Bahlul Karim from Satkhira
Unique banks and hospital have been developed at Tujulpur of Satkhira Sadar upazila. The farmers’ seed bank is maintained by the farmers keeping different types of crops and medicinal seeds and agricultural equipment used by the farmers. On the other hand, the services provided by the Agricultural Hospital include: healing the diseases of different plants and crops using the experience and advice of the experienced farmers. The members of Tujulpur Krishak Club has developed the seed bank and crop hospital with the view to help their fellow farmers from any agriculture related problems. It is to mention that BARCIK has been providing all-round services to this initiative to make a success endeavor of the farmers.
Initially, Seeds Bank and Agricultural Hospital are started with 10-12 types of seeds. Currently, more than 350 varieties of rice, wheat, vegetables, herbs, fruits and forests plant’s seeds are preserved in the seed banks. Besides, soil and water in different upazilas of Satkhira are also deposits.
In addition, there are many harmful and beneficial insect collections of this crop in this Seeds Bank and Agriculture Hospital. Different types of crops seed are given free of cost to farmers every year from the Seeds Bank and Agri Hospitals. Again the farmers kept the seeds in seed banks after harvesting as farmers who took seed from the bank return them after harvesting. This leads the seed bank to allow other farmers taking seeds from the seed bank every year. Apart from this, farmers are giving different types of advice to the farmers in the hospital. In this case, experienced farmers are exchanging their own experience with other farmers.
Early in 2013, local agricultural organizer Yarb Hossain formed an association of local farmers, Tujulpur CIG (Crop) Co-operative Society Ltd. But the scope of its activities is done in 2015 by opening the bank account in 10 takas. And since then, their efforts continue to grow. Currently, the number of members of the seed bank is more than 150 farmers.
The members of Tujulpur Krishak Club, who established of Seed Bank and Agricultural Hospital, have various programs. They formulate an annual action plan by discussing with themselves. According to their action plan, they execute their programs. Their main theme is practicing sustainable agriculture abandoning the use of poison (pesticides) in crops production.
Among other they also arrange fair of uncultivated diversified plants and farmer’s rights related workshops. They distribute tree plants to others, give memorandum to DC for various issues, conserve traditional agricultural machinery, make compost fertilizers, forestry, and cultivate medicinal plants etc.
Tuzulpur Farmer Club and Agricultural Organizer Yarb Hossain have built a ‘School of Tree’ containing about 400 species of forest, medicinal and fruit trees. Seeds are also collected from this tree school for the seed banks.
The founders of Seeds bank and agricultural hospital presented their collections at different events in the area that attract the attention of others. Participating in different events the members of the Tuzulpur Farmer Club has been rewarded with prizes as well.
Not just for collecting seeds; Seeds bank is the place of the life of the peasants. Every day farmers assemble here from afternoon to night. Farmers started singing different types of local songs with local musical instruments like drums, tabla, monochrome, dotara and dhuli during their stay at the seed bank.
Translated by Bahauddin Bahar