Sustainable Farming – Good for Smallholders, Good for the Earth

A Development-Minded View of Earth Day 2014: Part 2 – An Earth Day Hero

AAPI-KabirIt all began with an acre of land and two cows. Humayun Kabir was determined to become self-sufficient. Why? According to him, a meaningful life is defined by work that requires creativity and innovation and which serves the people and world around him.

With entrepreneurial desire as his fuel, Kabir’s determination paid off. He began fertilizing his rice fields with FDP briquettes and now markets them. Using FDP, he decreased fertilizer use and in turn, reduced pollution. As an added benefit, using FDP gives him yields of more than 9,000 kilograms per hectare per year.  His increased production feeds his wife, two sons, his two cows and their calves with additional to sell. His cows produce 20 kilograms of milk per day, which he sells to his neighbors at more affordable prices. These same cows provide him with manure to replenish nutrients in his rice field and energy for his household. From farm to table, everything Kabir does is environmentally conscious and self-sustaining.

What sets Kabir apart is that he continues to look for new ways to use and reuse his existing resources to improve his family’s circumstances. He is determined to show others that self-sufficiency is achievable.  “If everybody thought this way,” he says, “there would be no unemployment or food shortages in Bangladesh. We would not be a poor nation.”

Kabir is a hero of Earth Day. He cares for the environment by reducing fertilizer use with FDP. He is reusing and recycling natural resources for other tasks. He is an icon of sustainable farming for his family, his nation and the rest of the world. We can all learn from his dedication to self-sufficiency. This Earth Day, his example shows us that being self-sufficient does not equal being poor, that environment-conscious decisions help us thrive, not simply survive.

Do you have a success story of an Earth Day hero? Tweet us!

Click here for Kabir’s full story.

Update: After sending this story out to our global communications team, we received an update from Bangladesh on Humayun Kabir. Read it here.

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