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Fish farming changes fate of poor rural women

DHAKA, June 13, 2017 (BSS) - A short training on fish cultivation, imparting by different upazila fisheries offices has opened door of poor peoples' fate as many distress rural women especially helpless widow became self-independent with their own fish farming projects.

Jarina Begum of Baliakandi Sadar upazila at Rajbari district, a 52-year old widow, is one of those once poor women who now became a role model of self-reliant entrepreneur with success of her small but profitable fish farm.

"Thanks to the training programme of our upazila fisheries office. I started my fish farming in my small pond beside my home after acquiring the training. With my relentless efforts, dedication and help of upazila fisheries office, now I became a successful woman," Jarina said.

But the situation was different in 20 years back when her husband died in a road accident. "He (Jarina's husband) had no permanent job, he was a day labourer. When he died, I was really helpless with my four kids. I have nothing except a 25 decimal cultivatable lands and a small pond adjacent to our house," Jarina recalled.

But fortune favours her. She took the training from the upazila fisheries department. A small fish farm changed her living standard. Currently Jariana spends about Taka one lakh each year for fish cultivation and get return of an average Taka 1.70 lakh.

Apart from the fulfilling family's protein needs, Jarina gets a handsome amount for maintaining the expenses of her children's education and others. "I don't face any problem to sell fish or buy fish fries as the buyers come here whenever I contacted them over mobile phone. The mobile phone network makes our marketing job easy. My school going son also helps me in dealing with buyers," she said confidently.

Now, Jarina is a name of inspiration for other poor women in her village. She has proved that "Where there is will there is way."

Currently many poor rural people are being encouraged to do fish cultivation in Rajbari district after seeing numbers of success stories of fish farming with the help of Fisheries department of the government.

Bangladesh has been exporting fisheries to different countries since long. Fish cultivation in Bangladesh has already become a major source of employment. The unemployed educated youths can also make themselves self-reliant by involving in this business.