WomenChapter: “If women go to agricultural fields, the crops will get damaged” these types of superstitions are still believed in many villages of Bangladesh even today. Such unequal point of view is one of the prominent obstacle for a female farmer. But this phenomenon could not impede my steps to walk ahead. My determination and perseverance brought solvency in my family.
I am Josna Begum from Akhilpur village, under Kulaura Thana of Moulovibazar Zila. Agriculture is the source of livelihood of my family. My husband, Ahmad Rashid, plays the main role in my family. He has no cultivable land, and works to the lands of other people. The area of our home stead is 10 decimal.
Then I started growing vegetables in the land beside our homestead based on my own concepts of farming. I learned how to clean the weeds and preserved the seeds. Being a woman I do household chores, rear domestic animals, nurture children and produce rice and ramai.
My family is getting benefited by this vegetable garden. I sell the produced vegetables to the markets and with that earning I try to fulfill the needs of my family. In agriculture I use modern technology. The land is cultivated by the tractor.
Despite doing agricultural work, I’m not recognized as a farmer by my family or the society. Being a woman I have faced so many problems in agriculture and still facing it. When I started agricultural works the local people used to say many types of superstitious dialogues.
I overlooked these sorts of comments and continued my work. Initially, no one helped me by agricultural guidance and so on. I had to face problems in selling the vegetables also, even I couldn’t go to the market as there was no distinctive place for women in the market. A woman selling her goods in the market was not familiar in the locality also. In fact, the people made different types of aversive comments on this issue. That is why my husband took the produced vegetables an d crops to the market. The price was low in the village market, so we did not get so much profit from this. Then I took loan from an organization and tried to overcome their loss and damages.
As I had no direct connection with the Government Agricultural Officers, and was deprived from the available services. It is because; the services from the Department of Agriculture were only given to the selected male farmers only. By observing others I became the member of Procheshta. At Procheshta I received different types of training, and the NGO arranged many discussions at local level and has given economic co-operation. I have received agricultural training and services from Procheshta. Gradually I managed to cultivate in a planned way and eventually I have seen the face of profit.
My family members help me in different agricultural works. Now, in my family I play the important role in case of agricultural earning and expenditure. I take many decisions on different issues, such as: children’s education, medical treatment, earning, expenditure, etc. Observing my success, many women are now encouraged in my locality and have started farming. Because my story shows that, staying at home gains nothing, whether by doing agricultural works someone like me can increase earning of the family and can create a good identity in family and society.
Today she I express my views on different social issues. I think that, if there are opportunities for women to have loans at less interest, if there is card facilities for women farmer and if there are opportunities on necessary agricultural services, then women will get more opportunity and the women farmers will be benefited.