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Farming turns boon for many rural women

DHAKA, Dec 1, 2017 (BSS) - Rahima Katun is now the name of a successful farmer at Sharai village under Kaunia upazila in Rangpur district. But, even a few days back, poverty was the part and parcel of her daily life. Her family was gripped with quarrel everyday as they had to pass days with abject poverty.

All the members of his family then had to experience hardships as they had no other option left but to starve.

But now time has changed for Rahima. Her children are not starving anymore as she has created scope of study for them. All these become possible because of her strong will force and hard work. She became self-reliant and brought sufficiency in her family only through chili cultivation.

In the beginning of her success story, she had a little amount of cash capital and a small piece of land adjacent to her house where she cultivated chilies.

Initially, she invested Taka 7,000 only. And from this, she got a profit of nearly Taka 20,000 that also created a big aspiration in her mind and made her determined to eliminate poverty from her family. She then realised that she herself could change her fate.

Seed Recall Project, a local NGO, extended its hands of cooperation for implementation of Rahima's ambitions. Some NGO officers imparted training to Rahima so she could get more yield of chilies in a small piece of land.

Initially, they supplied Rahima with high-yielding variety of chilly seeds free of cost.

After receiving training, Rahima planted chilies in assistance with her hubby and children. She cultivated chilies also on her hubby's piece of land the next year. That time she obtained a profit of nearly Taka 40,000.

Talking about her success, Rahima Khatun said, "Once we could hardly serve meals to my kids. To provide them with education was beyond my dream. Quarrel was a regular feature in my family."

She said, "One day, some officers of Seed Recall Project came to my house. Later, they trained up me on chilly cultivation."

"Big profits could be obtained with a small investment. Now I earn Taka 1.5 lakh to Taka two lakh every year from chilly cultivation. We are now experiencing peace and prosperity in our family."

Like Rahima, another farmer of her village Ruksana Begum has also earned profits by cultivating chilies. Scarcity of everything was the regular feature in her family also.

Ruksana said, "Allah has kept his generous eyes on us. I have constructed a house by cultivating and selling chilies. I could arrange marriage of my daughter with the profit earned through selling of chilies."

Expressing her gratitude to the officers of the Seed Recall Project, she said, "I have chosen the profession mainly due to their inspirations. Initially, I started cultivating chilies by getting a small amount of money as loan taking a small piece of land on lease. Now I don't require taking lease of farming land as I have bought some piece of land."

Recall Project Officer Maria Sarker said, "Most of the women of this region are hard-working. They can work from dawn to dusk. But, they don't know how their labours can be transformed into profits."

Like Rahima many women of this village and its adjoining areas have earned profits by cultivating chilies. They have surfaced now as the main income earners of their families, she said.

"But, most of the women of the region had to experience repressions in the hands of their husbands on daily basis sometime back. In most of the cases, hard family necessities were responsible for this," added.

Their male counterparts had to travel to many places including Dhaka in search of jobs. But, time has changed for them now. They have been taking their family oars in their hands now opting to cultivation, she further added.

Maria said, "The country will march much ahead if the women farmers can be engaged in right jobs by imparting them with proper trainings."

Establishment of equal rights for women would be a far cry in any country if it could not ensure empowerment of its womenfolk. The socio-economic development of every woman of the country is the prime pre-requisite for establishment of women's rights, she opined.