Shri Gurdit Singh (68 years), resident of village Rasidpur, Ropar has less than 4.7 acres of land. He has studied only upto 10th standard but his keenness to learn and innovate coupled with his hard work has enabled him to set new landmarks in production of vegetables and fruits. “I stayed in Arab countries for more than 15 years before returning to India in the year 1999. I thought to do something in my own country”, said Shri Gurdit Singh. He bought around five acres of land which was completely under forest. With his sheer hard work he converted it into completely fertile land.
In the year 2000, he came across certain new innovative methods of agriculture published in Changi Kheti magazine of Punjab Agricultural University. This made him think for doing something innovative rather than growing wheat and paddy. Over the period of time, he took more than 20 trainings organized by Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Ropar, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and other agricultural departments.
First of all, Shri Singh established Kinnow orchard in an area of 1.0 acre and mango (Dushehri) orchard on 0.5 acre using propagation of mango through side-grafting technique. While these orchards started giving him decent profits, he set up net house in one kanal of his land and started growing multiple crops since the year 2008. Now, he grows multiple crops including capsicum, coriander and cucumber in the net house. He said that from three crops in net house last year, he earned net profit of Rs. 1 lakh. This was possible only because he sold his fruits and vegetables door to door in city after properly grading and packaging them. This gives him better price from 30 to 50 percent than wholesale market. Recently, he sold cherry tomatoes, a new variety of tomatoes used for salad, at price of Rs. 100 per kg to customers in the city. He would soon be expanding net house in other part of his land after getting subsidy from the concerned department.
Shri Singh is also growing chilli, bitter guard, cauliflower, baby corn, brinjal and garlic. He has made his mark by selling nursery plants of chilli (CH-1), brinjal (BH-2), capsicum (Bharat), onion (Punjab Naroya/N-53) and tomato (Punjab varkha bahaar-1). “I use minimum chemicals fertilizers in my field and most of products are organic,” he said. Recently he had also modified packaging machine on which even a single person could do packaging work.
Shri Gurdit Singh is taking atractive profits from small piece of land. He said that most farmers are in crisis as they entirely depend on labourers and they themselves wish to do minimum. He is also going to form an agriculture society to motivate other farmers in the village to do agriculture with latest technologies. Shri Singh was honoured by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Kisan Club and other district level organizations.
(Source: NAIP Mass Media Project, DKMA, with inputs from consortium partner CIPHET, Ludhiana)