 percent), hold bank accounts (8 percent), and are members of associations or cooperatives (7 percent), and only 6 percent of salaried workers have signed contracts.
In contrast, just under half of upstream and downstream firms rely on non-family wage employees, and women and youth are more likely to obtain wage-employment. As a result, developing the value chains could generate more economically beneficial employment opportunities for women and young people.
Based on the sample survey and following conservative estimates from relevant experts, SEJLs analysis expects the project will create 99,300 additional direct FTE jobs on participating farms. If the existing distribution of FTE jobs prevails at the end of implementation, the project will create about 14,000 new salaried and wage-employment positions. With similar assumptions, about 38,000 FTE jobs for women and 30,000 FTE jobs for youth are expected from value chain interventions.
Number of Jobs Generated by Year
Source: Based on SAM multiplier simulation results.
The SAM multiplier model-based simulation exercise estimated that the project’s investment of US$146.4 million (out of US$500 million) would directly contribute to enhancing productive capacity of livestock farms. The investment is expected to generate 164,000 additional jobs over 14 years including the project’s seven years of operations, with livestock farming activities creating the largest number of jobs (64 percent) and indirect and induced jobs in related upstream and downstream activities contributing about 36 percent. The project will create 102,000 jobs for women and approximately 62,000 jobs for men, with the majority of jobs for women in livestock activities and most jobs for men in non-livestock activities.
Developing lessons for other jobs projects
The analysis demonstrates the need to prioritize productive partnerships with processing firms and SMEs, formalize the sector, promote youth employment, and gender equality, reduce seasonality, and improve retail services. After analyzing the project’s expected impacts, some key recommendations for designing livestock development projects to support labor market outcomes include:
- Formalizing the sector by registering farmers and developing the value chains to improve transparency, access to finance, and promote good practices in animal husbandry is critical for increased productivity and competitiveness.
- Establishing partnerships with SMEs and processing firms, which have the highest average FTE job creation potential, will generate substantial jobs for skilled youth in rural areas and can help address challenges for farmers such as market access and limited access to finance.
- Developing policies to promote inclusive employment in the livestock sector through training and capacity-building programs will create more jobs for young people.
- Encouraging women’s participation in upstream and downstream activities through tailored training and capacity-building programs will help generate better jobs.
- Promoting the establishment of livestock product processing plants and exports can increase demand, reduce the sector’s seasonality, and increase access to markets with different demand patterns, leading to more and better-quality jobs in farms and processing plants.
This is part of a series of blogs sharing insights from activities funded by SEJLS to support WBG operations in maximizing their impact on jobs