For the local women in her neighborhood, Munnujan Begum is an inspiration.
For many years she scraped by as a plant nursery laborer to support her retired husband, a son with physical and mental disabilities, and two grandchildren. Then, an opportunity for the 65-year-old to start her own business opened new avenues for the grandmother to provide for her family.
With support from the Feed the Future Insect-Resistant Eggplant Partnership, she launched her own plant nursery company. IREP provided rapid support to acquire polynet housing, seed distribution, funding to start and sustain her business, and training to make it a success.
“I worked really hard as a plant nursery laborer for many years, taking care of my family. But then, an amazing chance came along for me to start my own business. It changed everything and allowed me to support my family in ways I never imagined before, ” Munnujan says.
After learning about Bt brinjal she began growing seedlings and selling them to farmers and distributors. Bt brinjal’s insect-resistance, larger size, and higher profitability make the varieties in high demand, she says.