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Start small, invest little and work hard to succeed in farming says a progressive farmer from Samrala

Amit Bhatt
Amit Bhatt
Sukhjit Singh at his farm

Sukhjit Singh is a progressive farmer from Samrala in Ludhiana. He is well known locally for his agricultural activities and likes to experiment with farming. His brand name is "Waraich Farm" after his surname and at the moment he is working on production of potato minitubers through tissue culture. He also produces seeds and seedlings of marigold flower. He was recently interviewed by Mousmi Bhatt on FTB platform of Krishi Jagran.

He has been working with these products since last year, prior to which he was working with veggies. Vegetable farming is labour intensive, hence due to high costs he had to stop that work. He still produces some veggies but he mostly works on seeds for Agro companies. He so far has not faced any difficulty in selling his produce as most of it is bought locally.

Potato seeds and Marigold flowers

His potato seeds are G0 (generation zero) as prepared by scientists. As for marigold, Punjab Gainda No 1, seeds and seedlings is what he prepares. Hybrid seeds of corn variety PMH 10, developed by PAU are also available. 

He said marigold seedlings are ready in a month and they grow to become flower bearing plants in 2 months. So, he earns Rs 20 -200 from a plant. He sells his potato seedlings at Rs 8 per piece, which are not sold at mandis and bought from him directly by knowledgeable customers. 

Sukhjit Singh with crops ready to harvest

Training

He has not faced much difficulty in farming as before starting on a new product he trains himself. He regularly goes to Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Samrala for training on new products. He has attended multiple training sessions from PAU and ICAR-Central Potato Research Station (CPRS), Jalandhar. He said if you start anything before training you will face difficulties. He has 7-8 persons including women working for him, helping him in his farm. 

He recommends to his fellow farmers to do something original, and to keep working on as much of their farm land as they can. He believes that training is very important for success and must not be skipped. He said start small, work on small farms and once you have mastered the methods and techniques you can go large, work on huge farms.

Sukhjit Singh with his tractor

His plan for the future is to be able to supply marigold flowers all year round. As for potatoes he plans to provide the finest potato seeds, so that the buyers are also able to make a reasonable income.  He also grows pumpkins, 1 acre of land he has devoted to bitter gourd 2 acres to moong dal, with a new wheat variety.

As he already mentioned, his products are consumed locally. He receives a number of visitors from other state (Haryana, UP) interested in his methods. Farmers from almost every district of Punjab have come to see his farm. Why only yesterday he had some visitors.

Platforms and support

He is also interested in selling his products through online platforms. He is a member of Natural farming Association and is working with other farmers to get registered Samrala Kisan Society Kisan Cooperative, these are platforms from where they will be able to market their healthy and organic food products. He hoped to supply our quality products to the plates of food lovers.

He said it’s hard to confirm that the seeds are organic, but his other products are 100% organic. Wheat, vegetables, pulses and some basmati (basmati don't grow too well in Punjab) that he produces are all organic. 

He has a wife and a son, who is pursuing education and is not able to play any role in farming at the moment. His wife is not able to help in the farm but she prepares tea and breakfast for farm hands and looks out for unwanted company when there is no one out there. 

He said we have a bright future if we work honestly, you need to be patient in this business. In November he had planted Marigold over 2 kanal which he was regretting after some time thinking that he might suffer huge losses. Then Navaratri started and he earned double profit. He thus learnt that 2 kanal is a small area to grow the flowers in there will be no losses.

Inspirations and awards

He completed graduation of Arts in 1993 before which assisted his farmer on the farm. In 1993 he took over all the farming activities on his farm. Last year CPRS held 2 training sessions in Jalandhar and these were inspiring. There was a lot of thuggery in Punjab over potato seeds. Farmers bought poor seedlings and suffered huge losses. An engineer Dr. Sukhwinder Singh, told the farmers not be seekers of the potato seeds but be providers of these. We Sikhs must seek (learn) he told them, so he bought a net house of 125 square meters, and after its success he bought another.  

He has received a number of awards and recognition. For CRM (Crop Residue Management) his work was recognized by the Indian government. Bihar government recognized him for his work with wheat. He attended the international conference on CRM and gave a lecture. DWR (Directorate of Wheat Research) awarded him, PAU awarded him as the best farmer award for maize seed production. For CRM he has received many awards including awards from Pollution Control Board and Punjab Government. 

He has attended 40-50 training sessions in different topics and received certificates. Every training that the local KVK arranged he always attended, as every time he got something new to learn like beekeeping, fish farming, goat farming, pig farming, seed production for different crops, hybrid seeds production, vegetables seedlings and so on. Although he has learnt all these, he for now is working only on potatoes and flowers as you need low investment and earn big profits. He said never buy potato seeds but grow your own, start small and use self grown seeds, keep working on improving your seeds. Please click here to see the video

Sukhjit Singh

Sukhjit Singh

Ludhiana , Punjab

Waraich Farm

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