Name: Ms. Saira Khatun, (50), wife of Mozaffar Ali, Datianakhalli, Chakaria, Cox’sbazar, a Nayakrishi farmer.
She has a home stead 20 decimals and cultivable land 95 decimals. Out of the cultivable land, 40 decimals covered by rice, 40 decimals salt production and 5 decimals under vegetables. There are three houses in the homestead area. The dwelling house is a tin-shed with bamboo fencing. There are also a kitchen, one. Cattle shed and one hen pen.
Farming is the main source of income of Saira Khatun. She does farming on her own. Her husband and son also work for farming. In addition to crop production, Saira Khatun also rears cow, goat, duck and hen. In this practice Saira Khatun earns a good sum of money at the end of the year. Her husband works as a wage earner in other field in addition to working on own field. As a result he earns some money for the family. Her son, Mozibor Rahman works for salt production in the dry season and go for fishing during the monsoon. Out of the combined income of the family members they live a happy life.
Saira Khatun mentioned, “I was born in a farming family. My fore fathers were farmers. I had been intimately involved with farming since my childhood. I was married in 1979. Since then I have been doing farming in my own hand. We had been pursing chemical agriculture before our introduction into Nayakrishi. We used to apply chemical fertilizer and pesticides for crop production. But we did not have any idea about the alternatives and the profit of crop production. We did not have enough knowledge about the management of seed. The Nayakrishi workers came to our village just after the cyclone. Fortunately, I got a training in Nayakrishi. The trainers advised us to grow crops with organic manures. They also advised to grow seeds of local varieties of crops. They offered us training in sustainable approach of agriculture. Since introduction in this training we have been pursuing Nayakrishi for last seventeen years”.
After involvement with Nayakrishi they planted many varieties of fruiting plants in the homestead area. These include coconut, mango, blackberry, jackfruit, hogs plume, amloki, papaya, guava, plume, pomegranate, date palm, Palmyra palm, tamarind and star fruit.
In addition there are many timber plants in the homestead area including koroi, kapok, mahogany, arjun, mandar, arechanut and bamboo.
Mixed cropping is practiced for crop production. As a result many uncultivated vegetable are available in the crop field as weed. These include mamuni, katanaris, nuniasak, khetpata, roshunsak, henchi, kalmi, dongkalash, harisak, girmitita, kochusak.
There are many medicinal plants in the homestead area and other uncultivated areas in the village including basak, roshun, marrygold, bishshar, chiniguri, girmitita, almosh, durbaghash and bokful.
Aquatic plants are abundantly available in the low lying areas. These plants include shapla, kochurapana, khudapana, cheicha, ghechu, patipata etc.
Saira Khatun further mentioned, there have been lots of changes in the life and livelihood pursuit of the family members. The knowledge base of the population has been enriched in terms of poultry, livestock, crop production, tree plantation and maintenance of seeds.
Saira Khatun grows rice in two seasons. There are many varieties of rice in her cultivation. The major varieties include sadabinni, lalbinni, muk-kalali, shaheb chikon, lalmoti, ganjali, pajam, khandailla, bahanna chikon, BR- 28, BR-14, BR-29 etc.
There are many vegetables in their cultivation, the major ones include shim, red amaranth, water gourd, sweet gourd, snake gourd, potato, cucumber, sponge gourd, ridged gourd, ash gourd, yard long bean, cowpea, okra, tomato, brinjal, French bean, Indian spinach, radish, mustards, teasel gourd.
Mixed cropping is a popular practice. The major crops used for cultivation in this practices include sweet gourd, brinjal, chili paper, okra, amaranths, garlic, tomato, cowpea, French bean, red-amaranth, coriander, safflower, etc.
Saira Khatun has improved her life and livelihood after adoption of Nayakrishi, biodiversity based ecological agriculture. She is now self sufficient in terms of source of seed for crop production. She also exchanges seeds with other fellow farmers in the village. As a result the inter-relationship in the community has improved. Saira Khatun is now living a happy life with her other family members.