Friendship with the climate

Delep Kumar Chakrabarti is a young smallholder farmer hailing from Mohimapur Village of Naogaon District in Bangladesh. He lives in a small double story mud house (to save space) with his wife and 6 year old son. He has one acre (3 bigha) land which he cultivates throughout the year to feed his small family. His continuous involvement with Caritas Bangladesh developed him as a skilled farmer. He is also a member of the District Forum promoted under the European Union co-financed SAF-BIN programme.

Mr. Delep very proudly shares that Shantana Chakrabarti (his wife) is growing about 1,000 ducks in a small duck farm tightly squeezed in a corner of their homestead. The duck farming was not so profitable in the beginning and often the farm use to get wiped off due to seasonal diseases. They had to incur heavy loss many times in the past which mainly caused due to inadequate know-how of duck farming.

His situation changed after he met with Dr. Md. Abdul Majid, Livestock Officer, Naogaon District during the district forum meetings. He had an opportunity to have one to one interaction with the livestock officer, who him a lot of information and exposure to the duck farming practices. He also introduced and trained them on the requirements of vaccination, medicines and care and maintenance of the unit. He also shared information on the high yielding duck varieties like Khaki Campbell and Jinding. His position as a District Forum member has given him the opportunity to have close interaction with the officer, who is also extra supportive in providing constant feedback and consultation over phone and visits. He was quite excited to share that the livestock officer frequently calls him and enquire about his duck farming. Mr. Delep shared that this was never possible without him having a leadership position at the district level. He also shared these learning and skills with the fellow farmers in the village.

As a result of the improved knowledge and access to updated information, the mortality rates of the birds have reduced and egg production has increased. Shantana shared that their income from duck farming has increased and they have increased the birds in the farm. Mr. Delep being a skilled farmer of SAF-BIN project, he is engaged in leading the fellow smallholders in the village for strengthening the collective initiatives and on-farm adaptive research. He has taken up trials in his farm on effectiveness of practiced management options to control of rice stem borer in 2013, Performance assessment of minimize of seedling and to increase yield in 2014 and increase productivity and profitability through introduction Pulses and oil seed in T. Aman-Fallow cropping pattern and stability of them in 2014.

He recently got the opportunity to participate in the Conference on Smallholder Farmers and farmers learning exchange programme in India, which gave him the confidence and motivation to take forward the issues of smallholder farmers in the district. He shared that various climate resilient options collectively tried and tested by the collectives, they have become friends with the climate.