A 34-year-old farmer, Manvir Singh, of village Teerha is leading the way for unemployed modern youth with his success in organic farming. Once an employee of private companies, had left the job three years ago and started working on his 3.5 acre piece of land. With the help of advanced technology and modern techniques of market, now he is earning Rupees 8 lakh annually.Manvir said that his father was growing turmeric from last 17 years but without proper marketing techniques, the income was low but when he started assisting his father in marketing, the results started pouring in which also increased their income from the same piece of land.He said that besides marketing techniques, they have also adopted several other allied businesses including bee keeping and vermiculture.We set up a small packing house and started packing turmeric powder, which is being sold at the base price of Rs 400 per kg. We are also selling 25 kg packings of vermi-compost at Rs 8 per kg”, said Manvir. He said that with the help of horticulture department, he and his father underwent formal training of turmeric cultivation from various states.Manvir said that besides the training sessions, they have also continued their individual research in this field and started cultivation of turmeric on soil beds with the help of drip irrigation system.
“The drip irrigation system helps to save plentiful water which got wasted due to traditional farm irrigation system. It also helps us to keep the weeds under control which also enhances production of crops”, he said.Manvir and his father also bought planter and boiler on subsidy which reduced the financial burden for him. With the help of his processing and packing plant, now Manvir has been reaching his customers directly without the involvement of any middleman.“Now, we have also got license under FSSAI and providing quality products to our customers even in foreign countries. We are also using media and other advanced platforms of communication to maximise our reach to remote customers”, Manvir said.He urged other farmers to curtail their input costs with the help of organic farming which is also the only way out to retain the fertility of soil.Meanwhile, Deputy Director Horticulture Karnail Singh and Horticulture Development Officer Tarlochan Singh said that Punjab government has been committed to uplift the financial standard of farmers with the help of advanced techniques of Horticulture. He added that various schemes were being initiated by their department for farmers which could boost the income of small and marginal farmers.