Magazine article New Internationalist

Smashing Pumpkins

Magazine article New Internationalist

Smashing Pumpkins

Article excerpt

BANGLADESH

Since 2005, over 50,000 landless farmers in Bangladesh have transformed sandy, barren deserts into fruitful fields, combating climate change and poverty with pumpkins.

With Bangladesh situated on the Himalayan floodplains, natural vegetative growth stands little chance against the annual flash floods, leaving few prospects for local farmers. However, the idea of using the sandbanks and eroded land as pumpkin fields is solving many challenges.

First trialled in 2005, the Pumpkins Against Poverty project is led by local project managers and has produced 'more than 98,000 tonnes of food, eaten or sold by 16,000 of the poorest people in Bangladesh', according to charity Practical Action.

With an estimated 1,792 square kilometres of free-to-use, arable land available in the dry season each year, farmers have almost unrestricted access through a community-run system. …

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