than an hour away from Dhaka, on the way to Chandra
from EPZ Savar, is a scene that stands in sharp contrast
to our dusty, crowded, hectic capital. The eye soothing
greenery of the farmhouse 'Ananya' on 30-acres of
land is a place of absolute tranquility. Here and
there butterflies fly among the flowers while grasshoppers
hover over grass and rice fields enticing birds searching
for their sustenance for the day. White clouds float
above the head and birds glide gracefully in the sky
scenes, which only enhance the quietness of the farmhouse.
But there is more to this farm than just being an
oasis of serenity. The farm uses an innovative technique
of agriculture that consciously excludes the use of
any kind of chemical component.
farm runs smoothly thanks to the hard labour of its
owner Fazley Elahi and his family. Fazley Elahi is
a civil engineer who served in the gas sector for
30 years before he retired as the MD of Rupantorito
Prakritik Gas Co. Ltd. in 1998. After retirement Fazley
Elahi wanted to start a venture where he could commit
himself as seriously as he had in the gas sector.
“Gas is the only precious thing produced by this country.
Other than gas, farming could be a challenging venture
for Bangladesh if done properly. America is feeding
the world from farming and has become the super power”,
fed on organic feed. Chicken droppings mixed with
Effective Micro-Organism (EM) is used as organic fertilizer
engineer thought he would set an example for the educated
people regarding farming. “Educated people are more
of absentee landlords and less caring about production.
Even the graduates from Agriculture University prefer
to work as executives in the offices rather than take
farming as venture. Whereas our farming needs intelligent
people”, said Elahi.
Elahi started his farm applying conventional inorganic
farming. Antibiotics, vaccine and conventional poultry
feed sold in the market were essential for his poultry.
But as time passed on even antibiotic and vaccine
could not save his farm chickens from disease and
“I have started poultry with eight thousand chickens(broilers)
and applied conventional inorganic methods. For six
months everything was going fine but after that various
diseases started to attack the poultry. Even vaccines
and antibiotics could not prevent them from dying”,
said Fazley Elahi.
such trying times his friend Hasibur Rahman, the Executive
Director of Acme Laboratories Ltd., offered his help
and applied a biotech formula called Effective Micro
Organism (EM) from Japan on five hundred farm chickens.
Fazley Elahi expanded his efforts to see the results
from the experiment. Eventually organic farming got
ground. “We found his chickens were not dying and
giving better results than mine”, says Elahi.
Fazley Elahi and Hasibur Rahman carried on with their
EM venture and applied it to poultry, agriculture
and fisheries. The EM has started a miracle, and Elahi's
farmhouse 'Ananya' has earned a name for organic farming.
is mainly a mix culture of beneficial or effective
micro organism, primarily photosynthetic and lactic
acid bacteria (which helps to form bacteria in curd)
- namely yeast, fermenting fungi and actinomycetes.
The biotech EM is actually 'pro biotic' and opposite
to antibiotic. Antibiotic kills bacteria, whereas
'pro biotic' preserves friendly bacteria that is good
for health ”, said Hasibur Rahman.
Rahman, a friend who applied the winning formula(L),Fazley
Elahi, promoting the natural way of farming(R).
fertilizer requires the droppings of farm chickens
to mix with EM. But these droppings are not organic
if poultry feed is bought from the market, which contains
grain produced with chemical fertilizer. To get the
fruit of organic farming Fazley Elahi started to produce
corn on his soil with organic fertilizer EM. In terms
of poultry feed corn is a better grain than wheat.
Rahman produces organic poultry feed mixing it with
crushed corn. Now the chicken droppings with organic
feed could be used for organic fertilizer. Rahman
and Elahi had established the base for nature farming
from where they could start their experiment.
raise organic poultry without giving them antibiotics
and vaccine, Elahi fed his chickens with organic feed.
He also sprayed EM on farm chickens, which proved
effective as they did not suffered from any disease.
