Written September 2010
Usharani Goswami, a Bangladeshi farmer featured in IFDC Report (Vol. 35, No. 3), was awarded the Bangabandhu National Agriculture Award for her contribution to Bangladesh’s agriculture sector. She was one of five to receive a Gold Medal from Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
A widow, Usharani was responsible for her family’s welfare, but she knew little about farming. She received technical training in urea deep placement (UDP) from the local Agricultural Extension Department (DAE) and IFDC. Usharani raised rice on only 0.10 hectare in 2008-2009. She applied UDP during the Boro (irrigated) season, yielding 8.4 metric tons of paddy rice, generating a net income of US $150 in a nation where the average annual income is $520. She then applied UDP technology to her crop during the Aman (rain-fed) season with similar success.
Her crop yields motivated area farmers to apply UDP to their crops. About 80 percent of the farmers in her village are now using UDP. In addition to UDP, she has influenced area farmers to use integrated pest management as well as IFDC’s Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM), applying organic fertilizer to increase soil health.