“Seed is my dream”, Nahar Begum

Nahar Begum (50), W/O - Mojibor Rahman, Village: Higanagar Barobari, Union: Attia, Upazila: Delduar, District: Tangail

My parents live in the same village. They have three acres of cultivable land. They have been farming on their own land I used to attend agricultural and other household activities with my parents so long I was with them before my marriage. My major involvements there included seed sowing, post harvest processing and storage of seeds. I also enjoyed rice husking with my mother.

After marriage I was happy to see the same set of agricultural environment in my husband’s residence. My husband has two acres of cultivable land. He cultivates his own land. I learnt the art of agriculture from my mother. Now I have been practicing the same with my mother-in-law. I am responsible for maintenance of seeds of different crops in addition to other household activities.

Now I have three daughters and three sons. My eldest son has got a job after completing his formal education. In the mean time he has also been married. My eldest daughter is also a teacher in the Primary School. My second and third sons are engaged in farming. My second and third daughters are students in B.A. (Hons).

At present there are 30 varieties of rice and 46 varieties of vegetables seeds in our store. In addition there are five varieties of pulses, four varieties of oil seeds, jute, minor cereals and other seeds in our storage. We have varieties of fruit bearing tress including mango, jackfruit, blackberry and guava. There are timber plants including mahogany, kadam, shimul, neem, arjun, bokul, gab, jika, koroi and tamarind in our homestead and other highland areas. We also have two tin-shed dwelling houses and a tube well.

I am a Nayakrishi farmer and a member of the Seed Expert Committee. I am happy to mention that I was made a member of the Seed Expert Committee for my solid background in related activities. I know how to maintain seed of different crops and other plants. I can identify different varieties of rice and other crops by seed color, shape, size and other characters. I also know how to save seeds from disease and pest infestation.

The seeds of different varieties of vegetables need to be treated with ash in order to keep it free from insect infestation. The seed pots/bins should be covered with neem leaf before sealing the lid for storage. The seeds may also be covered with dry sands at top of the pot before sealing.

The seeds need thorough drying before storage. The end point of drying can be ascertained by touch, feel or feeling under teeth.

I know my strength in the family lies with seed. I not only store seed in the pot but also I save the dream of my family members with care. I pronounce these words with pride because I believe the key of our livelihood is coded in seeds. This feeling tends me for collection and conservation of seeds.

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