$0 needed of $73,700
This is the second phase of the Bangladesh Kendua program and it builds upon the learning from the first phase and expands to one additional community. Local partner SATHI starts with primary self-help groups of men and women meeting separately. These groups are each represented at the “Union Committee” level and the various union committees come together to form a “People’s Institution”. The People’s Institution and Union Committee both have Agriculture sub-teams and the program is designed to equip those teams to improve community food security.
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected community life in Kendua despite the success of the first phase. In a recent survey, 92% of respondents reported that their livelihood has been in critical condition due to COVID-19. 53% said they did not have enough food. 78% of respondents had reduced income and 22% had no income. Extreme poverty in the country has increased from 24% to 48%.
The program is working to assist and equip the communities to regain their strength and ability to cope with the crisis while reducing the gaps created because of COVID-19. Farmers groups focused on fish, vegetables and poultry are being established in each union to make a variety of food locally available, even in challenging times.
A Success by Any Measure
Before Kalpana joined this nutrition-focused agriculture program, her family depended entirely on whatever sporadic day labor her husband, Nurul, could find. She is now a successful Model Farmer, and grows and sells vegetables and poultry year-round. How did that happen?
Kalpana joined a women’s group promoted by local partner Sustainable Association for Taking Human Development Initiatives (SATHI). They started saving money together as they received instruction on environmentally-friendly farming, nutrition and ways to increase their food security. She shared what she learned with Nurul, who helped her put in a small vegetable garden. Unfortunately, initial results weren’t good, so he encouraged her to try chemical fertilizers. That didn’t work, either, so she gave up gardening. Temporarily, it turns out.
Her group nominated her to get additional training, with the understanding that she would pass along what she learned. In addition to poultry rearing practices, she got the scoop on making organic fertilizer with compost piles and worms. This time, encouraged by promising results, she took out a loan from her group to expand her garden.
Once she began making a dependable profit selling her chickens, eggs and delicious organic vegetables, she was able to pay off all her loans. She earned additional income by selling worms and worm compost. Her husband stopped working as a day laborer in order to help her with the gardening. She soon saved enough to buy him a battery-powered auto-rickshaw. When he is finished in the garden for the day, he offers taxi services for extra income. He also transports Kalpana’s produce to market.
Kalpana wants to keep learning about new technologies and innovations in vegetable-farm practices. She also wants to encourage and involve more fellow female farmers in vegetable farming to improve food security. Her dream is to see all her neighbors growing organic vegetables and providing their children a variety of foods for balanced nutrition. She says sincerely, “I am very happy with what I have. I’ve got abundant food right outside my home and have no need to spend on vegetables, meat or eggs from the market. I’m grateful to SATHI for helping us improve our food security.”
Bangladesh Kendua Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner Sustainable Association for Taking Human Development Initiatives (SATHI)