Small Business, Big Success
Six women – Angura, Rubi, Johura, Eti, Rumela and Najma – report that the first year of their first joint venture, a small vegetable farm, has been a success. Not only is there a high demand for their produce, they are also receiving kudos from their communities for their courageous initiative in a sector traditionally dominated by men.
After initially showing promise in kitchen gardening through the program, they received additional training as Model Farmers so they could teach other women about growing vegetables, composting, organic pest management, and running a small business. They became so proficient that, when local partner SATHI and their government’s Agriculture, Livestock and Fishery Department challenged them to start a small business, they had the confidence and know-how to develop a plan for their Vegetable Farming Group.
The group selected Angura as their farm manager, took out a loan to lease a tiny plot of land (4/100 of an acre) and began preparing the soil with their own organic compost. They worked together, keeping production costs low, and made up their own organic pesticides to protect their tomato, okra and amaranth plants.
Their community was eager to buy their vegetables, once it became known that they were reasonably priced and the flavor was excellent due to the organic growing techniques. They made a profit even after paying for the lease and seeds. Within a short time, they were known in the market, and a wholesaler contacted Angura to buy from them directly.
Their own families have benefited from the additional food and income, and they may soon create earning opportunities for other households as well. The six women are hoping to expand the operation by leasing more land and hiring others to assist with the work. Their efforts have increased the amount of food available within reach of neighboring families. Not to mention motivating more women to take up growing vegetables in earnest. With nutritious food in great demand, the opportunities are ripe for small businesses like theirs!
Bangladesh Kendua Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner SATHI