Medical &Health

Monira – an inspiration for haor people

DHAKA- Monira Begum, a self-employed woman of Kishoreganj, hopes to make a profit by selling fattened cattle in the local market this year.

The 35-year-old Monira, who has no educational background, started her little cattle- fattening farm with the support of her husband Sukkur Mia in 2015. She has built a small tin-shed farm at her husband's house at Anowarpur village of Bangalpara union under Astagram upazila of in northeastern Kishoreganj district.

Monira expects that she would count a profit of around Tk 70,000 by selling three cattle. No fattening tablet has been given to her cattle, instead they have been fed straw, oil cake, bran, grass and molasses.

In 2016, Monira made a profit of Tk 40,000 by selling two cattle. This year, she bought three cattle at Tk 2.10 lakh. Her total cost, including labor and fodder, will stand at Tk 2.30 lakh.

Monira is hopeful that she would sell three cattle at Tk 3 lakh this year as there is a possibility of cattle crisis in haor areas due to the flood.

It is a rare case to become an woman entrepreneur in haor areas. Monira has started her cattle farming by taking loan from a local credit lender.

And she became successful in the first year as her husband helped her by providing house for cattle. Monira along with Sukkur Ali take care of her cattle the whole day.

Monira, mother of four daughters, said her all daughters are studying in primary and high schools. She wants that they (daughters) would be educated and become self-reliant and successful entrepreneurs like her.

"I am an illiterate woman. So, I know the value of education ... I want my four daughters to stand their own feet in future. For this, I'm doing everything for their better education," she said.

Monira said she expects that next year she would purchase five cattle, and the number of cattle would be increased year by year. "It's my dream of setting up a big farm on 10 bighas of land," she said.

But Monira lamented that this year she faced a huge loss at as her only paddy field was submerged due to recent flashflood.

The successful woman said this year she was able to cultivate only one acre of cropland at Gaherpar haor.

But early flood inundated her whole paddy field. As a result, she counted a big loss worth Tk 35,000. "It is a big blow for me but I hope I would be able to cover the loss by selling cattle," she said.

Official sources said some 1,38,092 farmers of 10 upazilas of Kishoreganj were badly affected by the flood. Paddy worth around Tk 900 crore that was cultivated on 60,000 hectares of land has gone underwater.

Meanwhile, acute crisis of livestock feed surfaced in Habiganj, where Boro paddy was cultivated on 116,000 hectares of land, but 55,000 hectares got completely inundated. The amount of losses is going up, according to locals.

Nearly 2,230,82 hectare paddy was cultivated in this season in Sunamganj, but about 1,660,61 hectare crops have gone under flood water, leaving 2,77,188 families in lurch.

Local farmers' representatives said some 44,222 peasants have been badly affected as 90 per cent of the total crops have been destroyed in that area.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)