What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?
Krisoker Saar (Farmers’ Voice) is a tiny Farmers' Research Institute evolved from the local community itself through a non-conventional way of institutional formation and development. Since started dreaming and conceptualising the Institution; it has been working to develop a holistic way of living by using research to foster local development. The Institution focuses on ethical - production, research, conservation, marketing, policy analysis and advocacy.
Following the way of the farmers’ ancestors’ experiential wisdom and researches, it started performing the actions consciously- considering the continuous changes of policies, technological commodities and human perceptions. Initially KSFVbd start cultivation of its own to establish community management, ownership and production by taking rent 2 acres of land in 2000. It became the centre of attraction for all the people of the Samaj “what will be the result?” The vegetables grew well. They invited them to visit the field occasionally and they observed curiously the growing stages of the crops and ownership management throughout the season. Finally, community people certified that “It is possible”.
One turning point for group formation happened at the very moment while saving a pond’s life which is an example of compact diversity. Although local people were not involved directly but supported with all their spirituality, wisdom, necessary information and information networks to the effort. The auto reflex of the community later was rationalized as a research. It was the year 2001.
A news board was placed within the community which is still serving as a communicating tool with the people. Simultaneously, formal and informal discussions were going on in various places like fields, in tea stalls or in leisure time among the farmers regarding the way of practicing agriculture and surrounding environment. Krisoker Saar (Farmers’ Voice) relentlessly were giving input to raise discussions and shared information on laws, policies, international agreements, rights of the farmers, the causes of deprivations etc. Thus valuable opinion were building up and farmers were becoming conscious about individual and community responsibilities for producing safe food, conservation and better use of natural resources for their own existence. Finally after two years of the initiative, farmers seemed to be organized around one point that it is possible to produce vegetables through community participation and establishing ownership on common property resources, necessary scientific knowledge is reachable and they themselves holds the answer to bring changes in their life.
Tell us about the social innovator—the person—behind this idea.
He is creative, deeply conscientious and hard working. His imaginative effort is of excellence towards social needs. The incisive and in-depth idea and evaluation gave his struggle a totally new and innovative profile and prestige that it did not have before in the locality. He broke the conventional approach of ‘project culture’ based rural development. He brought into light the local farmers’ struggle that usually remains hidden under the veneer of social norms. He also exposed some possible solutions of the deep-rooted problems that permeate our social life.
His relentless pursuit to improving the quality of the live and livelihood of the local people, the commitment to serving the locality for collective development and also the devotion has made the fellow krisoks community a wonderful team to work with for a just and peaceful life.
His present stand starts with the various stages of metamorphosis that he had to go through to reach at this stage of achievement, though he has an endless way to go with his dreams. But in-spite of all the odds, social and technical drawbacks and the overwhelming costs, he at least has been able to create a platform to explore the views of krisoks at national and international level. This struggle is made possible because it has been continuously blessed with the incredible teamwork of the whole samaj as he succeeded to motivate them towards a notun jibon (New Life) that has converged into a collective strength. It is the worth that become a part of the magic of creating something different and innovative that reaches the local people and touches their souls no matter how brief the moment.
Zakir Md. Hossain. After returning from Wageningen, the Netherlands with the masters degree from “Ecological Agriculture” in 1999, he could have joined in any research Organisation or Project as a researcher in an air conditioned office. But he was dare enough to work with other Krisoks under the burning sun, felt the dream and need of the locality where he was born in Bangladesh. He initiated the Farmers’ Research Institute “Krisoker Saar (Farmers’ Voice)” to do the researches pertinent to local development by integrating all people in the samaj, to putting the voices of locality into different National and International fora and thus to securing their rights.
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