I live in Vati-Shibrampur vilalge, Faridpur, Bangladesh and inherited my farm from my father. I would usually cultivate vegetables and a local sweet potato, and have done so for the last twenty years. In 2012 I was selected as an orange-fleshed sweetpotato root producer for the USAID Horticulture project. Having cultivated only 160m2 I was surprised to see a yield of over 160kg!
So in 2013 I increased my cultivation to 2,500m2 and grew over 4.8 tonnes of root that I sold for US$920. I was also able to sell the vines to local NGOs and community farmers, and made US$295. The remaining 1.2 tonnes of and vines were used as cattle feed or in meals for me and my family, or sold as cattle feed to other farmers. The net profit from my orange-fleshed sweet potato crop came to just over US$1,000, which I used to purchase a cow and rent more land to cultivate in the 2014 season.
I feel like my farm is the greatest success story from this project and I’m now registered as a supplier to an urban chain store and other department stores. I hope to export my produce soon to other countries.
The USAID Horticulture Project in Bangladesh, partnering with the International Potato Center (CIP), AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center, BRAC and Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) are working with local farmers to diversify diets and agricultural production systems with potato, orange-fleshed sweet potato, summer tomato, and nutritious indigenous vegetables.