An award-winning Bandipora farmer turned successful nursery

An award-winning Bandipora farmer turned successful nursery

A post from a distinguished woman on Thursday, September 14, 2023

Srinagar, September 13: Azad Hussain Bhat, an award-winning farmer from Watpora area of ​​Bandipora in North Kashmir, has turned his land into a profitable nursery for growing vegetable seedlings.
The well-known farmer has been associated with growing seedlings of different plants for the past 25 years and has become an inspiration to farmers for this unique farming method and his hard work in agriculture has made him a progressive farmer.
Bhatt, who learned agriculture from his father, is earning a good income after converting his small farmland near his home into a nursery to grow saplings.
“I have been associated with vegetable nursery farming and I grow vegetable seedlings of different vegetables like onions, chillies, cucumbers, cauliflower, tomatoes, etc. It is a profitable sector and just needs hard work and commitment,” he said.
Bhatt said that he chose to grow vegetables, learned modern methods and techniques and incorporated them in the nursery and has achieved fruitful results.
“Earlier, I used to sell seedlings of vegetable plants including onions on the roadside in Bandipora, and after years of hard work I moved to my farmland,” he said.
The availability of quality planting material is very essential for successful commercial vegetable farming and farmers generally set up mini nurseries in their backyards only for personal use, said the enthusiastic farmer.
After years of hard work, the farmer said that the Ministry of Agriculture and KVK in the region recognized his nursery, which encouraged him even more.
“High-quality seeds are the staple of agriculture and also require fertile land. Farmers must also have knowledge of new interventions and technological needs,” he said.
Notably, in 2004, he received the first award as Progressive Farmer Award from the Government of Jammu and Kashmir. This was followed by a national award given to him by SKUAST-J. He also received more than 10 awards that strengthened his interest in nursery farming.
Bhat said he received a lot of help and encouragement from the Kashmir Agriculture Department and was field trained in advanced nursery management techniques like soil solarization, grafting, sowing, fertilization, raised beds, pest and disease management activities, etc.
He said: “I worked hard, and I also receive help from my family members, including my son and wife. We do not hire workers and do everything on our own.”
Bhatt also visited Punjab Agricultural University for 15 days as part of the orientation tour and learned many new methods of nursery management and seed sowing.
The 50-year-old progressive farmer also grows onion seedlings which she sells in October and has been promoting the same to people and farmers over the years.
Many farmers visit her farm to catch a glimpse of her success and many have followed in her footsteps. Regarding agriculture, he said that low-cost production and high-quality products have the opportunity to command a good premium price and are economically viable.
“There is no doubt that farming and production have provided me with a good income which encourages me to work harder. It is an excellent example of financial security.”

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