Uttarakhand farmer gets Padma award for innovations in agriculture
Prem Chand Sharma, a 63-year-old farmer, has been awarded Padma Shri for his contribution to high yield fruit and vegetable production using organic methods without the use of chemicals in Uttarakhand’s remote Hatal-Sainj hilly village. Sharma said he is a school drop and has been interested in agriculture since his childhood. “I have been focusing to diversify farming in the state by growing high-quality fruits, vegetables, and grains in a completely organic way.”
Sharma created a nursery to produce saplings of high yielding pomegranates in 2000 and distributed them among 350 farmers in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.
“My work helped farmers of my village to move to the production of fruits and vegetables. In 2013, I formed the Fruits and Vegetables Production Committee by gathering about 200 farmer families,” said Sharma. “After seeing the good earning from fruits and vegetable farming, many youths of the village have also joined farming.”
Sharma said he would continue working for the development of clean farming. “I want to make our air and food pure as these are the two important things needed to survive.” He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the award. “It will help draw the attention of people towards the importance of agriculture in the country.”
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