Shamsul Haque and his wife Shamsunnahar of Gazipur have faced hardship for over two years due to a lack of regular income during the Covid-19 shutdown. Yet they had to bear family expenses, sons’ education and marriage of their daughter. They were in despair but did not lose hope.
Since the couple had no land to grow crops, they used to lease land and plant fruit saplings but could not make profits. This time, they took 50 decimals of land on lease and planted gourd seeds. The couple started harvesting the gourds after 45 days, leaving local farmers surprised at their achievement.
They did not hire a farm worker to reduce production costs since the daily wage is high nowadays, says Shamsunnahar, of Tengra village under Telihati Union of Sreepur.
At the beginning of the season, they have already sold gourds worth Tk1,50,000, spending only Tk40,000. The sales will double till the end of the season, she hopes.
Shamsul Haque said that he did not have to go to anyone to know of the process of cultivating gourds. Previously, he grew gourds 30 years ago.
“I could not grow vegetables due to the Covid pandemic. There were financial difficulties for two years. Using my experience, I cultivated gourds and got a good harvest this season. I don’t have any economic crisis. All members of my family are happy with it,” he said.
Neighbouring farmer Shahidullah said, along with other vegetables, he has also cultivated gourds this time following the success of Shamsul Islam.
Another neighbour, Jasim Uddin, said he sells gourds almost every day of the week. Farmer Shamsul Haque also sells gourds at Tengra, Telihati, Tepirbari (Chathir Bazar), and Ansar Tepirbari haats in this area.
“He works in the gourd field whenever he has time. He’s getting a lot of profit from this year’s harvest. Seeing his cultivation, farmers in the surroundings are also taking his advice,” Jasim said.
More farmers, including Abdul Baten, Nurul Haque and Fazlul Haque of the same area, have planted gourds after seeing Shamsul Haque’s cultivation.
Ainul Haque, a member of Ward No 4 of Telihati Union Parishad, said: “Shamsul Haque is a successful farmer. He has set an example by cultivating gourds. Many locals are benefiting from seeing his gourd cultivation.”