The heroine of this story is Rashonara Khatun of Patua village under Swarupnagar Block. For the last five years Swanirvar is campaigning for sustainable farming in Swarupnagar and have been quite successful in spreading it amongst a number of farmers.
With our consistent efforts in Barghoria Panchayat, many farmers like Moksed Mondal, Nazrul Islam, Tumpa, etc have become organic farmers. But the story of Rashonara is different. Rashonara’s father, Moksed Mondal is practicing organic compost and bio pest controllers since 2007 and now he is producing rice and all kinds of vegetables only by using vermi compost. Previously his wife helped him in farming but in 2008 she met an accident and her hands became partially paralyzed. Moksed was in deep trouble.
Observing that situation, his younger daughter, Rashonara came forward and told her father that she would produce bio pest controllers at home.
Previously, she and her mother took some training from Dhokra Palli Unnayan Samity, a sister NGO of Swanirvar on Integrated Pest management and making bio pest controllers. Returning home she and her father made a small bamboo hut adjacent to their house and requested her father to give her some money for buying the ingredients for making bio pest controllers.
Initially her father was hesitant but his elder daughter, who is a quack Homeopath, supported her sister’s mission. Gradually Rashonara became an expert in making bio pest controllers in that locality. Later, she took more training from Swanirvar and DRCSC.
In mid 2008 she took over the responsibility from her father for vermicompost pit. Now she is making bulk amount of compost in her pit. She also had made a place for making bucket compost adjacent to their vermicompost pit. From there she is also producing a good quantity of compost. Previously, her father did not use vermi wash but when she came to know about the goodness of vermi wash she started making this at home.
For bio pest controllers, she produced compost tea and Neem solvent and Garlic – kerosene- soap mixture at the initial stage. But from December, 2008 she started some experiments of her own. She mixed some amount of green chilly with the kerosene-garlic mixture and applied it to their farm for controlling pest and her experiment was quite successful.
Now she is producing many kinds of bio pest controllers in her laboratory. I went to her laboratory on 10th March, 2009 to see her experiments and found that she is quite busy. She told me that initially many farmers taunted her; but now they were coming to learn the bio pest controller making process.
She confidently told me that organic farming was the ultimate destiny for the Indian farmers. She said that with the use of inorganic substances in farm the cost of farming was increasing day by day but in return the production was decreasing.
She also added that when a farmer applied inorganic fertilizers and inorganic pesticides, he was unaware of the appropriate ratio; and there was the maximum chance to get adverse result. But there was much less chance of getting such adverse results if there was any misbalance in applying bio-pest controllers or bio-compost.
Sometimes she visited her father’s farm and supervised the processes of implementing integrated pest management. She showed me her small kitchen garden adjacent to her house where she is producing many vegetables. She was also using trellis for producing Bitter Gourd, Bottle Gourd.