Tanwi Golder, owner of Jhorbhanga Vermicompost
Jhorbhanga Vermicompost

I was only 22 years old when I began my compost plant, which yields quality compost that improves the health & production of crops. After completing my diploma in agriculture, I wanted to apply my knowledge rather than sitting idle. With support and motivation from the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Agricultural Extension in our Khulna region, I decided to start manufacturing vermicompost.

The primary component of vermicompost is different kinds of worms – people carried a negative outlook on such a business. I had to endure rebukes and mockeries of all sorts. At times it even affected my self-confidence. But my immediate family, especially my father, was my biggest supporter. He continuously inspired me to keep going without paying attention to what the critics said. With the belief in my heart that one day I’d see a positive result, I kept working with complete determination and dedication.

Usage of vermicompost was not in practice by the farmers in my region back in 2017. Initially, it was a challenge for me to gain people’s trust in this new product. So, first, I started using this compost in my own paddy field. After a few months, people could notice a radical change in the health of the paddy growing in my field. Soon afterward, nearby farmers were curious to learn more about what I had been using in the soil. And that’s how I persuaded the farmers to use this product. This marked the beginning of my business.

Currently, I maintain a network of 150 female vermicompost suppliers. All my products are sold directly to farmers and in local shops. Once my customers started observing good results from the usage of this vermicompost, my business expanded quickly. I also have a Facebook page through which I generate almost 20% of my sales. Sometimes people reach out to me through Facebook to buy products from me. I use the platform to find better raw materials for my vermicompost production at the best rates as well.  Besides, I am getting access to customers nationwide through Facebook.

Criticisms played a crucial role to shape me to be more determined and courageous to keep fighting against the odds. While attending LightCastle Partners’ accelerator program, I understood the true meaning of conducting a business. I realized the importance of maintaining books, packaging. As a result, my profitability was positively impacted.

Only a few years back, I was rebuked for my business choices. Today, I am happy to say that I am the recipient of the Annual Joyeeta Award 2020 – a government initiative recognizing outstanding entrepreneurial initiatives.

My next aim is to create a brand for my vermicompost and for that I need an investment of 70,000 takas. The brand will give me the identity and sense of liberation to soar higher. May my dreams come true.

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