A female farmer busy attending medicinal trees at Agmundia village under Kaliganj upazila of Jhenidah. Photo: Star
An organic farming training center has been built on 8 acres of land in a remote area under Kaliganj upazila. This is the first such training center in these parts of Bangladesh, made possible through the initiative of a Japan-based voluntary NGO known as Hunger Free World. The farmers and female workers of different districts are receiving training from the center, which is housed in two four-storied building in Kaliganj upazila. An education building was established in 2001 in pourashava area on 15 decimals of land which was provided by a benevolent man of the upazila. The second building is an organic farming training center established in 2010 at Agmondia village on 27 bighas of land under Kaliganj upazila town.
Hunger Free World's in-charge, Hafizur Rahman, said that computer training is available at the education building. Besides, there are Suniketon Diptimoy Patshala, Suniketon Library and a residential dormitory here. Hundreds of students are provided computer training for three months and a certificate is provided to them by Bangladesh Technical Education Board while Suniketon Patshala imparts quality education to the kids from classes play group to five. People from all walks of life study different kinds of books on agriculture at Suneketon library and apply their knowledge in preparing vermin compost and other materials.
Organic farming training center in-charge, SM Shahin informed that this center has been built in 2010 with training on seven topics of agriculture: compost (earth-worm, bokashi, quick compost, liquid compost, light compost, compost hip, compost pit, and herbal compost), insecticide, organic farming, poison-free farming, herbal training, training on tailoring and apiculture. Around 800 women workers have been trained on organic farming while hundreds of male farmers have been provided training on fish cultivation.
Besides, residential training on different topics have been provided to 50 female workers. Shahin mentioned that an unpaved road about one kilometer long runs to the training center but it needs to be paved. The foreigners cannot visit the spot easily due to the earthen road. The offices also suffer from the lack of electricity supply. Tk 1.5 lacs have been deposited to Palli Electricity Samity office but the connection has not been provided yet. Most of the activities are hampered due to lack of electricity. Shahin said, there are 300 kinds of medicinal trees in its complex.
Of the trainees some successful women are Juthi Begum, Parul Mahmuda of Mollikpur village, Razia Khatun, Monoara Begum, a UP member of Mostabapur village, Rebeka Khatun, Sona Bhan, and Nazma Khatun of Dapna village, Basonti Rani of Raigram village, Monoara Begum and Anwara Begum of Neamotpur village and others.
Sona Bhan told this correspondent that she does not run after VGF or VGD card. She earns Tk 20,000 per month producing compost fertilizer. She is increasing her vermin compost farming day by day. Rebeka Khatun said that she was a maid servant before taking training at the organic farming training center. Now she is solvent, and self-reliant. She is able to maintain her family as well as bear the educational expenses of her sons and daughters. Ex-UP member and social worker Rezaul Islam of Agmundia village informed that the farmers of the area have been highly benefited by the organic farming training center. Around 500 farmers are now following organic method of cultivation on their farms.
Fish farmer Enamul Haq said that he has taken training from the training center and now earns good profits by cultivating fish. He has learnt to produce Bokashi fertilizer and Emu which is very useful for fish farming. He will never apply chemical fertilizer again in his fish farms, he added.
Raigram UP Chairman Jahurul Islam said, “We thank the authority for building this training center. The initiative taken by the organization is no doubt a noble one. The male and female farmers are being enormously benefitted by the center.” “We want safe food and poison free vegetables,” said Country Director of Hunger Free World, Ataur Rahman Miton. “This is why this organic farming training center has been built here. We will build an organic restaurant here as well,” he added.