Changing Life through Farming: Story of Abdul Halim
Abdul Halim is a 42-year-old father of six children who lives in Fulbaria, Mymensingh with his family. He is a proud farmer, rearing cattle, and also doing agricultural business through which he processes and sells milk and grain products.
Abdul Halim is a landless farmer. He lives in a small village name Tamshi Para at Fulbaria sub-district in Mymenshing district. He is uneducated, he couldn’t study in his childhood because of poverty. So, he knew he would never have a chance for a well-paying career. But that hasn’t stopped him. Halim has big dreams. 15 years ago, he got married to Fatema Begum. Abdul Halim is now a well to do a person by growing vegetables, farming domestic animals and selling them in the market. Today, Halim is happy that his farming business is growing steadily, but his journey wasn’t harmonious.
“My wife gave birth to six children in a row in last 15 years. Actually, we both I and my wife were totally unaware of family planning. We struggled a lot as we had to take care of our children. My wife suffered from various disease and became very unhealthy due to the lack of proper nutrition. Always I wanted to make my children educated and I got them admitted into madrasa instead of school as school fees are expensive comparing to madrasa here in Bangladesh. I was cultivating grains without knowing how to protect it from insects and for this reason I had to suffer financially”.Abdul Halim was describing his struggling period sadly.
Abdul Halim came to know about the Capacity Building of Farmers Family (CBFF) project of ADRA Bangladesh and fascinated to see the activities and success of CBFF. He felt that all those days he had been wasting his time due to his primitive cultivation system. He thought that this is his best chance to change his life and the plight of his family.
“I’ve realized that if I enroll in the group I can learn many things like modern technologies, how to utilize the leased land, how to take the decision within an appropriate time, how to earn money, IGAs, family planning, leadership etc. When the project offers any training, I try to receive those training, cross visits, motivation, ideas and little supports (seeds, fertilizers),” said Halim.
After receiving the training, sessions, and motivations Halim tried to find his weakness and took the precaution according to the weakness. He received training on System of Rice Intensification (SRI), seed preservation, Insect Paste Management (IPM), vermin compost, fish culture, cow rearing etc.
Comparing to the traditional method, the production of crops increased 400 to 480 kg per acre using SRI method. By using IPM, he can protect the crops from insects and reduce the cost of cultivation. By using the Vermicompost has been able to increase the fertility of the soil and boost up the productivity. Besides, he is culturing fish in a pond this helps him to meet the needs of his family as well as earning a good amount of money. Now, he has formed several earning sources.
“Now I don’t have to worry about paying for my children’s education expenses. It is a big relief for us. It wasn’t easy to pay the school fees and to tend to the land. My farm helps our family to obtain clothes, food, and education. It has changed my family a lot,” said Halim cheerfully.
Halim appreciates the support he receives from ADRA and plans on borrowing more in the future and continue to expand his business. “I am very proud that I don’t have to rely on others income. With the help of ADRA loans, I’m able to provide with all that my family needs.”