Morsalina Akhtar, Rangpur
Building an Ideal Cattle Farm

I never actually thought that I would get into any kind of business. But life is all about learning and engaging with new experiences. That’s how my journey as an entrepreneur started when I least expected it. In 2018, I started contributing to my mother-in-law’s cattle business. Although she used to take care of it before me, she was not able to continue further. So, the responsibility fell on my shoulders.

My goal was to expand the farm with cattle and add extra inputs to it. However, I lacked business acumen and that’s what brought me to get involved with RDRS. The training sessions really did wonders for me. As I already had a little experience watching my mother at work, the training helped me to do everything more efficiently. Also, I devoted a lot of time to studying and researching my business. I knew there was no room for me to be lenient with myself. That’s why I pushed hard to achieve my dreams.

Before this business, I managed a poultry farm too. That farm also helped me in my growth. The only sad part about my journey was that my husband was out of my reach. Because of his job, he had to stay in Dubai which obviously is a tough thing for me to handle every now and then. Still, I had to motivate myself. I continued to thrive with my cattle & poultry business for the next two years. However, Covid-19 was something that brought misfortune on too many levels to my life.

In 2020, my husband lost his job because of the pandemic. He came home and started working with me to manage the business. But the lockdowns did not let us sell any chickens. Moreover, the livestock was also being affected as we were not getting any opportunity to sell the products. The costs were overwhelming us and we couldn’t fathom that the situation would continue for months. We needed some capital or else the business would have to be closed. So, we sold cattle so that we could get some cash on our hands. We also managed to sell some chickens.

What we could not anticipate was the passing of my husband’s mother. We were devastated and could not understand what was happening. This shocking incident came at a time when it was getting more challenging to continue the business. However, we could not let go of the business. We took a loan and started the business again. After some time, we cleared the loan successfully.

After getting involved with LightCastle Partners and Oxfam, I understood more about recovering  from the Covid-19 losses. Moreover, we are delighted to get an investment from them so that our business can grow. I really want to continue the legacy. My husband also plans to diversify the business by cultivating corn, kernel, and so on. For that, an investment of BDT 4 Lac will be needed. But for now, we just want to stabilize our business.