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From VOA Learning English, this is the Agriculture Report.
Rivers in northwestern Bangladesh rise sharply during the rainy season causing months of flooding on farms and villages. This hurts the rural poor who depend on agriculture to survive. When the floods cover their lands they cannot grow crops or raise animals. But local farmers may have found a way to deal with the seasonal weather. Some are building small farms that float on top of the floodwaters.
Hafiza Khatun is gathering eggs from the ducks that live in what is called a “coop” on her floating farm. The farm is made of bamboo plants and empty oil containers, or drums. It is attached to the bank of a river near the village of Charbhangura. Women also raise fish and vegetables on the floating farm.
25-year-old Hafiza Khatun could not earn money during the rainy season before she had her floating farm. Ms. Khatun has two small children. She does not have any education. Her husband is an agricultural worker. But he does not work when monsoon rains fall from July to October. During that time, the Gurmani river rises at least three meters.
Three years ago, a Bangladeshi non-profit organization called Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha brought small floating farms to the village. The farms are 17 meters long and almost five meters wide. They are made of both recycled and local materials.
Long bamboo rails create places to raise fish in nets. Vegetables such as gourds and beans are grown in plastic containers filled with soil. Shidhulai pays the cost of making the farm.
For Ms. Khatun and other villagers, life is difficult during the flood season.
Ms. Khatun says when the water comes, her house goes underwater. There is no place to go, no place to stay, she says. There is water everywhere.
But now she can grow food on the floating farm and earn money from selling some of it. Five to ten women work on one farm. Depending on the size of the farm, together they can earn about $1,700 a year. That amount of money can buy a lot of food in rural Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is close to sea level, which means it is greatly affected by climate change that causes flooding and rising sea waters. The difficulties of making money in the rainy seasons often lead rural people to move to cities in Bangladesh. Most cities are very crowded.
Bangladesh is one of the world’s most densely populated countries. There are 156 million people in an area that measures 144,000 square kilometers. For more agriculture and environment stories, go to our website: learningenglish.voanews.com.
I’m Marsha James.
三年前，一家名为Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha的非营利组织给这个村庄带来了水上小农场。这种农场长17米，宽近5米。它们是用回收的和当地的材料建造的。