Dr. Hosne-Ara Begum has dedicated her life to improving the plight of vulnerable and disadvantaged women in Bangladesh. Her mission is to ease the suffering of women from deprivation, violence, and social neglect. That is why she founded Thengamara Mohila Sobuj Sangha (TMSS), a women-centered organization in Bogra, northwestern Bangladesh. And that is also why her organization is a proud promoter of biofortified zinc rice.

In 2014, TMSS partnered with HarvestPlus to scale up the adoption of this more nutritious variety of the country’s most popular staple crop. To date, that partnership has reached 18,000 farmers with the variety, thanks to the tireless efforts of TMSS and the strong zinc rice extension program.

Dr. Hosne-Ara is a great ambassador of zinc rice. She takes every opportunity to highlight the health benefit of the variety and encourage its consumption.

“For many years I have been suffering from many complicated health problems, but I feel much healthier now after I started to eat zinc rice on a regular basis,” she told a recent workshop with value chain actors in Bogra. “I make sure that I have a regular supply of this nutritious rice in my house and also encourage all my staff and their families to start consuming zinc rice.”

Kudos to Dr. Hosne-Ara Begum for championing the cause of disadvantaged women and improved nutrition in Bangladesh.

*Photo:  Dr. Hosne-Ara Begum (2nd-R) distributing bags of zinc rice seed at a ceremony in BograCredit:  S.Khan/HarvestPlus

**The author is a Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist with HarvestPlus-Bangladesh