Hoshiarpur: For the farmers stuck in debt trap, Gurcharan Singh, a farmer of Bohan village, can be an inspiration who has scripted a success story in carrot cultivation. His is the first crop that arrives in the state market on the onset of the carrot season. With sheer hard work and scientific approach, he is reaping rich dividends.
Instead of looking for an alternate profession when he was young, the 40-year-old decided to carry forward his family’s agriculture business. He ventured in to crop diversification as far back as early nineties and brought major part of his land under vegetables. He grows three crops in rotation-wheat, potato and carrot but the thrust is on the root vegetable. At present he is growing carrots in 90 acres of land in Bohan, Bassi Kikran, Nara, Jatpur and Bassi Daud Khan villages. He has taken land on lease also to raise carrot crop.
“Right from the beginning, I have been getting good price for carrots. My family has been producing own germination since many years”, he claims and hopes that one day they might launch their brand of seeds.
Gurcharan starts early sowing of carrot in the last week of August and by November beginning, the crop is ready. “Mine is the first crop to arrive, not only in Punjab but in other parts of the country also. The early crop brings good remuneration”, he claims. “The produce depends on the climate. Production per acre ranges from 50 to 200 quintals”, he adds.
The progressive farmer adopts modern techniques to pluck, wash and package the crop. “If a farmer wants to get good market price, he will have to evolve and follow modern practices’, he maintains.
Gurcharan markets his produce in various districts of Punjab. “I prefer to sell carrots outside Hoshiarpur as the local market is monopolized by traders who do not give much profit to the grower. One of the reasons why the farmers do not go for diversified crops is the presence of middlemen. The end user gets vegetables and fruits at high rates but the profit does not go to the producer”, he laments.
He claims to harvest profit up to Rs one lakh per acre from carrot cultivation. He has never grown paddy in his fields as considers the traditional crop a bane for water resources.