Marma turns to Integrated Farming for a better life

Marma turns to Integrated Farming for a better life

Story by : Welthungerhilfe India
Written on : 15th October, 2015

A training on Sustainable Integrated Farming Systems (SIFS) changed the life of Happy Marma, who is now supporting her family and planning to expand her farm.


Happy Marma lives with her elderly parents and three brothers and sisters in Khagrachhari, in the Chittagong Hill Tract, Bangladesh. She left school when she was 18 to maintain her family through farming. Happy used to have a vegetable garden but most of it would be fallow land for 5-6 months a year; she grew only one-two types of crops that she sold to then buy vegetables from the market.

After a training on SIFS, she started planning her farm in a more systematic way: she planted different type of fruit plants, that are more profitable in the long-term. Between the fruit plant she is now growing mixed vegetables, planned in a way that her family needs are fulfilled and the excess can be sold to the market. The application of new agriculture technologies and approaches learnt from SIFS allowed her to increase her production. In 2014, she could earn 3000 takas from bananas, 4000 takas from vegetables, 10,000 takas from fruits and 19,000 takas from paddy.

Planting bamboo around her land prevented land erosion but also increased her income, through the selling of the bamboo. The additional money she made allowed her to buy an additional cow, adding to the pigeons, goats and hens that she uses to supplement her earnings. In the future, she wants to raise fish in a small pond within her farm, to ensure that her income is multi-sourced.

Find out more about SIFS