INTERNATIONAL DESK: In recent years, Kashmir has been witnessing a growing community of farmers who are revolutionizing the way agriculture is practised in the region.
These farmers, who are often referred to as trendsetters, have been successful in adopting innovative practices that have helped them increase yields and improve the quality of their produce.
According to a report, their success has not only brought them financial benefits but has also inspired many others in the region to follow suit.
A farmer in the Kashmir valley has exponentially increased his income by making a strategic shift from growing apples to cultivating vegetables and crops.
“The move has not only increased his revenue, but it has also opened up new avenues for his family and has inspired many others in the region,” the report said.
The farmer, Farooq Ahmad Ganie, from the Pulwama district of South Kashmir, had been growing apples for years, just like most other farmers in the valley.
However, the market for apples had become saturated and the returns were no longer sufficient. Farooq knew that he needed to make a change to secure a better future for his family.
He consulted the local agriculture department, where he learned about the potential of growing vegetables and crops. With the help of the department, he made the transition from growing apples to cultivating exotic vegetables.
“The results were almost immediate. Within two years, Farooq’s income had risen to Rs 8 lakh annually,” the report said.
He now grows a variety of vegetables, including onion, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkin and potatoes, and has also started growing exotic crops such as broccoli, purple broccoli, asparagus, baby corn, cherry tomato, thyme, red cabbage, coloured capsicum, parsley, celery, Kale, and lettuce.
One of the key features of these trend-setter farmers is their ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
Kashmir is known for its unpredictable weather, and these farmers have learned to use this to their advantage.
They have introduced new farming techniques that take into account the changing weather patterns and help them produce crops that are better suited to the local conditions.
Farooq’s success has inspired many other farmers in the region to follow suit. They have started attending training programs and seeking advice from the agriculture department on how to make the transition to growing vegetables and crops.
“Starting a business in agriculture can be a good way for young people to create jobs and make a positive impact in their communities. With the growing demand for organic and exotic produce, there is an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to carve out a niche in the market and create a sustainable business model,” the report quoted Farooq as saying.
“In addition to creating jobs, agriculture can also be a rewarding career choice for those who are passionate about sustainable food production and environmental stewardship. By encouraging young people to become job providers in agriculture, we can help to build a more resilient and sustainable food system for the future,” he added.
The report further said that Farooq’s farm has become a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, who come to see the exotic crops and sample the delicious produce. His farm-to-table approach ensures that the produce is always fresh and of the highest quality.
“The shift from growing apples to cultivating vegetables and crops has also had a positive impact on the environment. The cultivation of vegetables and crops requires less water and pesticides than the cultivation of apples. This has reduced the overall environmental impact of farming in the region,” Farooq said.
Farooq’s success story has gained recognition from various government departments and agricultural experts.
He has been invited to share his experience and knowledge with other farmers in the region and has become a role model for many.
While talking to ANI, Farooq expressed his happiness at the success of his new venture. “I am grateful for the support I have received from the local agriculture department and hope that more farmers in the region will make the transition to growing vegetables and crops,” he said.
The success of Farooq Ahmad is proof that with the right training and support, farmers can make a significant impact on their own lives and the lives of others in their community.
It is important for governments and agricultural experts to continue supporting farmers in their efforts to create a sustainable future for themselves and their families. (ANI)