Reaping a rich harvest by farming A woman farmer’s initiative worth replicating

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Dailynewsun News Desk:

When we are used to seeing and hearing about village women being the hard toilers in her menfolk’s field, being paid little if at all since her work is taken for granted, news of a woman farmer making a huge profit out of farming onion seeds comes as an encouraging missive. It speaks of a woman’s initiative and perseverance proving that women can not only take a leading role in farming but make a profit out of it.

But Sahida Begum’s success did not come overnight. From a modest start as an onion seed farmer with less than a bigha of land in 2004, she now tills 30 acres of land in Faridpur’s Gobindapur village. She made a profit of Tk 2.5 crore this year selling onion seeds. She had the foresight to invest in the right crop and she had patience, with a meagre start 16 years ago, she has not only created employment for local women but has added enormously to the agriculture sector as well. Sahida Begum could have sold more if she could produce more, the demand being so high for onion seeds.

We believe that Sahida Begum’s example will encourage others to follow her since what she has done is worth replicating, by women in particular. We believe the administration at the grassroot level with the aid of the local agriculture officers should undertake programmes to encourage cultivating every bit of land lying unused. These could be private land as well as khas land, quite in line with social forestry but women should be given priority when it comes to getting government aid and necessary inputs for startups. Diversifying the crops and encouraging extensive cultivation in the manner that Sahida Begum has done, working over an area of 30 acres, would help economise on resources and labour. The administration could also play a part in eliminating the middlemen by bringing the market closer to the producers.