Abdul Wahed Mahfuz
An agricultural entrepreneur
Bangladeshi-origin American Abdul Wahed Mahfuz is one of them who have contributed to the economy of agriculture in Florida, one of the important states of the United States. He is widely familiar as ‘Mahfuz’. He comes from an aristocratic and educated family of Barkal upazial of Chattogram district and has been residing in America for over 40 years. Though Abdul Mahfuz and his family are regarded as hundred percent American but he didn’t forget his roots. Rather, he is working as an architect of a piece of Bangladesh in Florida because two farms established by him in Florida surrounding about 300 bigha land are shivering in the wind. There are cultivated various kinds of crops including gourd, bean, ladies finger, red spinach, pumpkin, potato, cabbage, chili pepper, maize etc. There is also a variety of local fishes in his pond surrounding 25 acre land.
The name of Abdul Mahfuz’s father is Late Abdul Hai and mother Anowara Begum. They both were social workers and spreader of education. Besides providing higher education, they inspired their children to go developed countries. By dint of their inspiration, the elder brother of Abdul Mahfuz went to America and started living there permanently from the Pakistan period. He is the first Bangladeshi who has started doing business in Florida. He isn’t only considered as an established entrepreneur among Bangladesh but also he is well-known in Florida as one of the best business personality.
Even after becoming a well-established businessman and entrepreneur, he feels something missing in his mind. He feels the need to do more. With a view to fulfilling his emptiness, he bought 42 acre land including a lake in Florida. He took various kinds of seeds including gourd, tomato, bean, chili, snake gourd etc from Bangladesh. Apart from he also planted two hundred various kind local fruits plants including mango, jackfruit, bell apple and coconut etc. The look of his farm is very charming and beautiful. Besides his friends, many people go there to see the green and lovely environment of his farm.
Abdul Mahfuz, a luminary and successful agriculture entrepreneur, says that there is held a Chinese fair where different kind of fruits and vegetables are displayed. When he consulted with his wife about cultivating fruits and vegetables, his wife encouraged him a lot. The dream which he nurtured in his mind, it has got the ladder to make true today. Then, he started cultivating Bangladeshi fruits and vegetables in Florida. In fact, he took this initiative from hobby but now he is getting profit from this farm even after distributing crops among his relatives and friends. His two projects have been established surrounding with 42 and 37 acres of land respectively.
Abdul Mahfuz put great attention to this agricultural farm like his business and it is supervised by him. There are working 22 people in his farm.
His wife, Nazmun Parvin is a female entrepreneur. She introduced the first Bangla television in Florida in 1994. She helps him in business and farm. The couple is blessed with a daughter Taslim Mahfuz and a son Tanjim Mahfuz. Both of their children received higher education. His (Abdul Mahfuz) brother’s elder daughter is also a physician. His daughter Taslim Mahfuz is a media personality who is working as News Caster at Washington News. His son gets himself engaged with creative activities besides his father’s business.
Abdul Mahfuz didn’t forget Bangladesh even after getting huge success in America. Whenever he gets time, he comes to his motherland. He established Barkal Abdul Hai Anowara Begum Girls’ High School at his own Barkal area naming after his parents names about 20 years ago. Through this school, the lagged-behind girls have got opportunity to receive higher education. The school is fully funded by Abdul Mahfuz. He is now taking steps to establish a polytechnic institute. He believes that the young generation needs to provide technical education so that they can be protected from unemployment curse.
About the agricultural farm, Abdul Mahfuz says, “He distributes produced fruits-vegetables among the devotees of mosques particularly he gets satisfaction doing this during the month of Ramadan. An annual sports competition is organized at Barkal Abdul Hai Anowara Begum Girls’ High School every year, where ministers and luminaries of the country take part. According to Abdul Mahfuz and his wife, Bangladeshi community in the USA has brightened the image of Bangladesh through good initiatives and works.