Safe vegetable farming becomes boon for many people in Rajshahi

BSS, Dhaka :
Belly Begum, 35, a resident of Dighipara village under Paba upazila in the Rajshahi district, has become economically solvent through farming safe vegetables as its demand is increasing gradually everywhere in the society.
Begum is earning cash through selling varieties of vegetables, including red amaranth, spinach, bottle gourd and Indian spinach at present.
With full-length support from her husband and children, she is growing the chemical-free safe vegetables.
“I’ve learnt about the importance of bio-fertilizer, seed conservation and seed exchange,” she said while talking to BSS at her house on Saturday. She has also learnt about the proper and sustainable use of land to protect its productivity. She continued that her vegetables are chemical-free and most of the vegetables are sold from her house regularly. That’s why she does not often need to take those vegetables to market for sale. In a choked voice, she said that her previous life wasn’t pleasant and she struggled to enhance her family income.
To get rid of poverty, she started growing vegetables on her homestead side by side with rearing poultry birds and goats.
Currently, she can fulfil the nutrition demand of her family members by consuming chemical-free vegetable and milk and meat from domestic animals.
Being inspired by Begum’s success, many other neighbours have started growing vegetables in their respective homesteads applying organic methods for the last couple of years.
Banera Khatun, 36, in Darusha village, said, “We have been producing chemical-free vegetables, using vermicompost. We are also selling some vegetables in the local market after meeting the family’s demand.” Anwar Hossain, 40, a farmer at Alipur village in Durgapur upazila, said chemical-free vegetables are in high demand in the village, and locals are purchasing the vegetables at higher prices.
Jahangir Alam Khan, coordinator of the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) Project, said the villagers cultivate crops and vegetables in the cultivable lands and homesteads around the year using local resources and contributing a lot towards meeting the local demands. “We are motivating the marginalized communities, including the ethnic minorities, to enhance their family income through homestead gardening using organic resources,” he said.