With his sheer talent and dedication, a small farmer in Gaibandha has turned his fortune by farming Napier grass, a success that has inspired many others to follow him.
The Napier grass farming is now getting popular in areas like Sultanpur, Baraipara, Kishoregari, Projapara, Dighalkandi and other villages in Polsahbari upazila.
During a visit to the upazila, the UNB correspondent came to know that Napier grass is now cultivated on some 300 acres of land in the villages, as over 200 families are involved in it.
Abdul Gafur Sheikh, now in his 50s, once was a day-labourer as he used to work on the farmlands of others in his Polsahbari upazila.
After receiving primary training on Napier grass farming, he started cultivating it in 2007 on a 0.05 acre piece of land, which initially brought him Tk15,000 revenue, and he did not have to look back since then.
After experiencing the success, he started taking others’ lands on lease to expand his grass cultivation.
He currently has over 17 bighas of land, 20 cows and a mansion. Now his daily income from the grass sale ranges from Tk2,000 to Tk3,000. He is now a successful man in his neigbourhood.
Elated by his own success, Gafur said he does not have to worry about managing livelihood for his family and the education expenses of his children anymore.
Many in the district, including unemployed youths and rickshaw pullers, are now emulating what Gafur has done and become self-reliant in the process, saying goodbye to gambling and drug addictions.
Meanwhile, Gafur has received the district-level Bangabandhu National Agriculture Award for his innovative method of Napier grass cultivation.