iconimg Tuesday, September 01, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mansa, September 24, 2013
The Gujarat government had awarded R51,000 to a Mansa farmer for his efforts in imparting knowledge and training to farmers of that state during a conference held recently, which was attended by farmers from across the country.
Balbir Singh (51) was among six farmers from Mansa district. Like Balbir Singh, one progressive farmer from every district was awarded `51,000, while certificates were handed over to the others for participating in the conference from September 7 to 12.

Nearly, 4,000 farmers from 542 districts of 29 states and two Union Territories have congregated at two-day 'Vibrant Gujrat Global Agriculture Summit' in Gandhinagar.

Balbir Singh does organic farming on his 4 acres of land and sells his organic wheat for `3,500 per quintal, which is almost double than the MSP of wheat in Punjab. Besides, Balbir has also undertaken dairy farming with 25 cattle.

To his benefit, animal excreta and urine is sprayed in wheat fields, which add to the nitrogen content in the soil. "I had 5 acres of my own land and got 3 acres on lease. On 3.5 acres, organic wheat is produced, while on 2.5 acres, I produce wheat by normal procedure. On 1 acre, I grow fodder for my cattle and use the remaining land to grow sugarcane and maize crops besides vegetables," said Balbir.

"The bee farming is another source of income that every farmer can look up to. Now I am planning to switch a little bit to horticulture," added Balbir.

Mansa chief agriculture officer Paramjit Singh Dhutt said, "Balbir Singh's documentary regarding farming was sent to the Gujarat government, following which he along with other farmers was selected and taken to Gujarat. He is an example for others and has proved that farming is a beneficial occupation."