PDC Case Study in Bangladesh – Organic Vegetable Cultivation
Since mid-August, 2017 to 31 March 2019 many refugees who are staying in different camps and communities at Teknaf and Ukhiya Upazilla under Cox’s Bazar district in Bangladesh, are struggling with many difficulties and challenges for living better in refugee life. Many of the INGOs, NNGOs and LNGOs are working for the betterment of their livelihoods, health, nutrition, protection, and rights.
In this circumstance, the BASD has implemented the Permaculture Training & Follow-up Project for the Rohingya Refugees and the Host community (Bengali) for their better living from 06 January 2019 to 06 July 2019, funded by Quaker Service Australia. The project goal was to assist the refugees and host communities for living better, health and joyful life. The project activities have implemented at Tajnimarkhola, Chorakhola, Bottoli, Telkhola villages with Bengali host communities of Palongkhali Union and Camp no. 19 with Rohingya refugees.
Amir Ali, 38 years, is a member of a Rohingya Refugee family living in camp-19, Palongkhali under Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazar. In 2017, thousands of families including his family forced by the Myanmar army for entering Bangladesh. Bangladesh Government & NGOs had been providing food & necessary support for their better living. The daily life of the camp people were passing as usual. In January’19 Amir Ali knew that the NGO BASD planned to train up some Rohinga people on the permaculture design course, he showed interest and communicated with project management of BASD.
He organized & participated with a group of 25 Rohingya people in 15 days course on permaculture design conducted by BASD. He successfully completed the course & led all volunteers (15) of camp areas to established organic vegetable gardens in the camp areas. He started vegetable gardening beside his tent taking seed support from during BASD, he got some success, then he extended cultivation areas, last 2 months he was cultivating different kinds of vegetables in an organic way beside his living place in an open place. He was getting okra, cucumber, various greens, pulse, pumpkin, brinjal and chillies from his garden for 2/3 months. He is taking care of his garden regularly. After taking PDC he became a leader in permaculture practices, motivating neighbours for organic cultivation & getting a wonderful response.
In the third week of May when we visited, he was then working in his garden, he expressed to us that; a group of people showed eagerness and following him starting organic farming. His nearby families are now cultivating vegetables in small spaces and whatever spaces they have. In camp, people have little space so, they are cultivating and developing sack gardening, hanging gardening/bottle gardening, key gardening etc. Trained volunteer Amir Ali said that permaculture training is great earning for his life. He thanked BASD and the donor QSA, especially to Rosemary Teacher for PDC and expressed that this PDC learning will go with them in their own land & will be with him. In camp 19, the green movement started. He has a big dream of keeping a green and safe environment.