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     Volume 1 Issue 4 | August 19, 2006 |


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From Patuakhali
Being Self-Reliant

Md. Sohrab Hossain

Making Fish Food Changed Najma's Life: “I have changed my life and the condition of my family by making fish food” said thirty years old Najma Begum, a village woman of Sharikhali under Sadar upazilla, about five kilometres in the west from the district Headquarters. Najma earns Tk. 3000 to Tk. 4000 a month by selling fish food. She started by buying a fish food making machine, run by hand, at a subsidy rate. It cost her Tk. 1500 which she borrowed from a relation of hers. With the feed machine Najma set up a mini fish food mill. She makes the fish food from oil-cake and dry fish that she buys from local market. She makes at least 40 kg of fish food a day and sells that at the rate of Tk. 20 per kg. Owners of local hatchery, and other fish farmers of the village buy this fish food from Najma. There are twenty such fish farmers in her village and all of them collect fish food from her. “It feels good to have one's own earning, and power too. Now I have a say in family decisions. I have three children, ten year old Hawa, eight year old Helal and five year old Habiba. All I'm anxious for is to give them proper education” says Najma.

Parul's Duck Farm: There are two hundred and fifty ducks in her farm. She collects about one hundred eggs every day from her farm. Parul Begum's husband works in farm lands as a day labour and earns only Tk. 50 to Tk. 70 a day which is not enough for buying even adequate amount of rice for the family. Parul earlier worked as a domestic help on a daily basis in a house in the village. She started saving Tk. 5 from her wage every day. When her savings reached Tk. 500, she bought five ducks and started her farm. She did not take any loan from any NGO or the Government. Her husband, Shafiq, helps her in maintaining the farm. He sells the eggs in the local market. Parul now earns Tk. 2000 to Tk. 2500 a month from her farm and adds it to the income of her day labour husband, Shafiq Gazi. Parul has three sons, Monir, 14, Masum, 11, and Mamun, 9. They all go to a local school. Parul is determined to give her children good education that was denied to her and her husband.



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