Khadiza Begum (34), mother of three children is a resident of Daksin Kusholnogor village of Nilokhiya, Jamalpur. Previously, her husband worked on other’s cropland in their village for supporting the family of five. When there was a scarcity of work in the village, he went to Dhaka or other districts to find work as a day laborer. Khadiza and her family was so poor that very often they had to starve for a lack of food. Her house and sanitation were in a bad condition. She owned no cultivable land, only had homestead gardening. In the river-eroded village that they lived in, the sandy land did not produce good yields, and it flooded every year. As a consequence, Khadiza did not dare to take mortgage of others’ lands for cultivation. Out of frustration from this, her husband often abused her physically.
In 2016, SHOUHARDO III started to work in their village. Khadiza became a participant of this program, as she matched all the inclusion criteria for the poor and extreme poor (PEP). Under Income Generating Activity (IGA) initiative, she received an on-farm: goat rearing training from Farmers Field and Business School (FFBS) and also received Co-Occupational Group (COG) support under SHOUHARDO III program. She received BDT 3,000 (USD 35.42) as financial support for buying goat.
Additionally, she regularly joined all the sessions of Farmers Field and Business School (FFBS). From the sessions, she learnt about participation of women in income-generating activities, thinking about alternative income sources and co-operative decision making. She is a member of Adult Female Community Group in her village. From the sessions, she learnt about different government service providers, vegetable wholesalers and how to contact company representatives.
She has been in touch with the Sub-Assistant Agricultural Officer (SAAO) and a representative of a local Micro Seed Retailer for the last three years. The SAAO has been advising her on the yield of good varieties of pumpkins, proper care, and application of organic fertilizers. This year, she took a mortgage of seven kathas (0.12 acre) of land on which she and her husband cultivated pumpkins, and onions as companion crops according to his advice. It benefits them a lot. Besides this she also rears poultry.
As a result, from all these IGA approaches, Khadiza and her husband’s joint monthly income was BDT 12,000 (USD 141.72) in June 2021.Her individual monthly income is BDT 5,000(USD 49.05) through rearing goats and poultry.
At present, Khadiza does not need to take a loan. She can even save money now. With her income, she has built a new house and a latrine. She has three daughters. She bears her daughters’ educational expenses like private tuition fee, school fee, buying books, pencil, pens etc. With her income from poultry.
Now, she and her husband have a mutual understanding and their conjugal life has improved; her husband does not hit her anymore. Khadiza engages in decision making regarding different family matters as she is also an earning member of the family now.
She said, “SHOUHARDO is working to introduce and create awareness with available public and private service providers. Because of which I am getting the benefits; I am rearing goats and poultry, cultivating crops. I am self-dependent, and I am very happy now. I am grateful to this program.”
Information provided by: Lipu Sarkar, Field Trainer, SHOUHARDO III, Eco-Social Development Organization
Written by: Jannatul Ferdous, Senior Learning and Communication Officer, SHOUHARDO III