Many women in haor areas of Sunamganj have found alternative source of income in duck rearing after losing their crops to last year's recurrent floods.
One of them is Minara Begum, 46, of Birnagar village in Shanir Haor area of Tahirpur upazila.
“After losing Boro crops last year, our six-member family including my sick husband faced starvation. Anxious to save my family, I bought seven ducks including their feed with Tk 2,000 that I borrowed from someone,” Minara told this correspondent during the latter's visit to the area a few days ago.
"Now I have 70 ducks. I also employed a female worker here. Now I am very happy to be self-reliant. I have a plan to extend my farm,” she said.
This correspondent found several other women at the village feeding ducks. “Seeing Minara's farm, I also bought four ducks nine months ago. The small income from duck rearing has helped to ease our struggle for survival,” said Shukria Begum, 18, of the same village, who stopped study after Class X due to poverty.
Mahmuda Begum, 34, a housewife of Sreepur village, said she set up a duck farm adjacent to her home with the help of her husband Muhibur Rahman.
“Now I earn Tk 150 to 200 daily and it serves as a contribution to our poor family,” she said.
The couple has a plan to expand the farm.
Like them, many people of seven neighbouring villages are rearing ducks as the means of livelihood.
"I had to work as a housemaid after the Boro paddy on my husband's land was destroyed by flood in 2014. Then I started rearing ducks. With the earning from selling eggs and ducks, now I am maintaining our six-member family. My children also help me in the farm,” said Popy Begum, 38, a housewife of Baradal village.
Md Kamruzzaman, chairman of Tahirpur Upazila Parishad, said, “After losing crops during last year's floods, many people in haor areas are going to different areas in search of work. However, some villagers have found means of livelihood in duck farming.”
Duck farming bears good prospect for people in haor areas, said Bindu Talukder, member-secretary of Haor Bachao, Sunamganj Bachao Andolon.