Empowering Farmers for Sustainable Success

I was trying hard to find ways to increase my income, but all I knew was traditional farming.

Living in the Batala district of Punjab, Gurnoor has always been a small-scale paddy farmer. Hailing from an agricultural background, he has witnessed his father and grandfather toiling in the sun to make ends meet. Times have changed, and the bullock carts are replaced by tractor trolleys, but Gurnoor's challenges only grew.

“In the past, I tried my hand at growing fancy crops using more urea, but the lack of correct knowledge and adequate support only led to more losses. This always made me go back to my paddy farming with more financial burdens. If this was not enough, I also had to struggle in recent years with unpredictable weather conditions.”

Gurnoor's sole focus was to increase his yield, and for that, he used more fertilizers, pesticides, not to mention low-quality seeds in larger quantities, not sparing his already torn pocket.

“Somewhere I knew this was not the solution, but then I didn't know what else to do.”

If I had not attended the Harvesting Farmer Network (HFN) info session (Kisan Samridhi Programme), I would have never imagined that I could double my income just by farming.

The HFN representative advised me to grow another crop after paddy harvesting. They told me to switch from annual paddy crops to millets. Sensing my fear, they advised me to diversify on a smaller portion as a pilot. They also explained the reasons for my earlier failure and supported me with better quality input from their kisan centers. Before sowing, they advised me to conduct a soil test on my fields. The report made me aware that my field needs some micronutrients while it has some in excess. This was something new, as I had never done this before. 

I also took their free advice from time to time, and there was a regular visit from the HFN agronomist to monitor progress. Millets required very little water, and with better quality inputs in the correct quantity, my expenses didn't shoot up. In the next six months, I could see the difference in my crop quality and growth. Now, I have two crop varieties to sell at the Mandi. And guess what?

HFN representatives helped me with the logistics to the Mandi and also in finding a buyer.I have been doing this for over a year now. Earlier, where I could earn INR 80,000 annually after reducing all costs, now I can save nearly double of the same as my input cost, irrigation cost, labor cost, and logistics cost have all gone down, and with better quality inputs, my production has increased a bit too.I am happy. I now see a better and brighter future, thanks to HFN. I plan to add more crops with their advisory.

Gurnoor is not alone; many, like him, armed with the correct knowledge and support, have increased their revenue. These farmers exemplify how sustainable agricultural practices on small farms can be highly productive, resulting in increased harvests and reduced input costs due to limited fertilizer and pesticide needs.At HFN, our mission is to support farmers at every step, from seed to market, by providing good quality inputs, assisting with better supply chain models, and establishing stronger market linkages. This effort leads to an informed and empowered smallholder farmer, not only enhancing their livelihood but also contributing to the environment through regenerative agriculture and fostering local food sources.

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