Farming Success in Bangladesh
CHITTAGONG DIVISION, BANGLADESH — Female farmers play an integral role in economic development in Bangladesh. At East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation (EWS-KT), we aim to create an inclusive agricultural value chain focusing on gender equality. We train women farmers on agricultural practices that help increase their vegetable yield and bring them a higher price for their produce.
Maleka Bibi is one woman who, with EWS-KT’s help, was able to become a successful vegetable farmer.
Maleka is a smallholder farmer from West Uri Char village in Char Clark Union of Subarnachar Upazila, Bangladesh. She manages her household and takes care of her three children. With her husband, Maleka also grows vegetables on a leased plot of land. Her husband taught her the basics of vegetable cultivation because it was their only income source. After a while, Melaka felt the need to improve her vegetable production, since the yield and profits were insufficient for the family’s needs.
In June 2021, Maleka heard about EWS-KT and how farmers were benefiting from new vegetable production techniques. In July, she joined the EWS-KT family as a key farmer. She offered to use part of her leased land for the demonstration crop, and she expressed interest in cultivating cucumbers, since there was a high demand for them.
The EWS-KT team provided her with all the support she needed and trained her on various sustainable farming techniques to produce healthy cucumbers. The result: a good yield and a high price during the first season. The next season, Maleka grew cucumbers again and saw another hike in production.
Inspired by the success of these two seasons, she was ready to try a different crop in her field: watermelon.
“EWS-KT has different techniques for each crop,” Maleka explained. “My neighbours visit our field to observe and learn these vegetable-growing techniques. After the visit, they express their interest in cultivating crops using the EWS-KT techniques.”
Maleka conveyed her gratitude to EWS-KT for helping her to learn the nuances of vegetable farming. “The EWS-KT team helped me understand the soil properties and how to choose the best crop and variety,” she said. She is happy to have had a high yield and profit during all her harvests.
Now her neighbours are ready to follow in her footsteps, joining the EWS-KT community to improve their vegetable farming techniques and increase their income.