What the papers say

Women Fish for Profit

A weekly round up of articles about employment, the labor market, skills training and workforce development. This week’s round up is drawn from The Daily Star. Here is the news for the week ending 30th June 2016.

This week in the Bangladesh English Press…

…economists look into the success of budget provisions for women and an expert says guaranteed income for all could work in Bangladesh. The Economist gives Bangladesh a poor report card on labour migration governance while exporters raise concerns about the UK leaving the EU. At the local level small farmers in Kushtia go back to school to learn new agro-technologies, and a group of entrepreneurial women create a fish farm from a disused canal.

Women workers key to economic success

Economists examined the effect of budget allocations for women’s development in a recent seminar.

Despite efforts to support women enter work, women’s participation in the labour force has actually fallen 2.5% since 2010.

Experts called for more robust evidence of the effects of programmes designed to promote women’s participation in the economy. They would like to see substantive changes in the structure of safety net programmes to benefit women.

Guaranteed basic income for all vs means tested social safety nets

The Swiss recently rejected a guaranteed basic income for all.

But an eminent academic thinks that this scheme could work in developing economies.

It would mean increasing revenue collection or reducing subsidies for the better-off. Because diverting money from other social commitments to basic health and education should never be considered.

A basic income for all programme could replace existing safety net schemes in developing economies, which are difficult to administrate and prone to corruption.

Better management for labour migration

There are eight million Bangladeshis working abroad. Although most are low paid, they send home $15 billion every year .

But according to this year’s Migration Governance Index, Bangladesh performs poorly. The country could better its standing by improving “safe and orderly migration” and “migrant rights.” These are two areas where Bangladesh is categorised as merely “developing.”

The study by The Economist Intelligence Unit says poorly managed migration can “encourage smuggling and human trafficking.”

Bangladesh is regarded as “mature” in terms of “regional and international cooperation.” And later this year hosts the Global Forum on Migration and Development.

Bangladesh bemoans Brexit

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union may have negative consequences for Bangladesh.

There are concerns about trading terms and a possible economic downturn in Bangladesh’s third largest export destination. Ninety per cent of exports to the UK by value are garments.

The fall in the British pound may hit remittances. And there are already signs that British buyers want to pay less to Bangladeshi manufacturers to compensate for the weak pound.

Small farmers back to school

The Department of Agricultural Extention in Kushtia runs  a five month training programme for family farmers.

There are just six schools concentrated in Mirpur Upazilla. But nine hundred farmers have already graduated from the training programme. And the Department wants to cover all farming families in the Upazilla.

Teachers build on indigenous farming practices but introduce the farmers to modern techniques. Increased productivity with less pesticides is key.

At the end of the programme each student gets a 1500 Taka grant to put what they’ve learned into practice.

Women clear canal to cultivate fish

For the last four years a group of village women have been farming fish in the Shirishkat canal. In 2015 these entrepreneurs turned a profit of 100,000 Taka. And this year turnover is on the up.

The 43 Kerinaganj women formed two cooperatives, cleared the overgrown canal and started cultivating fish

Local government and the fisheries department support the women in this sustainable enterprise.

And that’s the news for the week ending 30th June.