FISHING FOR FORTUNE
"You have to take care of fish the same way you would care for children," explains Ruma Begum, 28, a rural fish farmer in southern Bangladesh.
Ruma used to farm ducks and chickens to support her family. Then she noticed her neighbors were farming fish in the ponds around their homes. With 20 decimals of land (.2 acres) she thought fish farming would be a productive way to utilize her property. She built a pond, but she didn't know much about raising fish.
In the beginning it didn't go well and she didn't make much money.
Then she learned about a training program several women in her area were attending. Out of curiosity, she decided to follow. When she arrived she noticed they were teaching about fish and vegetable farming. She learned how to prepare ponds for cultivating fish, how to add lime and fertilizer, how to add fish after adding the fertilizer, and when to feed the fish.
In the training she also learned how to grow vegetables around the pond and about nutrition for her family.
USAID HAS TRAINED OVER 80,000 FISH FARMERS IN BANGLADESH HOW TO INCREASE THEIR YIELDS AND HOW TO IMPROVE THEIR FAMILY'S NUTRITION.
Now she has three ponds and a thriving fish nursery business she is producing three times more fish than before.
Her family gets nutrition from the fish and also from the vegetables in her garden.
She has shared her knowledge with her neighbors who run their own fish farms.
With my additional income she pays for school expenses for her son, healthcare, clothing and puts the rest in savings.
"My income and power has increased and now I can make decisions for myself," explains Ruma.
WITH HELP FROM THE FEED THE FUTURE INITIATIVE, WOMEN LIKE RUMA ARE LIFTING THEMSELVES, THEIR FAMILIES AND THEIR COMMUNITIES OUT OF POVERTY.
Production: Mehedi Hussain
Translation: Mehedi Hussain / Ahsan Khan (USAID)
Videography: Josh Estey / Morgana Wingard
Photography: Josh Estey
Editing: Sarah Grile
Music: Ryan Huff