Rajouri, June 28: An aged farmer in Rajouri's Deriyan village has established an integrated farming unit in his native village by mixing both traditional and advanced agriculture means.
Mohammad Rashid is 65-years old, a resident of Deriyan panchayat of Doongi block, near the Line of Control in Keri sector of Rajouri.
Rashid, whose both sons are government employees, is a farmer by profession and is earning his livelihood from agriculture only.
"I have been a farmer since childhood and earlier used to follow traditional means only, but four years ago we were taken to a farmer exposure tour in an agriculture institute at Almora in Uttrakhand where I learnt many advanced practices." Mohammad Rashid said in an interaction with the Greater Kashmir.
"For the last four years, I am following both traditional as well as advanced practices of agriculture by mixing both and I am fortunate that this experiment succeeded and my agriculture income and crop productivity has doubled,” he further said.
Sharing details of his new practices, Rashid said that earlier he used to sow only cereal in his fields and vegetables in other field but after training, I came to know about many new methods of agriculture which I am now using in my fields.
"In my cereal field, I have sown maize which is a traditional method but have simultaneously planted fruit plants in rows in the middle in such a manner that movement of the tractor does not affect these fruit plants."
"Earlier I used to follow stray plantation of cereals in fields but now I am following row plantation that too in mixed pattern with one row in fields is of maize plants, other row is of vegetable and third one is again of maize crop,” Mohammad Rashid further said.
Besides sowing traditionally growing crops in his fields, Mohammad Rashid has also sown high cost cash crop of Strawberry in his field this year and it is for the first time that Strawberry crop has been grown in fields.
On banks and sides of his crop fields, Rashid showed different varieties of green grass that has been grown in patches and will upgrade the fodder supply for domestic animals.
"Every new practice followed by me in fields has succeeded and my crop productivity has doubled, I expect that this will increase further after my fruit plants in maize fields yield fruits after three to four years,” Mohammad Rashid said, appealing to people to follow such practices in their fields.
Terming Mohammad Rashid as a progressive farmer, Dr. Vikas Sharma, Head and Senior Scientist at Regional Agriculture Research Station (RARS) said that he has set an example and is winning appreciation on national level.
"He has set up a complete package of integrated farming unit in his village where one can see mixed cropping practice, row plantation, special grass plantation on banks and plantation of different varieties of vegetables in same field that include Brinjal, Lady Finger, Beans, Tomato, Bitter Gourd and Peas,” Dr. Vikas said.