Home Garden - Organic Farming and Fortune

guavaKuddus Dewan of Bamril village in Uzipur upazila in the district had decided to leave for Kuwait due to poverty and sold his cropland in 1996 to collect the passage fare. He arranged Tk 2 lakh. But he changed his mind and bought 15,00 saplings of a high yielding guava named Kazi Peyara and planted those in the courtyard. Perhaps he could not imagine what he was doing. Kuddus Dewan is now a rich man with an annual income of over Tk three lakh. It was a big surprise for this correspondent during as visit to Kuddus Dewan's garden. He is also growing papaya, amla (amloki), grapes and banana.

Now he thinks how to expand the garden and add value to the huge quantity of guava he produces. Following his example, at least 10 others in the area have not only overcome poverty but are also employing others. Kazi Peyara has good demand in the market for its big size and high nutrition.

Kuddus has a happy family of five with two daughter one son. They, together with eight employees work in the garden. Talking to this correspondent Kuddus said though he initiated the garden in 1996, harvest started in 1999, when he earned a profit of about Tk one lakh after meeting all expenses. The profit increased to around Tk three lakh in 2003. This year he expects to earn Tk 3.5 lakh.

Guavas weighing from 400 grams to 1500 grams (one kilogram and a half) are grown in his garden. His garden has earned a reputation in the markets. Buyers from Dhaka and other parts of the country go to Bamril to purchase fruits from his garden. Kuddus Dewan can not meet buyers' demand now.

He has not taken any loan either from any bank or any NGO. He does not use any chemical fertiliser in his garden. Organic fertiliser like cow dung is enough, he said. Kuddus however has not yet received any recognition from the government or any other organisation. He said officials come to visit his garden, praise his work and leave with fruits as gift.

He has so many queries. He asked this correspondent why the government allows import food products like guava jelly. "Why the government does not initiate such factories and train youths?" This correspondent had no answer to these questions. Kuddus Dewan regretted that the government has done nothing to encourage him and others like him (Daily Star,September 25, 2004).

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