Women have always played an integral role in the agricultural landscape in Bangladesh. Despite their contributions, women are often not recognised for their efforts as farmers, and rarely have control over their harvests - largely due to patriarchal norms.
Bangladesh is largely an agricultural-based economy. According to the World Bank, almost half of all workers are directly employed by agriculture. The sector is credited with greatly reducing the country’s poverty rate due to rapid growth.
The LEAD project has had significant positive results by using a modified M4P approach. Findings show more than a 400% increase in both maize yield per hectare and weekly egg production, and a 107% increase in number of birds per farmer’s flock by the end of the project. Maize farmers’ median income increased 400% from USD 54 to USD 269.
There was a freak snow storm in the Sahara last week, the surreal images creating a flurry on the internet. On the other side, Sydney is experiencing the hottest summer on record. At home, a severe cold wave is sweeping over northern Bangladesh.
We have now reached the point in history when it is crucial to reflect on where we are, and where we want to go, while defining the right path to get there. Most of our economy is based on fossil fuels, like coal, oil or natural gas. Explorations of newer sources are underway, but at the expense of the planet itself.
While the situation is the worst it has ever been, we are better equipped than we have ever been. This success can be credited to collaborative efforts by the government and civil society, which ensure shelter homes, pre-disaster preparedness, and early warning systems.
Peeking from behind the tin door is Ibrahim’s two-year-old daughter, Amena, in a blue polka dot dress, and a kitten in her arms. Another kitten appears and darts across the courtyard. Ducklings scatter about in panic.
Flooding is not a new phenomenon, and yet it continues to be treated with surprise. Almost one fifth of our country goes underwater every year. The geography and topography of Bangladesh means that we will always be prone to flooding, and the situation will only worsen with climate change.
“What’s there to be afraid of?” they shot back, shrugging their shoulders with cheeky smiles. This was their reaction to Cyclone Roanu, which swept the coast of Bangladesh on 21 May 2016, killing 21 people and destroying 200,000 homes.
Albrecht Dürer’s masterful woodcut, ’Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ is drawn from the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible’s New Testament. In it, the horsemen ride on red, black, white and pale horses, symbolising war, famine, conquest and death.
Many perceive South Asia as home to poverty, population explosion and disasters.However, this is only one side of the coin. The other side shows indomitable spirit of resilience that can be seen in grassroots communities across South Asia.