Chaldal, supported by USAID Feed the Future Bangladesh Rice and Diversified Crops Activity (RDC), has undertaken a pilot project named “Know Your Rice” to increase awareness and availability of local rice varieties among urban consumers.
Chaldal is one of the first online grocery stores in the country, delivering to 10000+ families across Dhaka, Narayanganj, and Chattogram daily.
In June 2020, Chaldal launched its “Know Your Rice” campaign to establish a strong supply chain network with farmers and millers in the rural, southwestern belt of Bangladesh. They have been able to work directly with rice farmers and millers to assess the difficulties that procurers face in entering the e-commerce market, subsequently providing technical support to support their branding and packaging efforts.
Through this program, Chaldal has sourced Atop and Miniket rice for its urban consumers from the southern region of Bangladesh. Additionally, it has introduced Banglamoti rice for its customers, a first for online grocery markets in the country. This variety has been quite the hit among urban customers, particularly in Dhaka. So far, 115 MT of rice has been sourced by Chaldal from several suppliers in the region.
As the demand for premium rice varieties increases, Chaldal hopes to launch more such initiatives to promote local produce. Aside from rice, the sourcing team at the company has also started procuring watermelons and is looking into obtaining vegetables from the region.
When asked about her experience working on “Know Your Rice”, Project Lead and Assistant Director of Chaldal, Nerissa Nashin said, “It’s very rewarding to be able to partake in something that promotes local and to be able to disseminate information about all the wonderful produce Bangladesh has to offer to our customers.”
Context: This is not an isolated development. Chaldal has been working with development organizations for a while. In Cox’s Bazar Rohingya camp, the company collaborates with WFP. The company has also been focusing on the enterprise business of late.
Second, Chaldal has been paying a lot of attention to supply chain development and backward linkage with the producers with an ambition to have greater control over the supply, price, and quality. “We are focusing on improving our supply chain, which is increasingly becoming critical for us”, Chaldal CEO Waseem Alim said earlier this year in an interview with FS. “We are also paying a lot of attention to product quality and service.” To that end, this project should help the company in achieving both goals.