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Villagers laud Bangladesh Church’s effort at organic farming

Caritas helps improve our livelihood, villager says

A woman working on the Caritas organic farm A woman working on the Caritas organic farm
  • Anthony David, Thakurgaon
  • Bangladesh
  • January 11, 2011
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Caritas Bangladesh’s regional office in Dinajpur has set up a model organic farm in northwestern Thakurgaon district to inspire local villagers to produce year round chemical-free vegetables and spices.

“We began this farm in 2007 and got eight-10 villagers involved,” said Suraiya Begum, Caritas official from Natural Resource Management Project.

Begum, owner of the first model farm, said they tried to show people that with proper planning, they can profit from even small amount of lands.

Organic farming enables villagers to produce chemical-free vegetables and spices, using natural fertilizers and pesticides, and also rear poultry, livestock and fisheries on the same compound, the 30-year-old Muslim woman said.

She said local agricultural and fisheries district officials have visited and commended the farm. Many families, especially those used to working as domestic help and day laborers have adopted organic farming, she added.

Govinda Kerketa, an Oraon tribal, said that with Caritas’ training many villagers have earned a satisfactory income from organic farming and can give their children a good education.

“My wife and I used to work as domestic help and could hardly maintain our family. We couldn’t afford the education of our children,” said Kerketa, a Catholic.

But now “urban people even come to buy our farm vegetables and fish,” his wife said.

Related reports
Locals support Church’s safe food project
Diocese helps hill tribes to live off the land
Caritas’ ‘green revolution’ promotes tribal people’s self-reliance

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