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Budgam farmer moves to sustainable vegetable farming, reaps success

Post by Syeda Rafiyah on Saturday, January 7, 2023

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Srinagar, Jan 06: It started in 2012, when Imtiyaz Ahmad Wani, a farmer started vegetable farming and after a decade he has become an award-winning progressive farmer and an inspiration for fellow farmers.
A resident of Paith Makhama, in Budgam district Wani said he was unemployed and wanted to do something to earn livelihood and turned his eight kanals of land into vegetable farming. He said earlier his family used the same land for maize farming.
The farmer grows different vegetables like radish, cucumber, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, peas, beans, chillies etc. Annually he earns Rs 4 lakh and involves all his family members in farming.
Imtiyaz took agriculture as a challenge and worked hard to grow vegetables and used greenhouses for making seedlings besides brought some new agricultural equipment.
“We have six greenhouses in which we grow vegetables round the year. Initially, we used to grow vegetables in summer season only but when we started greenhouses, which were given by the Floriculture Department, we were able to increase the produce,” he said.
The greenhouses developed by him have helped to grow vegetables round the year that was impossible earlier due to limited summer season.
He also uses agro shade net that provides adequate protection to the crops from a wide array of foreign elements such as pests, insects, rodents, etc.
The 37-year-old farmer sends the agriculture produce to Parimpora fruit mandi round the year. He has received training in floriculture and agriculture in Kashmir and outside J&K.
Imtiyaz has also taken a load carrier from the agriculture department which he got on 25 percent subsidy and uses it to transport the vegetables.
The farmer has got a keen interest in the agriculture-related activities and has developed good linkages with different public development departments.
He has also received two best farming awards in Budgam district in 2019 and 2021 with cash prize of Rs 10,000 each. The awards were given to him by the district administration
The farmer said vegetable farming has many benefits and said if one crop fails they can try for another crop. His farming has inspired many farmers who have also shown interest to grow vegetables.
“After a week we will sow collard greens seeds and flower that we sell in the market in March and April when there is shortage of fresh vegetables,” he said.
Imtiyaz said many people don’t use their land for cultivation or still prefer conventional ways.
However, the farmer said people should use the land wisely and unemployed youth can earn a profitable income from it and it could become source of employment for others as well.

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