Inheriting a farm is not essentially a liability as is the case with many debt-ridden farming families. Many progressive farmers who kept themselves afloat amid heavy odds by virtue of hard work, technology and successful marketing strategies, have their progenies adopting the hereditary profession.
Advocate Santvir is one such young farmer. Enthused by the success of his father Jatinder Singh Lally Bajwa, he has taken to horticulture in a big way. Apart from adopting fruit cultivation, he has ventured into floriculture and is reaping rich dividends.
"Youth often turn their back on farming as it does not assure fixed income. Weather and governments often play truant. Adequate incentives and up-to-date technical knowhow is a must to succeed in this business," says the 24-year-old farmer.
Santvir inherited business acumen from his father, who embraced diversification three decades back and developed fruit orchards in Mehlanwali village. Santvir was inclined towards floriculture, so he set up a poly house three years ago where he is cultivating gerbera. Gung-ho about the growing demand for the ornamental flowers, he now plans to grow roses and carnations.
"Poly house farming demands utmost care, but if there is proper rearing, one can grow a good crop," says Santvir. He keeps himself updated by interacting with horticulture experts, other progressive farmers and through the Internet. His new marketing strategies have yielded healthier profits from fruit farming too.
"To attract the younger generation to farming, the government must provide simplified and cheap loans. For poly houses, the government should give subsidies for re-plantation too as is done in the neighbouring Himachal Pradesh," he suggests.
Horticulture development officer Avtar Singh Othi said people having non-agriculture background were also evincing keen interest in greenhouse and poly house farming as huge subsidies were given under the National Horticulture Mission. "Many farmers doing outdoor farming have switched to greenhouse method in the recent past," he claims.