Lila Sarder a 52-year-old housewife is the inhabitant of Sarder Para village, of Tildanga Union under Dacope Upazila. She is a member of Batbunia Mitali Mohila Unnayan Cooperative Society which is formed by Approaching Community Empowerment (ACE) project of ADRA Bangladesh. She has two sons and one daughter. Her daughter is married and her sons are studying in college. Her husband is a farmer.
Lila was looking for doing something by which she could cooperate with her family financially. She came to know about Vermicompost from her neighbors. “I found it interesting and thought that I could do something by producing Vermicompost,” said Lila.
Vermicompost is the product of the decomposition of organic material by earthworms, usually red wigglers, white worms, and other earthworms, to create a mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste, and bedding materials. ADRA Bangladesh patronizes and encourages farmers to produce Vermicompost and replaces chemical fertilizers to organic fertilizers. Vermicomposting and Vermiculture offer the potential to organic farmers as sources of supplemental income.
Lila decided to learn how to prepare and produce Vermicompost. “I asked one of my neighbors how I can learn to prepare and produce Vermicompost. Then she told me about the ACE project of ADRA Bangladesh. I found it more interesting and decided to participate in the training,” said Lila.
Lila participated in the Income Generating Activities (IGA) training, which was organized by ACE project of ADRA Bangladesh. Through that training, she learned how to prepare Vermicompost and cultivate year-round vegetables even in the high saline prone area.
“After my training, I have got 3000 taka from the ACE project of ADRA Bangladesh for producing Vermicompost. Now, I am more aware and sensitive about the cultivation of vegetables in different ways. I and my husband have started to produce Vermicompost at home. In the last five months, I have produced about 200 kg of Vermicompost. At present, people from our locality are purchasing fertilizer from us. I have already sold fertilizers of 4000 taka, at the rate of 30 taka per kg. By selling fertilizer, I am maintaining the educational expenses of my son. We have purchased the seeds of vegetables with the rest of the money and we have deposited some money in the Batibunia Mitali Women's Development Society. Due to superfluous salinity in the lands, we are cultivating vegetables in bag and tower process. We are getting optimal results by utilizing the Vermicompost for producing vegetables. This fertilizer greatly enhances soil eruptions and increases soil health. It helps to reduce the high salinity and increases water retention capacity on the ground,” Lila was unfolding the benefits of Vermicompost.
Lila has become a role model for her neighbors. Nowadays, her neighbors are coming to visit her garden and observe the process of preparing Vermicompost. Some are taking her advice to prepare homestead gardening organically. As a member of a group, not only Lila but also other members of the group are conscious and exploring Climate Smart Agricultural (CSA) methods.
“I think ADRA Bangladesh is bringing a positive change and showing a better path to get financial emancipation through various activities. IGA training and group formation through ACE Project of ADRA Bangladesh help me a lot to improve my livelihood,” Lila showed her gratitude to ADRA Bangladesh.