Published:  12:14 AM, 12 February 2019

Pesticide-free brinjal brings fortune to Rangpur woman

Pesticide-free brinjal brings fortune to Rangpur woman Housewife Bijlee Begum looks be happy at her pesticide-free brinjal garden. -AA

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 Rangpur. Following her successful cultivation of brinjal without using any chemical pesticide or fertilizer, Bijlee has already earned extensive recognition as a triumphant female farmer of the upazila, reports 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-laborer 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 fertilizers 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. The river erosion, floods, droughts and adverse situations have factually become constant companions of people living in char areas. "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. 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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