I am Shakila Khatun and I‘m at my 30s. I a m comfortable calling me as a farmer. People say my prompt answer about any agricultural question will make you a fan of me. I live with my husband Abdul Hai Mukti at Lebutola of Jessore Sadar. My husband is the head of the family and together we earn BDT 70 to 80 thousand per year as agriculture is the main source of our livelihood. Our homestead is 8 decimal in area and we have two
and half Bigha of agricultural land. My husband is the owner of this property but usually we take the decisions of our family together. We produce rice, jute, korola, cauliflower, potol (pointed gourd), peas, mustard etc. crops together. I cultivate vegetables in the yard of my homestead, like: bottle gourd leaf, beans, cowpea, gourd etc. and earn money after fulfilling the needs of my family.
I work in other people’s land for plucking tomatoes, cauliflower, peas, chili, grass, etc. in the reaping season. We also work as sharecroppers. Side by side I raise domestic animals, like: duck, hen and cow- and sell egg and dairy products and there is a pond near my home where I cultivate fish also. I do different types of agricultural works, like: cleaning weeds, digging lands, irrigation, applying fertilizers and pesticides and preserving seeds etc. for preserving, I keep the seeds with neem leaves.
A potential farmer like me is not recognized by my society as a farmer. I face different criticisms because I am a woman and involved in agricultural works. I n spite of this, I am continuing my work. I get BDT 150/- as wage for working in other people’s land, where a male labor gets BDT 200/-. Sometimes I get BDT 100/- or BDT 130/-. I don’t go to the market because of the criticisms of neighbors instead my husband goes. Sometimes brokers come to my home to buy crops and for this reason and often I don’t get the proper price. In agriculture I use tractor, plough and use chemical fertilizers and cow dung as well. By selling agricultural services I try to manage the production cost of agriculture (such as: seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, water, tractor and labor cost). I’ve received different trainings on agriculture from the non-government organization “Ullashi Srijoni Songho”. I received training raising cow from Ahsania Mission.
I take advices from agricultural co-officers and from other farmers. I’m involved with, BRAC, Dhaka Ahsan ia Misiion, Ullashi Srijani Songstha and I took loan of BDT 40,000/- from BRAC and bought a cow. Every one of my family try to help me in agriculture and I bear the cost of my family from earning. I spend 4 hours a day for agriculture and during my leisure time I stitch Katha. On agriculture I think -if my brother can, then I can do it also. Observing my success 6 women have been involved in agriculture till now. I dream to build a house and want to grow vegetables and different types of fruits in the yard of my home.