Popy Begum (37) is an ultra-poor participant of SHOUHARDO III* from Nikli upazila in Kishoreganj district. Popy and her husband used to work as agricultural day laborer in others’ fields to support the other five members of their family. She was enlisted for SHOUHARDO III support in 2016 when she received a cash support** of BDT 3,000 (USD $35.40). Popy initially bought a few goats with this money and later sold them for BDT 17,000 (USD $200.59) in 2018 which brought in the profit for her to lease a 52 decimal (2,104.3 sqm) land. She leased this land with BDT 12,000 (USD $141.60) and started her own farming of peanut. She received information and technical support from SHOUHARDO III staff and supported by sub-district agriculture office too. In 2020, she earned a profit of BDT 7,000-8,000 (USD $82.60-94.40) which helped her to expand her land size in 2021 to 85 decimals (3,439.8 sqm). Popy shared, “I used to work in others’ lands to earn…but now, my husband and I work in the land that I owned through leasing. It was undoubtedly possible with the support of SHOUHARDO III.” Popy also recruited some of the other SHOUHARDO III participants from her community as day laborers to work on her land, and thus supporting the community beyond the program support. Suraiya (55) one of the laborers expressed, “It is one of greatest opportunities for us that I got the chance to work in Popy apa’s land. We feel secure with our earning as we know Popy apa and she allows us to engage as we can to work on her field.”
*Strengthening Household Ability to Respond to Development Opportunities (SHOUHARDO) III is a Development Food Security Activity (DFSA) funded by the United States Government through the United States Agency for International Development/ Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP), with complementary funding from the Government of Bangladesh (GoB). SHOUHARDO III is a multi-sectoral program that addresses food and income insecurity, maternal and child health and nutrition, women’s and youth empowerment, and seeks to improve access to public services for the rural poor while building their resilience capacities. It is implemented through six Partner Non-Government Organizations (PNGOs) covering eight target districts in northern Bangladesh, who receive technical support from CARE.
**The cash support was one of the earliest interventions of SHOUHARDO III, meant to help the poor and extreme poor participants to engage in livelihood activities leading to income generation. The program did a social-wellbeing analysis that was participatory in nature and selected the poor and extreme poor participants in all 947 implementing villages. The extreme poor participants received BDT 4500, and the poor participants received BDT 300.