Change Story
A Big Smile for Zinnat Khan & His Friends

Past Story:
Most of the rural people are involved in agricultural work in Kolaroa upazila of R3 project area. They cultivate paddy, jute, wheat, vegetables and many other food grains in their land. Although they get sufficient water for cultivation in the land from rain during the rainy season, they face water crisis in dry season. So, all the farmers were still depending on fuel-based irrigation pump in summer season. But poor farmers couldn’t install fuel-based irrigation pump because it’s very costly. As a result, they had to deal a contract with the pump owner for water irrigation and in exchange had to provide paddy, jute, wheat and money to the pump owner. This system sometimes caused a great loss for the farmers. The more the water supply, the more is the high irrigation cost. As the high cost of water pump, sometimes it hampers the production process and the farmer doesn’t get expected crop from the cultivation. As a result, they had to compromise with the loss and compelled to keep mortgage their cultivable land to the money lenders. It needs around 5,000/- to 6,000/- Taka per irrigation to produce one crop in a season. Besides, due to fuel burning it produces much smokes which on the other hand pollute the air and water which is also harmful for the community people.

So far this was a common situation of the vulnerable farmers of Kolaroa. The son of late Shamser Ali Khan, Md.  Zinnat Khan is one of the vulnerable farmers living in Shakdaha village of Kushodanga union under Kolaroa upazilla. He is a small entrepreneur and his monthly income comes around 6,000/- to 7,000/- taka to look after his family. He has two sons. Zinnat is an active member of CBDRC (Community Based Disaster Resilience Center) committee and his son is also a member of youth club under this CBDRC. Zinnat has a small cultivable land of 0.6 acre sharing with other farmers in total 1.5 acre of land. Before solar pump intervention, Zinnat and his friends were facing problem to get sufficient water supply for irrigation. As a result, they had to purchase water for high cost from some other fuel-based pump owner. This made his production process very costly that he got less in rate of return over his total investment. Zinnat gave up his hope and decided to cultivate once in a year to avoid huge loss.

When the R3 project started working with the community people of Satkhira, the project was trying to understand the farmers’ situation who was struggling with water irrigation system. The project staff had a discussion with the CBDRC (Community Based Disaster Resilience Center) committee members and discovered that, Zinnat and his peer farmers are suffering from financial crisis to water their cultivable land and end of the season has to count huge loss. After a detailed discussion, the CBDRC committee decided that R3 project will finance to install irrigation Solar Panel in the field for the vulnerable farmers those who are mostly in need for irrigation support, those who are not able to purchase water pump machine and also not able to even lend money to cultivate the land. The CBDRCs committee helped the project in need assessment to select the land areas where the vulnerable farmers will be able to get the benefit to plough the land in low cost. However, this year (2019) R3 installed two solar pumps (2 horse power) in two target areas in Shakda & Shivanandakathi village under 10 no. Kushodanga Union covering approx. 3.3 acre of cultivable land which one of the 1.5-acre land owned by Zinnat and his peer farmers. However, these solar pumps will give support to approx. 35 vulnerable farmers to get irrigation benefit from those two land areas. R3 project supported in installing solar pump and the community made the house for installed solar pump. With the assistance of the project, the community also formed a committee for solar pump maintenance. The project arranged a demonstration session where the vendor company taught the farmers how to operate and use solar power pump.

Md. Zinnat is very happy to get cost effective and environment friendly solar power irrigation pump. He and his friends are using it whenever they need.

Not only Zinnat, but also other 35 farmers are now getting free water supply from Solar Pump for field cultivation even though in dry season. The farmers are now enjoying the result of installing eco-friendly solar pump, such as- they have free access of water supply for cultivation whenever they need to, they now no more don’t have to depend on fuel-based pump owner. Furthermore, these irrigation solar pumps can almost cover 3 acres of land (per solar pump can irrigate 1.5 acres of land), it can lift 400-450 liters water in an hour, it reduced almost 60% to 70% cost and is very cost-effective for the vulnerable farmers in need. Zinnat and his friends formed a group who will be responsible for taking care of the machine, keeps clean timely and will pay very less money for repairing etc. the 35-farmer said that, “we had to spend a large amount of money for irrigation. Now with the solar irrigation pump, the cost has declined into 60% to 70%. Furthermore, we can now save a good amount of money which can be spent for more production.”

With a big smile Zinnat saying that,
“Now I am cultivating paddy three times a year without any excessive irrigation cost. It changed my calculation with less production cost and made my profit with expectable rate of return over my total investment. I can now save enough money to look after my family and can invest more for production expansion. Solar Pump is really an environment and cost friendly machine for an entrepreneur like me. I will never think of giving hope in future again.”

Now, Md. Zinnat is inspiring and suggesting other neighborhood farmers to use solar powered pump instead of diesel or Petrol driven water pump for irrigation. 


In this context, in 2019, the non-governmental organization Baptist Aid - BBCF's Resilience to Reduce Risk (R-3) project discussed with the CBDRC (Community based disaster resilience Centre) committee to provide income-generating training on 7 days poultry rearing to people at risk in the working area. The members of the CBDRC committee selected Ahad Ali as a participant for the training. Md. Ahad Ali participated in the 7 days training. He then became enthusiastic about raising chickens and sought some financial help from the officials of the R-3 project.

He later decided to provide cash support to improve the standard of living through small business as per the project activity plan. Then according to the decision of CBDRC committee, Md. Ahad Ali was given cash support of 3000 / - (three thousand Taka) for raising chickens. From this money he bought 100 pieces of golden chickens for 1300 / - (one thousand three hundred Taka) at the price of 13 taka per piece of chickens and with the rest of the money he started raising chickens by buying other items including food. Two months later he earned a total of 24,000 / - (twenty four thousand taka). From this he became more enterprising for raising chickens. With this profit money and a business loan of BDT. 50,000 / - from the Karmosangsthan Bank, he started large scale poultry activities. During this time he bought 1000 peace chickens and gradually changed his condition by buying the necessary food.

In his ongoing business, he was suddenly harmed by keeping chickens during the corona virus. Many chickens died when the chickens fell ill on the farm and the rest were sold at a low price. He lost a lot of money.

The R-3 project was later surveyed to provide financial support to people affected by the corona virus. In this survey, Md. Ahad Ali was again selected by the CBDRC committee to provide financial assistance of BDT. 5,000 / - (five thousand taka). Later, he got excited again and started raising chickens. At present, his farm has 1150 chickens out of 2000 chickens and has already sold 750 chickens. At present its market value is approximately 103000 / - (one lakh three thousand taka).