Srinagar: Haseena Begum, of Hyhana Village Kupwara, has become a role model in organic farming for aspiring women entrepreneurs of Kupwara with her success as an empowered agripreneur.
Haseena Begum, wife of Muhammad Shafi, was earlier running a small hotel on a rented building in village Hyhama and living a hard life.
After being encouraged and motivated by the officials of the agriculture department to start organic farming, Haseena embarked on this new venture with all her devotion and vigour which ultimately transformed her life. She says after being introduced to the concept of organic farming, she started vegetable cultivation to cater to the daily requirements of her hotel. She had very poor financial health and had to borrow Rs18000 for purchasing seeds for the vegetable farm.
She also sought guidance from Agriculture Department to maintain the farm under constant supervision. And, in the first year, only she produced 18 quintals of vegetables including Squash, Beans, Cabbage, Tomatoes and Garlic which she sold for Rs 1 lakh.
Haseena Begum is now happy with her vegetable farming venture and has saved enough to even own the hotel building. She has now emerged as a role model for other women in the village and is leading a self-help group of 25 women engaged in organic farming in Hyhama. An official of the agriculture department says that the area under organic farming of vegetables has grown from 15 ha to 85 ha spread across 5 villages with the enthusiastic participation of farmers.
Notably, Hatmulla-Deedikoot has been certified as Model Organic Village by PGS India in December 2019. The development opened the doors of these progressive women to national markets and helped them to fetch better prices for their produce.
Organic farming has been gaining currency all over the world as it is considered vital to the concept of sustainable development.
Agriculture Department in Kupwara has introduced organic farming of vegetables initially on 15 hectares of land after launching extensive IEC campaigns to convince the Farmers to limit the use of synthetic inputs and instead use organic fertilizers, crop residues, organic farm waste and Animal manure.
The department is providing additional support to farmers through Vermi-Compost units for the production of organic fertilizers and marketing of the product through refrigerated vans.