| Dhaka, Thursday, 19 September 2019

Vegetables come with fortune for Char people

Update : 2015-07-27 12:45:32
Vegetables come with fortune for Char people

Homestead vegetables gardening has been meeting nutritional demand and bringing fortune for the extremely poor and landless people living in the remote char areas on the Brahmaputra basin in recent years.

So far, 1.33 lakh char households have achieved the success to alleviate poverty and met nutritional demand through homestead gardening with other income generating activities with assistance of the comprehensive Char Livelihoods Programme (CLP).

Under the CLP activities, the extremely poor and have-nots group char families are being assisted to escape floods through raising plinths first to make them self-reliant through income generations, including homesteads gardening, under adverse situations.

The UKaid through the Department for International Development (DFID) and Australian Government through Australian Agency for International Development (Aus AID) have been funding CLP implementation.

Under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, CLP is being executed by the Rural Development and Cooperatives Division with the management through Maxwell Stamp Plc.

Monjusree Saha, Head of Programme Coordination of RDRS Bangladesh, one of the implementing partner NGOs, said the CLP has been proved to be very effective for the char households to alleviate and win over abject poverty through income generations.

Agriculture and Environment Coordinator Mamunur Rashid of the same NGO said the CLP has been working with the extremely poor households living on riverine island chars to improve their livelihoods since 2004 in ten northwestern districts.

Over 1.33 lakh extremely poor char families of Kurigram, Bogra, Gaibandha, Sirajganj, Jamalpur, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Pabna and Tangail have achieved success in homestead gardening to overcome poverty comprehensively.

Taramon Bibi, Bir Pratik of Rajibur and Professor Nazmul Huda Parvez of Chilmari said the char families have achieved success in vegetables farming and income generations after escaping floods following raising plinths with CLP assistance.

Talking to BSS, CLP beneficiaries Laboni, Tajura, Maksuda, Shahera, Lalbanu, Halima, Rahela, Suborna, Maksuda and Parveen of different char villages narrated unthinkable success they have achieved through vegetables farming on their tiny homesteads.

Before taking up vegetables farming as the means of their subsistence, the women-led char families were in abject poverty in the erosion-and poverty-prone sandy chars on the Brahmaputra, Teesta and Dharla basins, they said.

"Now we are leading better life, meeting own nutritional demand and earning through selling surplus production of vegetables, our children going to schools and dreaming for a better life in the desired middle income Bangladesh," they said.

"We are mostly cultivating pumpkin, sweet gourd, `Korola', `Chichinga', `Borboti', `patol', `Kakrol', `Jhinga', `Shosha', bottle guard, brinjal, cauliflower, chilly, 'Palong and Lal sak, onion, garlic and water melon," charwomen Afroza, Bilkis and Jahanara said.

With the CLP assistance, huge quantities of vegetables are being produced in over 50 char villages on the Teesta basin under Gangachara, Pirgachha and Kawnia upazilas in Rangpur alone, changing life of over 1,500 families so far.

Livelihoods Coordinator of CLP Dr. Mahbub Alam said a number of the local NGOs have been implementing the multi-dimensional CLP activities as partners in the riverine char islands to improve livelihoods of the extremely poor char households.

Under the comprehensive livelihoods improvement programme, 5.17 lakh people of 1.33 lakh have-nots group landless char families are now marching forward to become completely self- reliant after winning over extreme poverty.

To achieve the goals, plinths of the beneficiary families were raised first before providing grants, assets, training and assistance to make them self-reliant through income generation activities, homestead gardening for improving their livelihoods, he added.

Chilmari upazila chairman Shawkat Ali Sarker, Bir Bikram, said the extremely char people are improving livelihoods, meeting nutritional demand and earning well through homestead gardening and other income generation activities.

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