Moral Noor Mohammad

Ashoka Fellow
Bangladesh
Fellow Since 2001

Citation

This profile was prepared when Moral Noor Mohammad was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2001.
The New Idea
Moral is creating a role for coastal communities in the seafood export industry, one of Bangladesh’s major commercial sectors. His work is a step towards balancing the benefits of a lucrative industry with the human and environmental challenges it creates. While large scale shrimp farming generates wealth, its practices, especially the way it catches young shrimp, are an environmental disaster. Also disastrous have been the effects of large infrastructure programs, which have ended up destroying much coastal farmland. The result is that coastal farmers are sitting on land unsuitable for planting, surrounded by big, profitable businesses that are destroying the environment. They end up selling off their land at depressed prices and migrating to the city. By helping farmers convert their waterlogged land into small shrimp fry farms that supply the industry, he helps them keep their land, share the wealth, and reduce environmental degradation.

Moral is a master community organizer: he united small farmers in resisting outside businessmen, who had been using violence to seize local land. Working together, the farmers influenced local government to adopt a shrimp farming policy that protects local communities. Furthermore, Moral’s technical innovations, such as ways to shrimp fry mortality and low-priced fishmeal, are important solutions to be shared throughout South Asia.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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