Animal husbandry changing fortune of char people

Animal husbandry changing fortune of char people

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The expanding animal husbandry sector has been changing fortune of thousands of extremely poor people living in remote char areas in ten riverine northern districts on the Brahmaputra basin in recent years.The boosting animal husbandry sector has become a blessing for char people bringing self-reliance and improving their life standard following effective implementation of the comprehensive Chars Livelihoods Programme (CLP) since 2004.Under the programme, 1.33 lakh extremely poor households living in riverine island chars of Kurigram, Bogra, Gaibandha, Sirajganj, Jamalpur, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Pabna and Tangail districts are now engaged in animal husbandry.Side by side animal husbandry the char people have been conducting other income generation activities to achieve sustainable success to improve their socioeconomic conditions in leading better life now.According to official sources, the UKaid through the Department for International Development (DFID), Australian Government through Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and Government of Bangladesh are funding CLP implementation.The Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives has been sponsoring implementation of the comprehensive programme with the management through Maxwell Stamp Plc.The comprehensive CLP activities are aimed at eradicating extreme poverty of the have-nots group char families through various income generation activities to improve their livelihoods, life standard and change socioeconomic conditions by 2016.Talking to BSS, Livelihoods Coordinator of CLP Dr. Mahbub Alam said the multi-dimensional CLP activities are being implemented by the local partner NGOs in the riverine char islands to achieve the goals.He said about 5.17 lakh people of targeted 1.33 lakh extremely poor char households are being benefited now under the CLP phase-I during 2004-2010 and phase-II during 2010-2016 periods to improve livelihoods as well as life standards.The CLP has been working with extremely poor char households to improve livelihoods through providing package supports for animal husbandry, assets and raising plinths for income generation activities under adverse climatic situations.  Agriculture and Environment Coordinator Mamunur Rashid of RDRS Bangladesh, one of the CLP implementing organisations, said the animal husbandry sector has been expanding fast on char areas bringing fortune to char people.Thousands of the extremely poor char families have achieved self-reliance through animal husbandry side by side other income generation activities with CLP assistance to lead better life now along with their children.He said the char people have been eradicating poverty through selling cattle-heads after fattening, increasing milk production, meeting nutritional demand of malnourished children and fodder crisis following huge production of grass in vast char areas.Chilmari upazila chairman Shawkat Ali Sarker, Bir Bikram, said the char families have been rearing and fattening cows commercially to increase their capitals after meeting expenses for living and education costs of their children.Beneficiaries of the project Noor Nahar, Parul Begum, Aklima Khatun, Rahela, Ayesha, Delwara, Shakila, Nazmun Nahar and many others of different char villages narrated their unthinkable success stories to win over poverty through animal husbandry.They have been taking special care of their reared bulls now to sell those at rates between Taka 60,000 and 80,000 in the local markets depending on their sizes on an average before the next Eid-ul-Azha festivity.Beneficiaries Aklima Khatun, Rasheda Sonavan, Hamida Khanom, Halima Begum, Moslema Khatun and Sokhina said they expect to sell their six to eight healthier bulls, at Taka 75,000 for each, though they bought those two years back at Taka 25,000 for each.Beneficiaries Momena Khatun, Lalbanu, Rohiton Nesa, Masuma, Momena and Basiron are expecting to sell 15 to 20 goats at Taka 90,000 to 150,000 before the next Eid-ul-Azha festivity after buying those at Taka 40,000 to 55,000 a year ago.Couples Aminul and Aklima, Mamtaz and Johura, Nur Ali and Saleha of different char villages said they bought seven to eight smaller sheep last year at Taka 8,500 and are expecting to sell those before the next Eid-ul- Azha at Taka 35,000. -BSS, Rangpur

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