Women’s groups start household gardening in Northern Bangladesh
Following her participation to ALRD’s training on Mobilization and Leadership Training on People’s Cooperative on 2-3 November 2015, Shapla group leader Jahanare Begum initiated homestead gardening in their village of Mohalbari, Chirirbandar Upazila in Dinajpur District.
Homestead gardening is promoted to women’s groups for them to practice collective farming by utilizing the pieces of land they own. While providing nutrition to their families, this initiative would also send a strong message about their rights to land ownership, access to market, and women-led cooperatives which can improve the livelihood of the rural poor.
ALRD visited Dinajpur on 9-11 January 2016 to monitor the activities of the group members and mobilize them through participatory approach on the future plan of activities for the project supported by PROCASUR entitled, “Strengthening Women’s Empowerment and Livelihood through Access to Land and Market.”
Four women groups – Suravi in Surail village, Swarasoti and Shapla in Mohalbari village, and Jagoron women group in Damoir village are practicing the People’s Initiative or “Gonoprochesta” model through organizing courtyard meeting in a regular basis. Every group has a leader who is responsible to organize a weekly meeting, collect handful of rice as savings, and put it for sale to create their own capital collectively. “It was out of our imagination to save cash money like such amount by using handful of rice,” they shared.
Most of the group members are now practicing organic vegetable gardening in their lots and plan to market these with support of SUSTAIN.