Homestead gardening contributes to Rajshahi's rural economy

Online Desk

16 Oct 2022 12:36 PM । Update: 16 Oct 2022 12:47 PM

Homestead gardening has been contributing a lot to strengthen the rural economy with meeting protein demands in the region, inspiring people to cultivate vegetables on the fallow land near their abodes.

Scores of grassroots people are seen cultivating vegetables, spices and fruits on homesteads and other bare lands round the year and changing their fortunes, reports BSS.

Belly Begum, 35, has become economically solvent through farming of vegetables on homesteads as its demand has been increasing gradually in the society. 

A resident of Dighipara village under Paba Upazila in the district, Begum is earning cash money through selling varieties of vegetables, including red amaranth, spinach, bottle gourd and Indian spinach (puishak), at present.

With full-length support from her husband and children, she is growing the chemical-free safe vegetables.

She has learnt about the importance of bio-fertilizer, seed conservation and seed exchange besides getting knowledge about proper and sustainable use of land to protect its productivity.

She continued that her vegetables are chemical free and most of those are sold from her house regularly. That's why she does not often need to take those vegetables to the market for sale.

In a choked voice, she stated that her previous life wasn't pleasant and she struggled a lot to enhance her family income. To get rid of poverty, she started growing of vegetables in her homestead side by side with rearing poultry birds and goats.

Currently, she can fulfill the nutrition demand of her family members through consuming the chemical free vegetable, milk and meat from domestic animals.

Being inspired from Begum's success, many other neighbours have been growing vegetables in their respective homesteads applying organic methods for the last couple of years.

Ali Hossain, another farmer of Baroipara village, cultivated bottle gourd, cucumber and coriander on 16 decimals of land on his homestead by using organic fertilizer this year, and I got expected production.

On behalf of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), the farmers are being imparted training on vegetable farming.

Various inputs and other logistic supports, including seed, vermicompost and saplings of fruit trees, are being provided to the trained farmers for encouraging them in farming.   

The DAE has been promoting homestead gardening under its project titled 'Establishment of Family Nutrition Gardens in Uncultivated Fallen Lands and Backyards' so that the farmers can recoup the losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Ultimate goal of the project is to contribute to the economic recovery and resilience of the villagers, including the marginalized communities badly affected by the adverse impact of the pandemic.

Sub-Assistant Agriculture Officer Atanu Sarker opined that homestead gardening fosters self-sufficiency of people.

 "We are working together to make the family gardening profitable and sustainable," he added.

Shamsul Wadud, Additional Director of DAE, told BSS that the present government's priority is to ensure food security through bringing every inch of uncultivated fallen land and homestead under vegetable and fruit cultivation. 

A total of 32 demonstration gardens of vegetables, fruits and spices were set up on the unused land in each of the unions under the project. 

Each of the farmers has brought under cash incentives worth Taka 1,935 in this regard. Apart from this, they are being given logistic support with seed, fertilizer and signboard. 

Besides, interested people are being educated about the adverse effects of chemical fertilisers in crop fields and also trained them to organically grow a wide variety of vegetables, spices and fruits in small spaces around their houses.

The project will increase food production as well as meet up the people's need of vegetables and nutrition during the pandemic, Wadud said.

Jahangir Alam Khan, Project Coordinator of the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM), told BSS that successful promotion of vegetable and fruit gardening is very important for lessening the gradually mounting pressure on underground water resources as those are less-water consuming crops.

So, the homestead gardening will contribute a lot towards elevating socio-economic conditions in the region through minimizing its water crisis situation.

Samakal English

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