Applying scientific methods in crop cultivation while beginning livestock farming, Mymensingh farmer Golam Hossain increased his yearly income from his four acres of land from around Tk 60,000 to Tk 5 lakh.
He applied lessons learnt from upazila agriculture officers on proper use of fertiliser through soil tests, helping to lower production costs and a significant increase in earnings.
Golam is one of some 8,073 farmers of Mymensingh, Sherpur and Netrakona who developed skills and changed fortunes though a Traidcraft project, “Alternative Livelihood Options (ALO)”, funded by UK-based Big Lottery Fund.
Launched in 2012 in five upazilas through Development Wheel (DEW) and three other local organisations, the project helped raise incomes by around 30 percent and reduce production cost by approximately 15 percent.
Informing of the developments at a workshop in the capital's The Daily Star Centre yesterday, Traidcraft Country Director Shahed Ferdous said they tried to make farmers more organised and develop leadership skills.
“...so that they can solve their problems and ask for their needs,” he said, adding that they motivated farmers to form 240 groups and raise Tk 4.5 crore in funds with monthly savings to come to their aid after the project ends.
Department of Agricultural Extension Director General Hamidur Rahman, DEW Founder and Executive Director Shah Abdus Salam and Traidcraft Senior Programme Manager ABM Feroz Ahmed also spoke.