FAISALABAD: Not only big businesses, but also farming can become a source of handsome earnings if growers are qualified enough and opt for modern farming. This has been proved true by a farming family whose educated members are producing commodities with yields many times higher than what a traditional farmer hopes for.
Though the agricultural community is largely unaware of productive farming, this family in Mamu-Kanjan, a small town near Faisalabad, is getting 100% extra output for annual and seasonal crops and up to six times higher production of vegetables crops.
Mian Shaukat Ali, a graduate in agriculture studies, heads the family and is assisted by daughter Sara Shaukat and son Hassan Shaukat, who have degrees in advanced farming.
Discussing with The Express Tribune how he is distinct from other farmers, Shaukat Ali said traditional farmers produced 30 maunds (40 kg) of wheat from an acre of land, but he got 50 to 60 maunds with the right use of pesticides and fertilisers.
He follows different farming techniques that reduce expenses and increase profits through better yields. He is getting six times more output in vegetables and wants other farmers to be aware of modern methods.
“Farmers actually do not know the correct use of fertilisers and pesticides. Less but accurate use of fertilisers and pesticides increases productivity and income,” he said.
Ali believes that farmers do not care much about the timing for sowing and harvesting that stands as a major obstacle in their way. He puts losses on account of untimely sowing and harvesting at 30% of production, describing it as a great loss to the farmers.
His daughter Sara, who has graduated in Plant Breeding and Genetics from University of Agriculture Faisalabad, is providing valuable input and contributing to advancing the family’s wellbeing.
His son Hassan deals with financial matters to control overhead costs and purchase raw material and sell the produce. He is looking after 300 acres of land where modern methods are applied.
Shaukat Ali is also providing financial assistance for deserving students in their quest for higher education in farming. This year, he has borne expenses of seven students, who all belong to his native area. These students are studying in University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.
University of Agriculture’s Director Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics Professor Dr Asif Ali Khan told The Express Tribune Shaukat Ali’s farming methods were the best example in the modern era and he was reaping rich dividends.
The university sends its students to Ali’s farms for three months for training and gaining practical experience. University graduates also apply their knowledge to these farms that benefit Ali as well.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2013.
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