Case: Jomila ( age 35), FFBS Farmer. Community: South Bania para, Union: Holokhana, Upazila: Sadar District: Kurigram, Bangladesh
When we reached Jomila’s home to interview her on her learning, she shared her adaptive practices that are changing the lives of her family. Jomila (35), wife of Md. Huzar Ali, said, “Our village suffers from regular droughts and floods, with devastating effects on our crops. Since joining Pathways, I am no longer a victim to the weather extremes, but feel empowered to deal with the challenges as they come.”
Jomila shared her story:
My family depends on the agriculture wage earning and we cultivate rice in the small plot of land (20 decimal) that we own and from some share cropping. Earlier, we were cultivating Sworna [local variety of rice] in last Aman season. But, for the first time we cultivated BINA 7 [Short duration, disease and pest tolerant variety] and BINA 11 [Flood tolerant variety] in the same plot with the support of CARE. During this Aman season we earned more than double from the same plot as we harvested more rice than previous seasons.
We could cultivate mustard in the same land immediately after harvesting rice. From the plot we sold rice of $54 whereas in last season it was $30 and we could earn $12 more by re-cultivating the land with mustard that was not possible in last season as the long duration of the local variety didn’t allow us to go for a second crop. We also cultivated red amaranth and few winter vegetables in the same land and earn $10 more. In this way we earned $52 more from the small plot of land.
Through the technical training, I learned about different varieties and some short duration yields. The newly introduced varieties take around 15-20 days less compared to the local variety; thus after harvesting rice we could cultivate mustard in the same land. Before participating in the Pathways training some of our land (we took under share crop) lay unused during parts of the year. Now, the use of improved cultivation techniques means that we can grow rice all year long: four harvests per year, as opposed to the community’s average of two.
Now, our more productive and resilient rice fields have stabilized the household’s wealth and we are able to save some money for a rainy day. We are now planning to cultivate more land under share cropping following the adaptive strategy.
Working through a small group of women like Jomila, Pathways is helping spread adaptation and disaster resilience throughout the entire village.