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BSS
  10 Jan 2022, 12:56

Cooperative becomes boon for rural women in Rajshahi

   By Dr Aynal Haque

   RAJSHAHI, Jan 10, 2022 (BSS) - Cooperative has become boon for many rural
people, particularly the women, as they are improving their living and
livelihood conditions through engagement in the cooperative activities in the
region.

  Suborna Khatun, 45, a resident of Bidirpur village at Mohanpur Upazila, has
become an icon for her various income-generating cooperative activities.

   "I had taken Taka 15,000 from our Ghashful Mohila Somobai Samity in
Mohanpur Upazila of the district as loan for the first time in 2016," she
said.

   She has expanded her ventures to diversified fields, including homestead
gardening, poultry birds rearing, beef fattening and potato farming at
present after the best use of the borrowed money.

   "I have learnt how to become self-reliant through income-generating
activities and to contribute to the society," she said.

   Cooperative has taught the village people to help each other and eradicate
their plights, she added.

   Shefali Tudu, 42, a member of Mundumala Mohila Somobai Samity in Tanore
Upazila, has brought happiness to their four-member family through homestead
gardening after taking loan from the cooperative association.

   "We have been producing chemical-free vegetables, using vermin-compost. We
are also selling some vegetables in the local market after meeting the
family's demand," Tudu said.

  She added chemical-free vegetables are in high demand at the village, and
locals purchase the vegetables at higher prices.

   She also said they cultivate red leafy, bottle gourd, carrot, snake gourd
and napa shak on 40 decimals of land by using bio-fertilizer.

   She does not go to the local market to sell the vegetables, rather
villagers come to her home to purchase vegetables at high prices, she said.

   If all the farmers grow chemical-free vegetables by using vermicompost on
their lands, it will meet people's demand for chemical-free foods, Tudu
continued.

   Rozina Begum, 38, of Khoira village under Mohanpur upazila has become
almost self-reliant through manufacturing vermi-compost. With her husband Abu
Bakkar's close collaboration, she established a household factory for
manufacturing organic fertilizer.

   Vermicompost fertilizer, one kind of organic fertilizer made from
earthworm, has started becoming popular in the region.

   Rozina Begum is now an ideal in their village as she shed the light on
knowledge of producing vermicompost fertilizer.

   She said only earthworm and cow-dung are used in producing vermicompost
fertilizer which also helps protect the environment, maintain fertility of
the land, increase resistance power of crops against diseases and escalate
crops production.

  Abdul Mazid, Joint Registrar of the Department of Cooperative, said they
have been working relentlessly to improve the socio-economic condition of the
cross-sections of people through organizing them.

  There are 32,694 cooperative societies in all 67 upazilas of eight
districts in Rajshahi division and the societies have mobilized deposits of
around Taka 1,372 crore at present.

  A project titled "Livelihood Development of Underprivileged Women through
rearing improved cows" is being implemented in 12 cooperative societies in
six upazilas of four districts in the division.

   Under the project, the beneficiary women were given loans worth around
Taka 13.39 crore.

  Another project styled "Livelihood Improvement of Ethnic Minority People"
is being implemented in 80 cooperative societies in eight upazilas of three
districts. The cooperative members were given loan worth Taka 2.73 crore
under the project.

  Mazid said loans of around Taka 23.59 crore were disbursed among the
members of 195 cooperative societies in 200 Ashrayan Projects in the
division.

  A total of 6,850 cooperative members were imparted mobile training to make
them able in operating different income-generating activities competently.

  Apart from this, 1,745 cooperative members, including 625 women, were given
institutional training in the regional cooperative training center in Naogaon
during the last fiscal year.

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