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Every year Citi group foundation recognizes successful entrepreneurs from different categories. Anwara Begum, a successful beneficiary of POPI has been awarded "The Citi Microentrepreneurship Award-2011" in the best agricultural entrepreneurship category for her successful production and marketing of Mushroom that created example for many others.
There are countless successful stories of poultry farming, but there are equally many stories of affliction, as a result of diverse diseases and bird flu at the farms. Azizul Haque at Syedpurpur Technical College Para in Nilphamari, lost everything he invested in his poultry farm. He had no way out to move forward. Anwara Begum, his wife, then joined in to help him as the family income stopped so unexpectedly. She took a small amount of loan from POPI, Syedpur branch to start her new mission. Anwara says, "My husband lost everything he invested in poultry farm, because of bird flu. Without informing my husband, I took a loan of Taka 8,000 from POPI. I bought 300 Mushrooms. Then, I made some profit and bought another 500 Mushrooms. Then, I took a big amount of Loan from POPI".
Mushroom went a long way as a testy food item, leaving its country-old attribute of a 'toadstool'. This shed-friendly plant has shown many people, the tracks of success. However, Anwara and her husband Azizul were exceptional. They were more attracted to the four hundred food and two hundred medicinal qualities of Mushrooms. The couple started their farming since the beginning with the medicinal one, called, 'Gono-Mushroom'. Azizul went after in the Mushroom kingdom with his wife's support and with his own perseverance and concern. Azizul says, "Mushrooms have many qualities which are important for the human. At first, we struggled a lot to market the brand. Once people understood that can stay fit without extra medicines, then the demand of 'Gono-Mushroom' flourished. The people now demand it like anything". With production and processing of medicinal verities of Mushrooms, their days changed in a short time. They produce 100 to 150 bottles of 'Gono-mushrooms" daily. Per bottle wholesale price is around 100 to 150 Taka. They have a space of 500 sq. feet to make this farm even bigger. They have also bought some lands. Their farm is now the safe zone for the unemployed youth of the region. Ten to twelve labours are working here regularly. Many small initiatives were born in the region, following the footsteps of Anwara and Azizul.
POPI regards Anwara as the most unique entrepreneur. Anwara and her husband Azizul who tackled poverty, now, want to go a long way.