Ohidur Rahaman from Nethrokona
Due to geographical location, the people of Haor area have been upholding their existence and getting survived fighting with all natural adversities and disasters from the time immemorial. These food warriors have to face problems like drought, flood, advance flood, hilly flood, afal, lightning, warm, cold, cold wave, cyclone, higher price of agricultural inputs, low price of crops, insect attract, problem of seed, problem of irrigation, lack of labour, water logging, excess rainfall, poor communication and transportation in their day to day life.
However, Ali Usman, age 70, is one of the hoar dwellers who lives at Uchitpur village of Madon upazilla along with his wife. In order to cope with adverse situation he and his wife Ayesha Khatun have converted their house into a green one farming different types of vegetable and spinaches in an environment-friendly manner. The vegetable that he farms in their homestead include: bean, gourd, sweet pumpkin, jhinga, chichinga, bitter gourd, cucumber, papaya, potato, data, different types of leafy vegetable, wax gourd, chili, kidney bean, ladies finger etc. Mr. Usman initiated this green shape in his 7 decimal of land. He and his wife regularly take care of their plants. The house of Mr. Usman is surrounded by different types of fruit trees as well. The fruit trees that surrounded his house are mango, jackfruit, amara, litchi, guava, papaya, big, orange, coconut, kamaranga, olive, pomegranate, mehdi and banana.
Nonetheless, if we protect the nature in return, the nature will protect us. After the 60’s, particularly during the green revolution different types of development initiatives were taken that contribute to deplete diversity and environment. Thus, during that time local species of rice, vegetable, fishes and livestock got endangered. On the other hand, in the name of modern agriculture, chemical fertilizers and pesticides were introduced in the crops fields aim at increasing production ignoring farmers’ indigenous knowledge and experiences in food production. Thus farmers got dependent on markets seeds and agriculture inputs for crop production which curtail their right on agriculture. This has contributed to pollute the environment and make the nature endangered as well.
In spite of these dangers and difficulties the old couple still practice sustainable agriculture which does not require chemicals and pesticides using their indigenous knowledge and experiences. They farm diversified varieties of crops which contribute to conserve biodiversity of the area. Learning their initiative of environment friendly crop production many came to buy poisonous free vegetables from them. Mr. Usman thus said, “I want to plant more native fruit trees in my house and cultivate vegetables.” He wants to set up vermin compost settings for producing fertilizers in his house. The green initiative of this couple needs to be spread to others for an environment friendly agriculture.
Translated by Bahauddin Bahar