Dhaka, Bangladesh
Homestead gardening

Homestead gardening

Expanded cultivation of vegetables on homesteads has changed lives of the people of char areas as thousands of extremely poor and landless families living in the Brahmaputra basin have been profiting from it in recent years.More than 1.27 lakh extremely poor char families of ten north-western districts so far have become self-reliant through vegetable cultivation. They have been selling extra produce since 2004.With assistance from Char Livelihoods Programme (CLP), families living in the char area have been involved in income-generating activities including homestead gardening. Khondker Mesbahul Islam, horticulture specialist of the Department of Agriculture Extension, said these families have been cultivating, among other vegetables, pumpkin, sweet gourd, cucumber, cauliflower and garlic. Mamunur Rashid, agriculture and environment coordinator, RDRS Bangladesh and Nazrul Islam, agriculture officer of Chilmari upazila, said the CLP has been working successfully with the extremely poor char households to improve their livelihood. Fifty-five thousand of the poorest households have benefited under the first phase of the programme between 2004 and 2010, and 72,000 out of 78,000 households are under its second phase which will run till 2016. DFID and the Australian Agency for International Development have been supporting the implementation of the programme.The LGRD ministry has been sponsoring the CLP, which is managed by Maxwell Stamp Plc. Over 1.27 lakh extremely poor char households of Kurigram, Bogra, Lalmonirhat, Pabna, Gaibandha, Sirajganj, Jamalpur, Nilphamari, Rangpur and Tangail have overcome abject poverty through vegetable farming, animal husbandry and other income generating activities. Some beneficiaries of CLP narrated their achievements through vegetable farming on their tiny homesteads.Before taking up vegetable farming, most of the families were poverty-stricken in the sandy char areas of the Brahmaputra, Jamuna, Teesta and Dharla basins. The char people have now adapted to the harsh conditions and are leading better lives. Their children are able to go to schools, and can receive higher education in the future. Saidur Rahman Khan Panthapath, Dhaka Bangladesh is moving forward Bangladesh is overtaking India in almost all social indices .Recently World Bank published a report comparing Bangladesh and India in regard to social indices .This report shows that except for per capita income, child deaths, birthrate, women’s education, men’s education, nutrition rate vaccination rate, and in some other indices, Bangladesh is ahead of India . According to the World Bank , though there is five per cent very poor , after 1971, Bangladesh has advanced more than expectations . This populous country with many social problems is advancing with the required speed.Because the people of the country are imbued by the Liberation War and a colourful cultural heritage.Also we have the ambition to overcome all negative situations as a country . Within only forty-three years of our independence, we have achieved development on a major scale. We would have advanced even more if we had not engaged in strife within ourselves and among the political parties. Sabina Parvin Goran, Dhaka Straight route needed When we get up on the train from Chittagong , the train rail route arc this way and that. From Dhaka to Uttara to Tangi to Ghorashal the train goes to Narshingdi and then to the east to Bhairab, Ashulia, Brahmanbaria and then Comilla. Why go around such distances ? Can there be not a straight route from Dhaka to Chittagong .Because Chittagong is to the south-east of Dhaka, why do not the authorities think of building a rail route from Dhaka to Naryanganj to Feni and then onto Chittagong? We are still travelling on the routes established by the British. The concerned authorities must think of building a straight route so that we can reach Chittagong in less than four hours. Liakat Hossain Khokan Rupnagar, Dhaka Strict law to curb road crashes Road accidents are on the increase in the cities and highways of the country. There should be increased focus on proper enforcement of the existing traffic rules in the country as it can help reduce road accidents by 50 percent and improve road safety significantly, according to experts. They also stress carrying out a huge social media campaign against criminally reckless driving, excessive speed and risky overtaking alongside pushing for improving the poor road condition. Sanaul Haque Uttara, Dhaka

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