By dint of hard work and determination, Nurunnahar Begum, once a poor housewife of Baktarpur village under Iswardi upazila in Pabna, has become self-relient through farming.
Now Nurunnahar is not only a name of a housewife in rural Bangladesh, rather a story of successes she made through farming of vegetables and rearing cattle.Besides, she has become a role model for other farmers through her contribution to country’s agriculture sector.
Nurunnahar got the first prize for her contribution to safe vegetables farming in 2017 from the Ministry of Agriculture.
She said it is her 27th award which she got for her contribution to country’s agriculture sector.
In recognition of her contribution to agriculture, she was honoured with the City Group National Award in 2010.
Later on, Nurunnahar won the Bangabandhu National Agricultural Gold Medal, Maasranga Award as a woman entrepreneur, Bank Asia award for best agriculture entrepreneur, Radhuni Kritimoni award and more.
She was also honoured by different institutions as an entrepreneur and agriculturist.Nurunnahar said she has been engaged in farming since 1991 through vegetable cultivation.
Nurunnahar acquired knowledge of adaptive farming practice by participating in a number of training programmes organised by government and non-government organisations.
“Now I have been trained up as a model of lead farmer to facilitate learning for farmers in my neighbouring villages,” she said.
“Females across the country, if they wish, can take farming a way of becoming self-reliant,” she added.
“I started my journey as a farmer in 1991 with vegetable farming on a small piece of land at my homestead. Now I do farming on over 100 bighas of land,” she said.
As she gained profit from farming, said Nurunnahar, her husband Rabiul Islam, who was once a businessman by profession, joined her and now looks after her orchard.
Although she started her journey with vegetable farming, she also produces fruits and rears cows, chickens, ducks and fish.
She grows carrot, dragon fruit, guava, litchi, papaya, date, banana, onion, garlic, tomato, brinjal, wheat, potato, paddy and other fruits and vegetables in her land.
Md Akteruzzaman, deputy director (Tuber, Vegetables & Spices Crops) of Horticulture Wing at Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), told the daily sun Nurunnahar has become a role model for both male and female farmers.
He said her success has greatly inspired farmers across the country and many have changed their lot by following in her footsteps.
Talking to the daily sun, Nurunnahar Begum said she has 60 workers at her farm. She also runs an NGO, namely ‘Joy Bangla Naaree Unnayan Sangastha’ in which 1,200 females have taken training so far.
Nurunnahar is blessed with four sons.