Pesticide-free brinjal cultivation brings fortune to Bijlee

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RANGPUR, Feb 11, 2019 (BSS) – Bijlee Begum, 26, a poor housewife, has
changed fortune through farming pesticide-free brinjal adopting eco-friendly
technologies in village Char Pran Nath of Kawnia upazila in the district.

Following her successful cultivation of brinjal without using any
chemical pesticide or fertiliser, Bijlee has already earned extensive
recognition as a triumphant female farmer of the upazila.

Talking to BSS, Bijlee, a mother of two children, narrated her success
story of winning extreme poverty through brinjal cultivation on char lands.

“Eleven years ago I was a student of class eight. My poor father Jamat
Ali of village Hariswar arranged my marriage with day-labourer Manjurul Islam
of village Char Pran Nath amid abject poverty in our family,” she said.

And thus education of Bijlee embraced a tragic end. Before understanding
well about conjugal life, she became a mother by giving birth to her
daughter.

After a couple of years, Bijlee gave birth to her son. Poverty escalated
miseries in her family of six members, including her father-in-law, mother-
in-law, two children, husband and herself.

Most of the times, her husband Manjurul had to remain at home without
any job and his earning was not enough to feed their six family members.

Without losing her courage, Bijlee started searching way-outs to bring
solvency to her family, ensure livelihoods for family members and make her
children educated.

“I got an opportunity to participate in a training course on eco-
friendly vegetable farming last year. The Department of Agriculture Extension
(DAE) and RDRS Bangladesh jointly arranged the training course in her area,”
Bijlee said.

Utilising the knowledge Bijlee acquired from the training course, she
started cultivating brinjal on 20 decimals of char lands of her husband on
the erosion-prone Teesta riverbed.

“I applied vermin composts and used sex pheromone traps while farming
brinjal adopting eco-friendly technologies without using chemical fertilisers
or pesticides. I am getting now excellent yield and profits,” said Bijlee.

Bijlee spent a total of Taka 4,500 in farming brinjal on their 20
decimals of land and already sold her harvested pesticide-free brinjal at
Taka 16,500.

Now, the family members are living in peace with three times meal a day
and newer hopes for their children.

“I am expecting to earn Taka 10,000 by selling brinjal this season
despite fall in price,” said Bijlee adding that she has enrolled her daughter
to class three and son to class one in a school.

Talking to BSS, Kawnia Upazila Agriculture Officer of the DAE Saiful
Alam said Bangladesh is a riverine country where many people are living in
riverine char areas like village Char Pran Nath on the Teesta riverbed.

The river erosion, floods, droughts and adverse situations have
factually become constant companions of people living in char areas.

“Due to seasonal floods and river erosion, char people are bogged down in
agricultural production. So, the deficiency and poverty do not leave them
behind,” he said.

“Considering all these aspects, the DAE is providing training and counseling
to char people on farming pesticide-free vegetables besides rice
cultivation,” he said.

“After getting necessary training and inputs, Bijlee like many other
char people have achieved success and they are now known as successful
vegetable cultivators on char areas,” Alam added.

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