Muktsar farmer takes to strawberry cultivation, reaps sweet returns : The Tribune India

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Muktsar farmer takes to strawberry cultivation, reaps sweet returns

Muktsar farmer takes to strawberry cultivation, reaps sweet returns


Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 1

Strawberry cultivation is rapidly gaining attraction among farmers. They are venturing into diversification and trying to come out of the cycle of wheat-paddy. The success story of Jaskaran Singh, a farmer from Kauni village in Gidderbaha block of Muktsar district, who dared to venture into cultivating strawberries in the sub-tropical region, is turning heads and making strawberry cultivation an attractive option for crop diversification in the region.

First to receive subsidy on fruit

Jaskaran also played a pivotal role in advocating subsidies on strawberry cultivation in Punjab. He became the first farmer in the state to receive a subsidy on strawberry cultivation from the National Horticulture Mission. The subsidy that now stands between Rs 60,000 and Rs 65,000 per hectare encourages more and more farmers to explore strawberry cultivation as a viable and lucrative option.

Revenue of Rs 10-12 lakh per acre

The farm is equipped with state-of-the-art resource conservation technologies, including drip irrigation, fertigation, plastic mulching, and low tunnels. Jaskaran’s approach to cultivation has yielded impressive financial returns between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 12 lakh per acre. Strawberries from his farm are sold at Rs 150 to Rs 200 per kg in local market, attracting traders who rush to buy fruit.

Jaskaran also played a pivotal role in advocating subsidies on strawberry cultivation in Punjab. He became the first farmer in the state to receive a subsidy on strawberry cultivation from the National Horticulture Mission. The subsidy now stands at Rs 60-65 thousand per hectare, encouraging more farmers to explore strawberry cultivation as a viable and lucrative option.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of strawberry cultivation, Dr Satbir Singh Gosal, the Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, along with university officers and scientists of Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Muktsar, visited Jaskaran’s farm located in the Gidderbaha block of Sri Muktsar Sahib.

Observing the success of strawberry cultivation in Punjab, Dr Gosal emphasised that this unconventional crop could revolutionise the region’s agriculture. The substantial financial gains, combined with crop diversification, highlight the potential for agricultural prosperity. He pointed out Jaskaran Singh’s case as exemplary, noting his adoption of advanced technologies and collaboration with agricultural departments, showcasing the progressive nature of our farming community. This success not only enhances incomes but also promotes a shift towards sustainable and diversified agriculture, Dr Gosal added.

Jaskaran opted for cultivating strawberries, breaking the norm as it is traditionally considered a temperate fruit crop. Despite the challenges, he successfully grew strawberries on 1 acre of land using drip irrigation system in 2012-13. The lucrative returns prompted him to expand the cultivation area to 7 acres for strawberries, 2 acres for melons, 1 acre for watermelons, and 1.5 acres for other vegetables.

The farm is equipped with state-of-the-art resource conservation technologies, including drip irrigation, fertigation, plastic mulching, and low tunnels. Jaskaran’s meticulous approach to cultivation has yielded impressive financial returns, averaging Rs 10-12 lakh per acre. Strawberries from his farm are sold at Rs 150-200 per kg in the local market, attracting traders who eagerly rush to his field to procure the fruit.

In addition to his farming prowess, Jaskaran is well-versed in the packaging and marketing of strawberries. He maintains regular communication with the Department of Fruit Science at Punjab Agricultural University and the Punjab State Horticulture Department, seeking updates, providing feedback, and facilitating technology transfer.

The success of his strawberry cultivation has not gone unnoticed. Rural youths from Punjab and other states visit his farm to witness the innovative cultivation methods.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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