Food and nutritional security is one of the major challenges that the smallholders and other marginalised communities face in the era of global health and environmental problems such as the pandemics and climate change, including biodiversity loss. Smallholder farmers are now adopting practices that reduce the impact of climate change impacts and more importantly, the impact of pandemic as the world is now witnessing. With the promotion of farm diversity using the Integrated Farming System approach, farmers like Rozina Begum in Bangladesh are emerging resilient and are ensuring their and their families’ food and nutritional security are being met. Rozina Begum and her husband, Md. Digonto are a smallholder couple. They live in Kornoher village in Paba, Rajshahi district. With just 0.13 ha of cultivable land, they were finding it difficult to meet the needs of the family that has two children.
Rozina Begum, who joined the SAFBIN facilitated Smallholder Farmers’ Collective in her village, was eager to do something to contribute to the family income. She decided to diversify her small farm by adding duck farming and vegetable cultivation in her homestead. The programme supported her with 65 ducklings to help her start her duck farm. Now all the ducks have started laying eggs. She collects 25-30 eggs daily from her farm. While eggs and meat are now being consumed regularly in her family, they are also able to sell them locally as well. She has sold around 400 eggs till now and earned 4,000 BDT. Now they are selling ducks to the local community and have already sold 55 ducks and earned 13,750 BDT while adding 45 new born ducklings to her own farm. With the nutrition garden, Rozina cultivated different types of vegetables year-round. She has sold 751 Kg vegetables and earned 15,030 BDT.
From the time Rozina got involved with the programme, she has been able to work through to see palpable changes in her life. She now leads the way to demonstrate to her fellow farmers how farm diversification helps to emerge resilient and become self-reliant.