RANGPUR, Oct 02: Mariam Begum is an example of how a helpless woman can be successful by dint of hard work and devotion. She has brought significant change in her socio-economic condition by poultry farming.
She is now an inspiration to many helpless women in the district as she has now become self-reliant through poultry farming.
People of other parts of the city also come to her to know about her success story.
Mariam Begum of Dhap Sarderpara area in Rangpur city is a widow. She became helpless after the death of her husband Abdus Samad in 2003. Since then she had been passing her days in acute misery with her three children for many years. "It was so difficult for me to manage two meals per day for my children let alone three meals." She said adding that "We had to pass many days in near starvation."
After struggling for a long time, eventually she had found the way to get rid of extreme poverty. With the aim to salvage her impoverished family she began poultry farming taking loan from an NGO three years ago. "I took loan of Tk 1,50,000 from an NGO and the loan money invested for setting up a poultry farm on around 42 decimals in my locality, said Mariam. "I take care of my poultry farm properly. I give feed to the broiler chickens everyday", she also said.
After meeting all expenditure including her children's educational expenses she can easily save at least Tk 15,000 to Tk 16,000 per month. "Poultry farming has made me optimistic of a better future for my children", Mariam added.
She cultivates fish in the pond near her poultry farm and earns profit. She also grows seasonal fruits and vegetables on the sides of the pond which give her additional profit, Mariam said.
"At last I have become able to fulfill my dream as there is huge demand for poultry, vegetables and fish in markets. I can easily make net income of several lakh of Taka every year," Mariam said.
Mariam said the number of poultry farms is on the rise in recent years across the region as many people are showing their interest in this sector. She also made an appeal to the government to take necessary steps to flourish poultry industry in the region. This industry can be a better way for thousands of poor women of the region in changing their financial condition, she added.
According to divisional livestock department office sources the division now has 6,139 poultry farms. During last 10 years this poultry sector expanded a lot. Around 1 lakh people are engaged in poultry farming and trading across the region. More than Tk 400 crore has been invested over the past ten years. The local farms are meeting almost fully the local demand for egg, chicken, a-day-old chick and meat.
Deputy Director of Divisional Livestock Department Dr. Mahabubur Rahman said that the poultry production had almost doubled in the region in the past five years. Poultry sector has made a remarkable progress and contribution to the regional as well as national economy, he added.
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