Agri-Wisdom | Progressive UP farmer urges Kashmiri counterparts to focus on diversification

Barabanki, Jan 7: A visionary farmer from Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh, Ramsharan Verma who has redefined the agricultural landscape shared one-word advice for the Kashmiri farmers to “diversify.”

During his interaction with a group of journalists from Kashmir, he underscored the importance of diversification and the cultivation of cold-season crops. He advised Kashmiri farmers to consider diversifying their crops, suggesting that the same land could be utilized for various crops based on weather patterns and climatic conditions.

“Diversification is the best strategy to maximize profits for farmers,” he said.

Born in 1968, Verma has not only transformed his own modest three acres of land into a thriving 300-acre expanse but has also become a beacon of inspiration for farmers across Uttar Pradesh.

Verma’s innovative techniques and dedication to diversification have earned him accolades, most notably the prestigious Padma Shri award in 2019 which was awarded to him by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Verma’s journey began with a small plot of land, but his ambition was vast. The high school dropout inherited 6 acres of farmland from his father, and it became the canvas for his agricultural revolution.

“I have studied up to only class 6th and then became a school dropout. I was never constrained by conventional norms and I ventured beyond traditional crops like wheat, rice, sugarcane, and mustard,” he told a group of visiting journalists from Kashmir.

The turning point came when Verma, through several learning trips across states like Gujarat and Maharashtra, introduced banana cultivation to his fields.

“And this was the turning point of my life and marked the beginning of a series of innovations that would revolutionise farming practices in the region,” he said.

Verma was one of the first farmers in Uttar Pradesh to embrace tissue culture farming, a technique that significantly enhanced crop yield.

Speaking to a group of journalists from Kashmir during their ‘Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra,’ Verma emphasised the importance of diversification.

“The same land can be used for different crops following the weather patterns and climatic conditions,” he advised and underlined the potential for increased profits through strategic crop choices.

Verma’s success is not confined to personal achievement but it extends to the community as he has amalgamated farmers under his guidance, transforming their yields and profits through the initiative of group farming.

The adoption of modern farming techniques, coupled with Verma’s emphasis on organic practices, has created a ripple effect, inspiring thousands of farmers to embrace a similar path.

Despite his achievements, Verma remains grounded. “I employ 100-150 people daily and pay them Rs 400 per day and this way I contribute to local employment,” he said.

His commitment to organic farming is noteworthy, avoiding chemical fertilizers to ensure sustainable and eco-friendly agriculture.

A key aspect of Verma’s model is the near-organic nature of his crops, aligning with a growing global trend towards sustainable agriculture.

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