Bangladeshi farmer Gopal Mohanta and his wife pictured at their home in the village of Boiragee, Dinajpur. They have been able to provide their family with a dramatically improved livelihood by working with CIMMYT.
This change in fortunes began when Mohanta attended a farmer training session provided by CIMMYT in collaboration with partners in Bangladesh. This opened a door for him to take advantage of a range of resources from CIMMYT and its partners—including seed, technologies, and practices—and to combine these with the family's own hard work and talent.
One of the changes Mohanta made was to plant a more diverse range of crops, and in 2005 he planted maize for the first time, using improved seed based on CIMMYT materials. He achieves high yields of 12-13 t/ha, which he is able to sell at a good profit, as a growing market is fueling high and stable maize prices in Bangladesh. The increased income has brought numerous benefits: as well as being able to invest in livestock and other farm diversification, such as a pond stocked with fish, Mohanta and his wife have built a new, larger house and are able to provide a better education for their two children.
The family has come a long way, providing a shining example of what is possible to others in their community. However, the success story is far from over; looking to the future, Mohanta plans to buy more land and to plant more crops.
Photo credit: S. Mojumder/Drik/CIMMYT.