Sinley Mro, 29, at her vegetable garden in Kramadi Para, Suwalok Union, Bandarban Sadar, Bandarban, October 2017.: health and nutrition

Sinley Mro, 29, at her vegetable garden in Kramadi Para, Suwalok Union, Bandarban Sadar, Bandarban, October 2017.

Sinley Mro, 29, at her vegetable garden in Kramadi Para, Suwalok Union, Bandarban Sadar, Bandarban, October 2017.

Uploaded by:- saplingbd (149366646@N05) @ 2017-10-12 22:52:42

“I love to cook fresh vegetables picking straight from my garden with my baby boy”, said Sinley Mro, a mother of five kids from Kramadi Para, Bandarban.

Sinley Mro, 29, lives in Kramadi Para, Suwalok Union, Bandarban Sadar, Bandarban with her spouse, Pasing Mro, and nine other family members. The farming family have two sons and three daughters, plus extended relatives who live in their household. Traditionally, they depend on Jhum cultivation and have been cultivating rice paddy with a few vegetables, such as Marfa (hill cucumber) and Pumpkin, in their jhum land.

Sinley became a SAPLING participant in April 2017 as a member of an Integrated Enhanced Homestead Food Production (IEHFP) group. By September 2017, five months later, she had participated in six training sessions and received a batch of seeds for summer and a batch of seeds for winter planting seasons. For summer planting, Sinley was able to plant nine types of seeds with SAPLING support: cucumber, yard-long bean, bitter gourd, Indian spinach, ash gourd, pumpkin, kangkong, red amaranth, snake gourd. Like many residents of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh, she plants some crops near her home and some further away in her jhum field. Sinley chose to sow Indian spinach at her homestead and the remaining seeds in her family’s jhum land.

Through her regular attendance at the IEFHP sessions facilitated by SAPLING Field Facilitators, Sinley learned about improved gardening techniques, nutrition, health, and water, sanitation, and hygiene. When asked what she learned, Sinley describes bed and pit-style land preparation, compost preparation, planting and inter-cultural operations. “I also learned about nutritional needs of pregnant and lactating mothers, benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for babies up to six months of age and complementary feeding after that, importance of dietary diversity, handwashing and rainwater harvesting”, she added.

Sinley said, “We used to have two-three vegetables along with paddy in our jhum land. This season we produced some new varieties like red amaranth and snake gourd. They grew well and we got a good harvest”. The family consumed most of the leafy vegetables at home. “They are good to eat and my kids like them a lot”, she added. “We have sold some of the surplus vegetables in the local market, too”, explained Sinley. The family earned around BDT 4,000 by selling pumpkin and yard-long beans during that season.

For the winter planting season, Sinley received five types of winter vegetable seeds, some which were different than the summer seed supply: French bean, pumpkin, radish, bottle gourd, mustard greens and kangkong) from SAPLING. She looks forward to sowing them and expects to have a consistent supply of food from the harvest during the winter.

This year, SAPLING supported over 32,000 families like Sinley’s, equipping them with hands-on vegetable production skills, educating them on health and nutrition and supplying better seeds to promote uptake of improved technologies and nutritional habits.

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