Aquaculture is playing a vital role in the rural life for the farming people. Farmers in Bangladesh have a hard time simply generating enough food during certain seasons of the year. So much so that they’ve named these seasons “The Monga Period” – Translating roughly to “The Months of Death”. These months make it near impossible to harvest crop due to seasonal drought. That said, 92% of the water being used by these farmers for their crops come from rivers making them more dependent on seasonal water. Luckily a new solution has appeared to generate food during “The Monga” Period.
The maximum daily source of animal protein comes from fish. Most of rural farmers have small ponds to culture fish. This project has been contributing extra income and sufficient fish consumption to the involved farmers’ household, thus boosting their knowledge of aquaculture and connections needed to learn more. Fish culture is becoming as stable source of family income for these rural farming families as well. Not only does working the pongs give the farmers work to do but it also enables women and children to participate in fish culture easily. Which in turn helps to change the perspective and culture around female gender stereotypes and empowers women to work.
In the fourth year, total of Tk 343000.00 ($4174 USD) was distributed to the project participants Via AwF’s Help. The farmers used this money for purchasing fingerlings, lime, feed and fertilizer. The volunteers assisted the farmers for maintaining quality of the inputs. This revolving fund is interest free financial supports that make the farmer confident for stocking in time and ensured feeding to fish and fertilizing in pond.
These Ponds not only supply an effective source of income but also create a new source of nutrition and food for the family. The training and ongoing support from the project give the farmers them confidence towards fishing and fish culture, enabling them to move forward and potentially grow out into different areas.