So Much to Learn from Farmers Groups

Participants in village farmers groups love attending meetings, which are an opportunity to socialize as well as learn new ways to meet their families’ nutritional and economic needs. Rajia and Momena belong to two different groups in two towns far apart, but each was thrilled to talk about how life has changed for them as members of groups.

Rajia lives in a village of families who had to relocate from their previous residences because river erosion had made the land unlivable. Even in her old home she’d never been very successful in growing vegetables in her small kitchen garden using traditional techniques. Her production costs were high, and though she had some inkling about making and using compost she couldn’t seem to make it work for her. She’d lost interest in gardening by the time she moved.

Luckily, local partner Participatory Action for Rural Innovation (PARI) was working in the new village and invited her to join. Before long, her knowledge had greatly increased after workshops on agriculture, composting, caring for the environment, food security, organic farming, and nutrition. She became a model farmer. Her garden began to fill with fresh vegetables like red amaranth, spinach, okra, eggplant, gourds and beans. Not only is her family enjoying the nutritional variety and the great taste of organic vegetables, her production costs have decreased and she’s earning money selling her surplus at market. She plans on enlarging her operations now that she’s had a taste of success.

Momena, after joining her own farmer group, has had similar experiences in her journey of improvement. Once she learned that she could save money on seeds by saving them from the high-quality vegetables she grows, she was keen on learning best practices of local seed production and preservation. With training by PARI and a government agriculture officer, she knows how to identify good seeds and how to dry them for future planting. It makes her happy to know that she is contributing to her family’s well-being and helping her husband sustain the household through this initiative of hers. Says Momenta, “It’s a pleasure to grow vegetables for our table and for sale. Saving money by saving seeds is easy, and I’m glad to know the right way to do it. I’m looking forward to planting my very own seeds next cycle!”

Bangladesh Dewanganj Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner Participatory Action for Rural Innovation (PARI)

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