RANGPUR: More than eight lakh people living in riverine char areas are meeting nutrition and earning well through homestead vegetables’ gardening in five districts of greater Rangpur region, reports BSS.
With meeting nutrition by homestead vegetables’ gardening, the char people are changing their fortune through various income generating activities with assistance of the government and development organisations under social safety net programmes.Horticulture Specialist of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) here Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam said homestead vegetables’ gardening has become popular among the char people in recent years.
The 12-year term (2004-2016) Chars Livelihoods Programme (CLP), a joint GO-NGO initiative, mainly paved the way for homestead vegetables’ gardening by raising plinths of around 1.50-lakh char families’ houses.
“The CLP effectively help the poor and marginal people to eradicate abject poverty through various income generation activities, including homestead vegetables’ gardening over the years,” Islam said.
Before taking up vegetables’ farming as the means of their subsistence, the poor char people living on the Brahmaputra, Teesta and Dharla river basins faced abject poverty even a decade ago.
“The char households are producing huge vegetables in all five districts of greater Rangpur region to meet their nutritional demand with improving their livelihoods,” Islam added.
Chairman of Rangpur-based research organisation ‘Northbengal Institute of Development Studies’ Dr Syed Samsuzzaman said the raised plinths of houses saved the char families from floods, also paving the opportunity for homestead vegetables’ gardening.“The char people are meeting nutritional demand and earning well through homestead vegetables’ gardening along with other income generating activities to improve their livelihoods with assistance of the government and other organisations,” Samsuzzaman said.
Talking to the agency, different char villagers narrated their successes through vegetables’ farming on their tiny homesteads.
The char people are mainly cultivating pumpkin, bean, bitter gourd (korola), Snake gourd (chichinga), ‘borboti’, ‘patol’, ‘kakrol’, ‘jhinga’, cucumber, bottle guard, brinjal, green chilli, ‘leafy spinach, red spinach, onion, garlic, ginger and many other vegetables on their homesteads.