Promoting Agricultural Commercialization and Enterprises (PACE) Project

PKSF launched Promoting Agricultural Commercialization and Enterprises (PACE) project in January 2015. The project is jointly financed by PKSF and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The Financing Agreement of the project was signed between the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and IFAD on 11 December 2014. Subsequently, PKSF signed Subsidiary Loan and Grant Agreement (SLGA) with the Ministry of Finance, Government of Bangladesh on 18 January 2015 to implement the project.

Prior to the PACE Project, PKSF implemented three other IFAD funded projects, these are: i) Microfinance and Technical Supports (MFTS) Project, ii) Microfinance for Marginal and Small Farmers (MFMSF) Project and iii) Finance for Enterprise Development and Employment Creation (FEDEC) Project. All three projects were implemented very successfully and contributed significantly in poverty reduction and employment generation. The PACE Project is designed on the basis of the experience and learning of the above-mentioned three projects to expedite further the process of poverty reduction by promoting microenterprises in the country. This project was scheduled to be completed by 31 December 2020.

Additional Financing (AF) phase

Like many other countries, Bangladesh was severely affected by COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Repeated declaration of general holidays (shut down), various restrictions to ensure social distance for prevention of COVID-19 disrupted the whole economy of the country. Microenterprise was one of the worst affected economic sectors of the country. To restore economic activities and recover the losses of microenterprise sector the government of Bangladesh and IFAD extended the project for 3years until 31 December 2023. The amended Financial Agreement was signed on 16 September 2021 and the Subsidiary Loan and Grant Agreements signed on 15 December 2021.

Goal and Objectives
The project goal is to enhance livelihoods (higher income from self-employment, business profit and wage employment, and food security) of the moderate and extreme poor (men and women) in a sustainable manner.

The development objectives are to increase sales and incomes from existing and new microenterprises and to create new wage employment opportunities for extreme and moderate poor people.

Project Participants

The target population of PACE project will include microentrepreneurs, i.e. who are borrowers of ME loan program, moderately poor and extremely poor persons. In terms of professional identities, the project will target marginal and small farmers involved in field crops, horticulture, fisheries, livestock production, non-farm micro entrepreneurs, and professionals in service sectors. The project will extend financial services to additional 150,000 micro-entrepreneurs. Under the Value Chain Development of the project, 420,000 project participants will receive non-financial services while 50,000 entrepreneurs will be benefited under the component of Technology and product adaptation.

Components and Activities

The PACE Project has three complementary components.

a) Financial services for microenterprise: The project is strengthening the Microenterprise Program of PKSF and is providing sustainable financial services for the expansion of microenterprises (farm, off-farm, trading and service sectors). The outputs of this component are: a) expansion of microenterprise loans for various sectors (e.g. agriculture, processing, trade and services); b) piloting of new loan products; and c) capacity building of PKSF and POs in designing and developing of new financial products, monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment of ME program and application of information technology in management of POs.

b) Value Chain Development: Under the Value Chain Development component of the project, PKSF is making value chain interventions in various farm and non-farm sector to help upscaling of business, adoption of appropriate technologies, enhance productivity and ensure access to markets in a sustainable manner.

c) Technology and product adaptation: The project has introduced proven technologies and products (agricultural and off-farm) from Bangladeshi and international sources to the micro entrepreneurs.

Progress of the Project Activities

a) Financial Services: In PACE project the target of PKSF’s portfolio increase was BDT 3200.0 million (*USD 40 million). PKSFs portfolio in microenterprise program increased by BDT 3895.88 million (USD 48.7 million). So the achievement status is 122%. On the other hand, net disbursement of the POs to the borrowers level was BDT 11,985 million (USD 150 million). The target was BDT 5,600 million. So the achievement status was 214%.

In PACE Project sector wise distribution of loan on the basis of loan outstanding is  trade 28%, agriculture 42%, service 15% and processing 15% at the end of June 2022.

Piloting of new loan products: PACE piloted two financial products  i) Start-up capital loan and ii) Lease Financing through 11 Partner Organizations. A total of 300 microentrepreneurs (241 Start-up capital loan and 59 lease financing) received the financial services. PACE Project has taken initiative to expand these two financial products through 21 selected POs in different regions of the country.

b) Value chain development: Sub-sector based value chain interventions help to a great extent in promoting microenterprises. The component-2 of the PACE project has provision to implement value chain interventions in different potential farm and non-farm subsectors. The sub-sectors that have potentials in increasing income of micro-entrepreneurs and creating new employments for poor people are given priority in undertaking value chain interventions. The outcome of this component is sustainable inclusion of microenterprises and businesses run by the poor and the ultra-poor in value chains in farm, off-farm and service sectors to scale up business, production technologies and enhance access to markets. PACE implemented value chain sub-projects in 15 farm and 15 non-farm sub-sectors. So far, PACE has undertaken 75 value chain sub-projects of which 42 sub-projects are now ongoing. Through the value chain development component, as many as 5,33,000 micro-entrepreneurs and other value chain actors of different economic activities are receiving technical, technological and marketing supports. Besides, the project is providing support for physical market development, multi-purpose digital platform for marketing of goods and services and promoting decent work environment for ME sector.

c) Technology and Product Adaptation: The PACE project attempted to solve technological problems in different potential economic sub-sectors under the component of technology and product adaptation. The project provided technological support to the microentrepreneurs engaged in various economic activities in different regions of the country. The project undertook 25 technology and product adaptation sub-projects to transfer 11 proven technologies and 15 products in different sub-sectors. So far, 30,868 project participants received technological support under PACE Project.

Project Cost: The total project cost is USD 129.72 (Original phase USD 92.85 and Additional financing phase USD 36.86 million). Component wise cost allocation is given below.


PACE-original phase (USD million)


phase (USD million)


1- Financial services for microenterprises




2- Value chain development




3-Technology & Product Adaptation




4– Project management

0. 64








Project Financing: The project is jointly financed by IFAD, PKSF, Korean grant and POs of PKSF.  The breakdown of project financing is given below:


PACE-original phase (USD million)


phase (USD million)






Korean Grant

















Md. Habibur Rahman
Assistant General Manager (Program) & Project Coordinator
M.Com. (Management), University of Dhaka

Dr. S. M. Faruk-Ul-Alam
Value Chain Project Supervisor
Ph.D. (Animal Nutrition)
National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Karnal 132001, Haryana
India (ICCR Scholarship)

Md. Kamrul Islam Value Chain Specialist (Agri-business) M.S (Plant Pathology) Bangladesh Agricultural University

Md. Mizanur Rahman
Monitoring, Evaluation & Knowledge Management Specialist
M.S.S (Sociology)
University of Dhaka

Sanchita Islam
Value Chain Project Manager
MSS (Social Work)
University of Rajshahi

Md. Masum Sarker
Value Chain Project Manager
MBA (Supply Chain Management)
Linnaeus University, Sweden

Md. Nur Alam
Value Chain Project Manager
M.S (Agricultural Extension)
Haji Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University


Suman Kumar Saha
Value Chain Project Manager
M.S (Crop Botany)
Bangladesh Agricultural University

Farhana Haque Ovi
Communication Officer
M.S.S (Women and Gender Studies)
University of Dhaka

Md. Naim Ul Islam
Accounts Officer
MBS (Accounting)
National University