300 Kalapara women helping families with additional income

Ash gourds are hanging from the net on tree in her home yard. Each ash gourd weighs around 5kg. She has also cultivated other vegetables in the yard. She has used vermicompost fertiliser in the yard.

Salma Begum, wife of day labourer Shahidul Islam of Punamapara village in Kalapara upazila of the district, has earned around Tk 10,000 from selling the vegetables in the last two and a half months. With this extra income, she is helping her husband to run their four-member family.

"It is very tough to run our family with the low income of my husband. So, she is now cultivating vegetable and rearing goats and ducks to assist her husband in running the family," said Salma, adding, that she bought two goats by selling the eggs of ducks.

She further added that they are now self-sufficient by rearing ducks and selling organic vegetables. Apart from this, the nutritional needs are also being met.

Salma's neighbour Hanufa Begum is also cultivating various vegetables. She has now 40 ducks in her farm. She bought seven goats by selling eggs of ducks. By selling vegetables and duck eggs, she is now earning extra money to support her nine-member family.

"I am very happy that I'm now able to meet the needs of my family with my additional income," said Hanufa Begum.

Like Salma and Hanufa, many housewives of the village have engaged themselves in rearing goats and ducks and cultivating organic vegetables and helping the family with their additional income.

A number of men and women in the coastal area have recently achieved self-sufficiency in various types of farming, including vegetable farming. Thus, they are earning extra income to support their families.

A non-governmental organization (NGO) named 'Friendship' has provided training to 300 women and 60 men in five unions of Kalapara upazila on various topics including vegetable cultivation, duck and goat rearing and vermicompost fertilizer.

The unions are Latachpali, Dhulasar, Lalua, Tiakhali and Chakamiya, said an official of the NGO.

At the end of the training in January this year, 12 ducks and necessary vegetable seeds were provided to each of trainees free of cost, said Jewel Hasan, manager of the 'Assistance for Sustainable Development project', implemented by Friendship.

Plastic containers have also been provided to each of the trainees for storing the seeds, said the project manager.

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