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Cop28: Women turn to community to weather climate crisis and inflation in Bangladesh

Gulshanara, 45, is a grandmother and farmers’ leader, who sells produce at a women-led market  (Fabeha Monir)
Gulshanara, 45, is a grandmother and farmers’ leader, who sells produce at a women-led market (Fabeha Monir)

Bangladesh is among the 10 most climate-vulnerable countries in the world, and unless the global community steps up at Cop28 to fund loss and damage for countries like it, it will continue to suffer as the weather worsens.

With over 185 adverse weather events in the past 20 years, people in Bangladesh are facing substantial loss and damage from the climate crisis.

The cost of living crisis is disproportionately affecting its marginalised communities – including farmers in rural regions who are heavily impacted by the climate crisis. 

Rozina, 33, is a farmer and chair of Shobuj Nari Krishok Dol, a women farmers’ group in Ghoraghat (ActionAid)
Rozina, 33, is a farmer and chair of Shobuj Nari Krishok Dol, a women farmers’ group in Ghoraghat (ActionAid)
Rozina has been able to shield her family from the inflated prices of products on the market by producing her own seeds, growing vegetables using a self-made organic fertiliser and selling her produce (ActionAid)
Rozina has been able to shield her family from the inflated prices of products on the market by producing her own seeds, growing vegetables using a self-made organic fertiliser and selling her produce (ActionAid)

A community seed bank run by a women farmers’ group in Ghoraghat, Bangladesh, is helping shield its members from the rising cost of living.

The seed bank runs on a loan-and-return basis, which means that, rather than buy non-local, hybrid seeds from the market, the women have access to local heirloom seeds which are far more climate resilient and also produce tastier vegetables.

Bulbuli, 38, is a farmer, activist and president of Shobuj Nari Krishok Dol (Fabir Monir)
Bulbuli, 38, is a farmer, activist and president of Shobuj Nari Krishok Dol (Fabir Monir)
Bulbuli set up the farmers’ group in 2012 with the support of ActionAid (Fabir Monir)
Bulbuli set up the farmers’ group in 2012 with the support of ActionAid (Fabir Monir)

It’s helping women like Rozina – the 33-year-old chair of the women farmers’ group – grow enough food to feed their families, insulating them from hugely inflated prices at the market.

ActionAid has supported both the seed bank and women-led market and is running a campaign called Seeds of Change which supports women farmers to shift power and grow a better future.

Gulshanara and husband Noab, who built their own farmhouse in Ghoraghat (Fabeha Monir)
Gulshanara and husband Noab, who built their own farmhouse in Ghoraghat (Fabeha Monir)
Gulshanara and Noab cultivate over 17 varieties of vegetables and spices throughout the year, while raising cattle, goats, poultry, fish and more (Fabeha Monir)
Gulshanara and Noab cultivate over 17 varieties of vegetables and spices throughout the year, while raising cattle, goats, poultry, fish and more (Fabeha Monir)

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