Pulwama farmer reaps rich dividends after switching to exotic vegetables

Farooq Ahmad Ganie, a middle-aged farmer, is busy working in his field in Tahab village of Pulwama district. He turned to new farming practices that dramatically increased his yields.

Growing exotic vegetables changed Ganie’s fortunes. He has been involved in growing exotic vegetables for the past two years.

“The returns were three times higher,” Ganie said with a sense of joy. He said that currently his income is three times higher than previously obtained with traditional farming methods.

The farmer said he aims to quadruple his annual income.

He added that until June this year, he was able to grow three vegetable crops in one year with his small house made of poor quality polythene.

“Now I will reap four crops in one year with the installation of a high-tech polycarbonate house,” he said, adding that a vegetable crop takes about three months to produce its produce.

“I can start sowing in January under controlled conditions inside the polythene house and by February the seedlings will be ready for planting in the open field,” he said, adding that previously , that was not possible and that farmers in Kashmir could grow a crop of vegetables in a year. except cabbage and carrot which can be grown five and three times respectively.

This progressive farmer grows about 21 exotic varieties of vegetables on his five channels, including broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, parsley, red paper and cucumber.

“I earn around Rs 15 lakh a year after deducting all expenses,” he said.

He started growing red pepper on a land canal to begin with.

The following year, he planted six exotic vegetables on another kanal of land which brought him a profit of 75,000 rupees.

Encouraged by high yields, he diversified and transformed his barren land of five canals into an exotic vegetable garden growing 21 different varieties.

The Pulwama farmer sells his produce locally and some of his best vegetables also find buyers overseas.

“One of my shipments was exported to Dubai last year by the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare under the ‘PARVAAZ’ scheme,” he said, adding that his consignment was one of six from different farmers in Kashmir.

He said that after processing by a second party, his vegetables are also exported to Germany and the United States.