September 20, 2021, 3:02 am
Munayem Khan Netrokona: Farmer Sayed Ahmed Khan Bachchu. He was born on the banks of river Tushai in Rameshwarpur village of Swarmushia union in Atpara upazila of Netrokona district. At present there is no Tushai river, no sign. Where there was a river there was a green field of crops. Farmers grow crops. There are only stories about rivers. Has been involved in agricultural work since childhood. He has seen how the farmer’s wealth goes to the seed company and comes back to the farmer in packets. How the farmer’s barn has become a garage. How aggressive fish farming has become monotonous in the pond. This long history, experience makes the farmer Sayed Ahmed Khan Bachchu think about everything.
Land of rice, country of song Bangladesh. Netrokona is a small district in Bangladesh. The people of Netrokona region depended on paddy for their livelihood. Their education, culture and economy are based on paddy cultivation. As the days go by the local variety of paddy, the crop starts to get lost. Farmers lose their resource seeds and become market dependent. Farmers continue to be deceived. Farmer Syed Ahmed Khan Bachchu also used to cultivate 10-15 varieties of paddy. He wondered why the farmer’s wealth was going to be controlled by the company and why the farmer was becoming more and more dependent on the market. He started rice selection activities on his own initiative. In the Aus season of 2005, he collected 5 varieties of paddy from nearby villages and started paddy research plots. Thus Aus Aman also started research activities on rice varieties during the Boro season. He traveled from village to village, from union to union, from upazila to upazila, from district to district, from country to country. You keep collecting rice varieties. Thus he took initiative for collection, preservation and expansion of rice varieties. He used to collect and store paddy from wherever he went. He wandered around Bangladesh like crazy. Seeing his initiative, the farmers of the village and the people of the area would collect the seeds and deliver them to the house of the farmer Bachchu Khan. Rice collection became his addiction.
He created rice research plots. In Aus, Aman, Boro seasons, rice research plots are prepared, rice varieties are selected and rice varieties are preserved. He set up a seed exchange center in his house to preserve the rice varieties. There he kept seeds and the farmer collected and exchanged seeds in exchange for seeds. Enthusiasm arose among the farmers. All the peasants of the village formed an organization together. Farmers of 13 villages in and around Asher continue to collect seeds from seedhouses.
After cultivating the seeds, the farmers would return the seeds to the house. Thus the seeds selected by the farmers are spread from farmer to farmer, village to village, district to district. Beyond the boundaries of Netrokona, the seeds of farmer Syed Ahmed Khan were distributed among farmers and organizations in 25 districts of Bangladesh including Mymensingh, Sunamganj, Sherpur, Jamalpur, Kishoreganj, Sylhet, Habiganj, Manikganj, Kumilpa, Rajshahi, Satkhira, Khulna and Natore. Everyone who comes to inspect the seeds has collected the seeds of their choice. Are cultivating in their area. In the Atpara area where initially only 4 to 5 varieties of paddy were cultivated, now the farmers are cultivating 61 varieties of paddy.
Farmer Syed Ahmed Khan Bachchu has collected 24 varieties of Aus, 423 varieties of Aman and 56 varieties of Boro. He is researching rice varieties under the leadership of a farmer and is trying to protect the varieties by setting up a conservation plot. He first conducted a variety research activity in Rameshwarpur village. After seeing his activities, Durgashram, Bashati, Tilakpur, Swarmushia, Krishnapur, Deogaon, Paharpur, Baniajan, Shahpur of Madan Upazila, Fulbaria, Khichha, Tarati, Sadhupara, Sutiakhali, Putijana, Netrokora Upazila of Netrokona Upazila of Atpara Upazila of Netrokona saw his activities. In Lengura, Kharnai, Ashujia of Kendua Upazila, Singher Gao, Nagua, Sampadpur, Madhyanagar of Dharmapasha Upazila of Sunamganj District, farmers are selecting rice varieties by conducting research activities under the leadership of farmers and reducing market dependence by storing seeds. Farmer Sayed Ahmed Khan Bachchu has guided the farmers by inspecting each variety of research activities and has helped to create more farmer researchers like him. They are currently collecting, storing and distributing seeds as friends of farmers in different upazila districts.
He started rice variety development activities for the development of selected rice varieties. Seeing the enthusiasm of the farmer Bachchu’s initiative, Barsik sent him to inspect the activities of an organization called Massipag in the Philippines. From there he came to know the overall subject of research in rice variety development. When he came to Bangladesh, he trained 10 more farmers. He is working tirelessly to invent a new variety suitable for the area.
He believed in the farmer’s seed, the farmer’s right, the farmer’s seed, the farmer’s wealth. His main job was to build seedhouses, conduct variety research, assist farmers in work, exchange, collect seeds and organize fairs to inform people of all walks of life. He has participated in fairs at village fairs, village fairs, biodiversity fairs, upazila, district and national level and informed that we have to protect our resources.
Many local and foreign organizations have visited his seed house. Caritas, Rosa, Lokaj, SDS, Uttaran, Deepshikha, Nari Pragati, SBC, Barcik from different parts of Bangladesh like Satkhira, Manikganj, Mathbaria, NGO Forum, Working Women, Netrokona Press Club Journalist team, Channel I, CSD, Gandhi Trust Ashram, M, K, P, Pascob, Seva Krishak Sangathan, Mati, BIA, Action Aid, Channel I, ULAB etc.
In addition, many international organizations and donors including representatives from Brihi- India, Lumanti- Nepal, Youth Action, Secard-Nepal, Fian-Nepal, Civasmondi-Spain, Germany from Mizario have visited the research seedbank and seedbed.
Let this initiative of farmer Bachchu Khan, his thoughts, motivation spread among more farmers, let the seeds of the farmer remain with the farmer. Let the market dependence of the farmer decrease. Save yourself from the deception of seeds. This is what ordinary people expect.