Kisan melas turns a farmer into an entrepreneur: The Tribune India
Tribune press service
Ludhiana, September 28
It might sound strange, but the excitement and eagerness to go to fairs helped him establish his own business.
Most of the state fairs are related to entertainment or religious beliefs, but the fairs organized by the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) not only entertain but also disseminate information on new agricultural techniques, improved seeds and inform farmers of ongoing research activities.
Manjit Singh is one of those farmers who were inspired after his visits to PAU agricultural fairs and his life changed forever afterwards. Drawing inspiration from the stalls of kisan melas, Manjit is now a successful entrepreneur and owns a nursery.
“I have always had an attraction for fairs since my childhood. My family’s main occupation was farming and I still remember it was in 1998 when I first visited a kisan mela. Our elders cultivated traditional crops that he opposed. Stalls and exhibits at agricultural fairs have always inspired him to do something new. Seeing other people exhibiting their works at fair stalls, I set myself the goal of being one of the leading agribusinesses in the years to come, ”said Manjit.
After extensive discussions with scientists and other farmers at agricultural fairs, he decided to set up a nursery in 2012-13. Initially, he started cultivating a pepper nursery on 0.5 marla in 2012-13. His only intention at the time was to learn. Later, he expanded his area under the nursery to 1000 m² and with the help of scientists from PAU, he realized his dream of setting up his stall at the agricultural fair in 2018.
He made a handsome profit of Rs 1 lakh on an area of 1000 m² just from his nursery business on his first attempt. He began to use his savings to further develop his farm. The KVK, Mansa, provided him with a vermicompost unit to promote organic farming and reduce cultivation costs.
“I also installed a pedestrian tunnel on my farm where I cultivate tomato, pepper and pumpkin nurseries in a pro-tray nursery and mastered the art. My income has increased to Rs 80,000 with the adoption of this technology. Besides increasing the area under the vegetable nursery, I also cultivate the paddy and kharif onion nursery, besides expanding the area under the Rabi onion as a seed crop, ”Manjit said.
Inspired by his success in nursery breeding, four young farmers from his village embarked on market gardening and nursery farming, thus contributing to diversification.
“The peasant fairs brought me laurels. I wish the Covid-19 situation will improve quickly so that farmers can enjoy agricultural fairs as in the past. Agricultural fairs are not only educational but also entertaining and we tend to enjoy delicacies from all states, ”he said.
Inspires young farmers in his village
Inspired by the success of farmer Manjit Singh in nursery breeding, four young farmers from his village embarked on market gardening and nursery cultivation, thus contributing to diversification.