"Even mosquitoes are rare around the poultry
because of the EM spray”, says Raihan, Elahi's son.
antibiotics, vaccines and inorganic poultry feed,
it required 28 days to raise 1.5kg weight farm chickens.
Action of antibiotics and vaccine lasts another seven
days. This means a farm chicken that is less than
35 days should not be taken for food. Ironically 1
to 1.5 kg farm (broiler) chickens are in greater demand
in the market”, said Fazley Elahi.
organic kitchen garden. Farming organic vegetables
that do not use chemical fertilizers are a healthier
and more sustainable option.
antibiotics, vaccine and inorganic feed, it takes
45 days to raise a mature, free range (deshi)chicken
weighing 1.5 kg. A poultry farmer might suffer losses
as the number of days increases, but certainly gains
from the number of chickens that survive as well as
the savings from not using antibiotics and vaccine.
Besides, a farmer can get high quality organic fertilizer
from the broiler litter, which he could use for cultivation.
Chicken droppings and straw are mixed with EM in airtight
polythene for three weeks. One can use cow dung instead
of litter. The main thing is to mix EM with a ratio
of 1:2 of zoo-plankton and phyto-plankton.
the platform is set to introduce organic farming in
agriculture and fisheries. Organic farming helps to
bring back bio-diversity which inorganic farming destroys.
Inorganic fertilizer and pesticide annihilate many
useful insects, which help in the pollination of paddy.
With organic farming, eventually, different types
of grasshoppers start to roam around the rice field
of the farmhouse because of not using pesticide. Grasshoppers
and different insects attract Magpies (Dhan Shalik),
(Doel) and other birds in the rice field that act
as natural pesticides.
yield from the IRRI 28 and 29 using inorganic fertilizer
like Urea, Tripple Super Phosphate (TSP), Muriet of
Potash (MP) and pesticide was four hundred kg per
bigha. The yield doubled after using organic fertilizer.
Cost of production also came down as Elahi was able
to save money as he got rid of inorganic fertilizer
Elahi has included fisheries in his paddy field. “The
water required for rice plantation is also appropriate
for fisheries. Three feet deep water is ideal to allow
photosynthesis, which creates phytoplankton as food
for the fish. The organic fertilizer (chicken droppings
with EM and straw mixture) is kept on one side of
the rice field, which germinates worms and become
zoo-plankton for the fish. Fish also eats up whatever
life form found at the root of the paddy plant and
helps to keep the plant healthy”, said Fazley Elahi.
China ducklings a delightful sight for city-weary
also bring in profitas the cost from fish feed is
significantly lowered. “Last season I spent Tk.45,
000 for fish feed and recovered Tk.38, 000 from the
sale. This season I spent only Tk.2, 000 for fish
feed and already sold fish for Tk.7, 000 in one day.
As the costs go down profit goes up”, said Fazley
inorganic feed like Urea and (TSP) are used for fisheries
as a conventional way of farming. The inorganic feed
'khoil' (mustard seed waste) and 'bhushi' (wheat husk)
also used for rapid growth of fish.
fish is called 'Chasher Machh' or 'farm fish'. Inorganic
fish is not as tasty as organic fish. Therefore, the
price of inorganic fish is lower than organic fish.
The low price of big sized Indian and Burmese 'Rui'
is an example of the difference in price in the fish
market. There are allegations that the Indian and
Burmese fish are preserved with formalin, a chemical
originally used for preserving biological specimens
in the laboratory.
the farm chickens, inorganic fish also contains hazardous
chemicals, which is not healthy for human beings,”
said Fazley Elahi.
But people have no other choice, as natural habitats
of fish are becoming inhabitable due to using inorganic
methods of farming.
Organic Fertilizer with EM mixture packed in airtight
polythene bags generate heat. The fertilizer takes
21 days to mature.
haors and baors were the major suppliers of fish in
the country. Inorganic farming and pesticide for IRRI
and BORO cultivation in haors and baors, in the dry
season, made these places inhabitable for fish. Rivers
and oceans are the main source of big fish in our
country, which do not need inorganic chemicals. The
erosion of topsoil wash away inorganic matter down
the river only to destroy the habitat of fish in the
rivers”, says Hasibur Rahman.
vegetables and fruits are becoming rare nowadays.
