Banigund farmer reaps organic farming success


Banigund farmer reaps organic farming success

Message from Syeda Rafiyah on Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Srinagar, 03 October: Bashir Ahmad is an organic farmer from Bangund village in Pulwama who grows different types of vegetables and reaps success over the years.
He started growing different vegetables on fertile land spread over 40 land canals about seven years ago and earns his living from it.
In 2017, the government declared Bangund as the model village for producing vegetables without chemicals or pesticides with an effort towards organic farming in Kashmir. It was an opportunity for farmers to improve their livelihoods.
Over the years, the farmers in the village reap success with huge organic produce. There are 72 farmers in the village having a group of 400 land canals and the farmers grow different vegetables.
“Along with other farmers, I started producing vegetables in 2017 when the government encouraged us. Since then there has been more success,” he said.
On average, he produces 20 quintals of vegetables a day, which are sent to the vegetable market in Jammu. He grows organic vegetables like radish, cucumber, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, peas, beans, peppers, potatoes. Today, he is a renowned progressive farmer.
The 50-year-old farmer said using vermicompost has helped improve his produce. His vegetable farm has become a source of employment for four non-local workers.
Bashir earns a total income of Rs 30 lakh annually.
Many farmers and young people visit his farm to get a glimpse of his success and many have followed in his footsteps. His interest in agriculture and hard labor made him a progressive farmer.
Regarding organic farming, Bashir said that with low cost production, quality produce has the opportunity to fetch a good premium price and organic production is economically viable.
“In fact, my organic farming and its products have provided me with a viable income that encourages me to work harder. Farming is a great example of my financial security,” he said.
Pulwama agriculture director Iqbal Khan said the department gave farmers technical advice and seeds which helped them.
“We motivated marginal farmers and created their one group in one place. Now they practice organic farming and make a good income from their produce,” he said.
CAO said more and more farmers are joining the cluster and the initiative under the Agriculture Department’s Cluster Farming Program has been successful.
“Before, people grew paddy. Under this program, they received machinery, seeds, boreholes, etc. Now they grow 3-4 varieties of crops per season. Now their children are less interested in government jobs because they earn a good income,” he said. “Kashmir has marginal lands and if we join the farmers in clusters it will benefit the farmers,” he said.

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