Vegetables farming changes economy of char households

Homestead vegetable cultivation has become popular among the extremely poor char households to change their economic condition side by side with meeting nutritional demand in remote char areas in recent years. Under the Chars Livelihoods Programme (CLP), te4ns of thousands of (have-nots group) char families have so far achieved self-reliance to win over the decades’ old extreme poverty in 10 northwestern districts on the Brahmaputra basin.
Side by side with conducting other income generation activities with the assistance of the comprehensive CLP, they achieved success in cultivating vegetables on the raised plinths of their tiny homesteads to lead better life now.
According to different sources, the UKaid through the Department for International Development, Australian Government through Australian Agency for International Development and Government of Bangladesh are funding CLP implementation.
The comprehensive CLP activities are aimed eradicate extreme poverty of the have-nots group char families through income generation activities to improve their livelihoods, life standards and change socioeconomic conditions by 2016.

Livelihoods Coordinator of CLP Dr. Mahbub Alam said the multi-dimensional CLP activities are being implemented successfully by a number of local NGOs in the riverine char islands of 10 northwestern riverine districts to achieve the goals. He said all of the targeted 1.33 lakh extremely poor char households are being benefited under the CLP phase-I during 2004-2010 and phase-II during 2010-2016 periods to improve their livelihoods as well as life standards under adverse situations.

Agriculture and Environment Coordinator Mamunur Rashid of RDRS Bangladesh, one of the implementing partners of CLP, said the programme is being implemented on remote and hardly reachable char areas on the Brahmaputra basin since 2004. The beneficiary women-led distressed char families are being assisted first to escape floods through raising plinths and making them self-reliant with various income generations, including homesteads gardening.

Horticulture Specialist of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Khandker Md Mesbahul Islam said the char women achieved success in homestead vegetables farming on raising plinths with other income generation activities with CLP assistance.

CLP beneficiary women Kamala, Aklima, Rahela, Ayesha, Sabiha Sharmin, Parul, Anwara, Kulsum and Bulbuli of different char villages narrated success they have achieved so far through vegetables’ farming on their tiny homesteads. They are cultivating pumpkin, sweet gourd, `Borboti’, `patol’, `Kakrol’, `Jhinga’, `Shosha’, bean, dhania, `Korola’,`Chichinga’, `Lau’, brinjal, cauliflower, chilli, ‘Palong’ and ‘Lal’ sak and many other vegetables to earn profits after meeting their own demand. They said they are earning money through selling vegetables to the middlemen at comparatively lower rates for lack of adequate marketing, preservation, transportation and communication facilities in the hardly reachable char areas.

“All of these char women were in abject poverty even a decade ago before taking up homestead vegetables’ farming as the means of survival along with other income generation activities after raising plinths to escape the wraths of floods,” he added, according to BSS.

Source: The Financial Express. Date: 15 Jan 2016