With people becoming more conscious of the health
hazards of consuming inorganic vegetables and fruits
Fazley Elahi started his kitchen garden with organic
fertilizer. He has produced fresh and healthy winter
and summer vegetables in his kitchen garden. The water
of the paddy field enriched with EM mixture serves
the purpose of fertilizer for the kitchen garden.
“I have earned Tk.25, 000 from vegetables last season
and hope to recover the capital cost invested in the
kitchen garden by next season”, he said.
all over the world have come to the conclusion that
nature or organic farming requires less water than
inorganic farming. Today's world uses seventy per
cent water because of inorganic farming. Inorganic
farming of pesticide and chemical fertilizers like
Urea, TSP, MP reduces organic materials in the topsoil,
which needs hundreds of years to form.
organic matter in topsoil has caused soil erosion
as organic matter holds soil together. Soil erosion
is the reason for filling up of the rivers as the
riverbed goes up from it. Ground water is also contaminated
from soil erosion because of inorganic chemical fertilizer.
“Nowadays harmful pathogens like arsenic are found
in ground water for this reason”, said Hasibur Rahman.
is ideal to have five per cent organic matter in topsoil.
But in many places in Bangladesh it has become even
zero per cent”, said Hasubur Rahman.
serene lake adds to the beauty of the farm.
Bangladesh saw 89 per cent increase of rice production
within 20 years, according to a research of Bangladesh
International Rice Research Institute (BIRRI) the
yield per acre decreased within ten years of using
world population is turning to organic farming because
of the unsustainable nature of inorganic techniques
of farming. People believe in the philosophy that
“healthy soil produces healthy food, and healthy food
develops healthy people”.
farming is a solution to unsustainable inorganic farming.
To fight against the population growth and hunger
the world has had to turn to inorganic farming to
boost food production. But the chemicals and pesticides
used in inorganic farming have caused the deterioration
of the organic matter in topsoil. Organic matter multiplies
and mixes with topsoil through time. But chemical
fertilizer and pesticide destroys organic matter in
topsoil and does not multiply in itself. Therefore,
to get the same yield as before the amount of chemical
fertilizer needs to be increased with time.
fertilizer like Effective Micro Organism maintains
the pace of production as well as produces good tasting
healthy food. Organic farming also helps to restore
bio-diversity of the area, which is destroyed by the
chemicals, used in inorganic farming.
farmed organically taste better and is a healthier
to survive with organic farming, farmers need a policy
from the government. Most of the profit is eaten up
by the middleman in this sector. If the producers
cannot sell their produce at market price the venture
might perish without notice.
Rahman and Fazley Elahi's passion for farming have
made them join hands to save Mother Nature from destruction.
If they get the market rate for their farm products
they can actually make their venture a commercial
success. Fortunately, for this enterprising duo, the
demand for organic food is on the increase as people
are becoming conscious of its benefits. From the consumers
point of view, eating organic food is just plain common
uses of Effective Micro organism EM
One liter EM spray is diluted with 100 liters water
to spray on crops for higher growth.
2. EM is sprayed in the mixture of one is to two proportions
of chicken litter or cow dung and straw, and kept
for three weeks to make organic fertilizer.
3. EM spray on crops increases beneficial micro organism
at the root zone of growing plants and increase fertility.
4. EM fertilizer and spray accelerates residue breakdown
and releases nutrient to following crops.
5. EM reduces adverse effects of continuous cropping
and prevents putrefaction products formation during
residual break down.
6. EM used in drinking water and feed act as digestive
for the live stock.
7. EM decreases odour in barns and poultry farm and
8. EM spray decreases putrefaction in the ponds and
lakes and helps fish from decompose.