Farmer Story #4

by Team iFarmer, 2020-09-30

Selim Mia’s journey with i-Farmer

Selim Mia, a cattle farmer from Lalmonirhaat, Bangladesh, has over 6 years of farming experience. He joined iFarmer more than a year ago. Through the assistance that iFarmer provided its community of farmers, Selim Mia's hardships were reduced in the face of challenging circumstances arising due to the ongoing COVID-19 and prolonged floods this year. This year, cattle farmers suffered three major adversities that affected the livestock market. The combination of Covid-19 lockdown, heavy flooding, and Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) affected the overall demand, production and sale of livestock. The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in total closure of local haats(wet marketplaces) in the first 2 months of lockdown. Thus, farmers did not have a marketplace to sell their products. iFarmer supported their farmers by providing them with a month’s ration and connecting them to sell on online platforms such as KhaasFood, Hungrynaki.com, Priyoshop and Bengal Meat. This year’s ongoing flood became the longest flood in Bangladesh in the last 22 years, with a quarter of the country inundated. The prolonged flooding severely disrupted rural economic life, destroying crops and livestock and left farmers struggling to feed their families and cattle. The price of hay, a type of feed for livestock skyrocketed from BDT 1.25-2.5 to BDT 13 as of August. iFarmer endeavoured to make the lives of its farmers easily by providing a cattle feed package priced between BDT 6,000-10,000 . This reduced the struggle of cattle farmers to a large extent as they did not have to gather the finance to feed their cattle amidst everything else. In addition to this, iFarmer has also assisted farmers like Selim Miah by offering veterinarian services and medicines to cattle infected by the Lumpy Skin Disease. The iFarmer platform has diversified and expanded its farm portfolio through funding goat, fish and vegetable farms in order to minimize the financial burden on its farmers. 2020 has been an extremely challenging year for farmers across the country. iFarmer stood by the farmers to ease their worries as much as possible.