Ludhiana: Six progressive farmers honoured at Kisan Mela
The awardee farmers have showcased remarkable innovations, sustainable practices, and a commitment to diversifying the farming landscape in Punjab
Six progressive farmers were honoured during the concluding day of the Kisan Mela held at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on Friday.
CM Bhagwant Mann conferred the awards to these farmers for their outstanding contributions to agriculture and allied occupations. Agriculture minister Gurmeet Singh Khudian was also present on the occasion. Speaking at the function, the Punjab CM remarked, “Kheti (agriculture) has been aan, baan ate shaan (honour, pride and glory) of Punjab; and PAU and its Kisan Melas have been dear to Punjab farmers. Kisaani (farming) is very close to my heart. This University is not new for me, I have been coming to the melas with my uncle (tayaji), as an artist and now as CM.”
Elated to see the keen participation of the young farmers, carrying seed bags on their shoulders and holding booklets in their hands, in the mela Mann said “No doubt, our ancestors toiled very hard to make unproductive productive, but agriculture in the present times is undergoing a drastic change with the evolvement of new techniques ranging from sowing to spraying to harvesting. There is a need to update the agriculture.”
The awardee farmers have showcased remarkable innovations, sustainable practices, and a commitment to diversify the farming landscape in Punjab.
About the farmers
Paramjit Singh, a resident of Bukan Wekhey Nagar in Faridkot, was bestowed with the prestigious “Parvasi Bharti Award” for his groundbreaking achievements in crop diversification. Singh practices scientific farming on 35 acres of land, including 20 acres of his own and 15 acres on lease. Singh is dedicated to environmental conservation, employing techniques like direct-seeded rice and rainwater harvesting. Additionally, he has ventured into dairy farming and beekeeping, emphasising self-marketing as a key to his success.
Singh expressed, “Initially, marketing can be difficult for farmers practising traditional farming, but it becomes super beneficial once the trick is acquired. It can fetch double the income compared to rice and wheat. I sell my produce in Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, Srinagar, besides Punjab.”
Amrit Singh from Patiala received the “Sardar Ujjagar Singh Dhaliwal Memorial Award” in recognition of his outstanding contributions as a vegetable grower. With 25 years of experience in vegetable cultivation, Singh attributes his success to PAU’s Farm Advisory Service Centre in Patiala. Singh has also ventured into polyhouse cultivation and utilizes cocopeat and vermicompost for nursery raising of vegetables.
Narinder Singh Tiwana, a 50-year-old farmer from Ditupur in Patiala, was honoured with the “Sardar Dalip Singh Dhaliwal Memorial Award” for his commitment to environmental conservation. Tiwana has refrained from stubble burning since 2007 and employs organic methods of cultivation on his 3-acre farm. He follows PAU recommendations for sustainable agriculture practices and is actively engaged in kitchen gardening. Tiwana also runs an agri-business, producing jaggery, canola oil, and milk.
Tiwana said, “People are landing in hospitals after the consumption of fertiliser and pesticide-laden fruits, vegetables, and grains. Sustainable and organic food on the plate may be expensive, but in the long term, it offers promising health benefits.”
Sukhpal Singh, a small farmer from Mauje Khurd in Mansa, was awarded the “Sardar Surjit Singh Dhillon Award” for his excellence in horticulture. Despite limited gains in the traditional wheat-paddy cycle on his 2.5-acre farm, Singh diversified his cropping pattern. He raises healthy vegetable nurseries for productive cultivation, practices beekeeping with 50 bee boxes, and sells sugarcane juice. Singh’s crops include brinjal, okra, tomato, chili, pumpkin, and more in summers, and carrot, spinach, radish, and various other vegetables in winters.
Gurbir Kaur, a 48-year-old farmer from Jhandewala in Moga, received the “Sardarni Jagbir Kaur Memorial Award” for her contributions to agriculture and allied enterprises. Managing 25 acres of ancestral land and 10 acres on lease, Kaur has made a mark with her innovative approaches. She focuses on crop residue management and has received recognition for her smart seeder technology. Additionally, Kaur runs a successful dairy farming operation with 35 cows and buffaloes, expanding into milk production.
Kalah village in block Khandur Sahib, Tarn Taran, has earned the title of “Babu Singh Brar Best Chhappar Award” for its transformation. Under the leadership of sarpanch Gursimratpal Kaur, the village cleared and revitalised its
chhappar (pond), transforming it into a picturesque lake that now serves as the primary water source for the entire
community. The villagers, guided by scientists, initiated fish farming in the lake, diversifying their income
sources. Additionally, the surrounding area was beautified with trees and an open-air gym.