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Bringing Hope Through Vegetable Gardening

Anima Roy a-32-years old housewife has brought a remarkable success by producing vegetables in her garden. Her firm willingness and training lie behind this success.

Anima wife of Mirtunjoy Roy lives in Uttar Kaminibasia Shikari Bari village of Dacope Upazila in Khulna district. She is a member of Madhumoti Mohila Unnayan Dol (Women Development Group) of Approaching Community Empowerment (ACE) project of ADRA in Bangladesh. She has one son and one daughter. Her daughter is attending class five and her son is attending playgroup. She has 3 bighas of land. Anima is out of the local government’s social safety net program. Her husband is a farmer and they have a small shop in the local area.

Anima and her family were engaged with traditional agriculture. As a result, her family, like other villagers, was habituated to one crop culture per year. As a result, they depended on loans and lived in a despondent condition due to the lack of food security and financial means.

Anima was involved with the ACE project of ADRA in Bangladesh since 2018. She had been participating in the monthly meeting and savings collection spontaneously. For her interest, she was nominated by her group to participate in IGA training. She said, "I have participated in the IGA training and through this training, I have learned how to cultivate year-round vegetables even in the saline prone area. I have learned some cultivation techniques to adopt with high salinity and multi-hazard. Now, I am much aware and sensitive about the cultivation of vegetables in different ways like a sack garden, and a tower garden. At present, I am cultivating vegetables on my yard land and earning Tk. 4,000 to 5,000 monthly that is very helpful to run my family.”

Anima’s house is very close to the Dhaki River. This river flows directly from the Bay of Bengal, which causes a high salinity of this river water. Due to the geographical location, saline levels are very high compared to other villages. Anima has espoused the Tower Method for cultivation as an adaptation strategy in the saline prone area. She has 5 towers and 10 sacks for vegetable farming. The height of each tower is five feet and four feet wide. She cultivates 4 to 5 types of vegetables in each tower. Salinity does not affect as each tower rises above the ground level. During the rainy season, there is no more water at the base of the tree.

“I communicate with the Upazila Agriculture Office (UAO) for further suggestions. Because of my financial growth, many women are coming to see my garden and asking me for the hidden truth of improvement. Some are taking my advice to prepare homestead tower method gardening organically. As a member of the DRG group, not only me but also other members of our group are conscious and exploring CSA methods. Now, we are meeting our nutrition needs and earning money by selling surplus vegetables in the local market. I think ADRA in Bangladesh is bringing a positive change in the rural areas of Bangladesh,” Anima unfolded her experience.

“I am proud of improving my agricultural knowledge and skills. I have achieved financial stability after getting engaged with the ACE project of ADRA. My husband now seeks my opinion on family decisions. As a woman, I feel honored to be able to contribute to my family financially,” Anima showed her gratitude to the ACE project and ADRA in Bangladesh.

Encouraged by the work of Anima, many village women have started climate-smart vegetable cultivation at the family level to alleviate poverty. Anima has taught how to cultivate vegetables successfully in salinity. This adaptation strategy will help to achieve sustainable development.

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