1. Success Story

Pulwama Man Bags Champion Farmer Award for his Revolutionary Farming Strategies

After becoming a change agent for the adoption of farming technologies, an educated kid from South Kashmir's Pulwama area has revolutionized the agriculture scenario of his community.

Kritika Madhukar
Irshad Ahmad Dar has been recognized as "Champion Farmer" for his contributions to the vegetable and saffron cultivation
Irshad Ahmad Dar has been recognized as "Champion Farmer" for his contributions to the vegetable and saffron cultivation

Irshad Ahmad Dar, a progressive farmer and member of the Kisaan Advisory Board, is regarded as an agricultural role model by his fellow villagers. Dar, a resident of Patalbagh village on the Jhelum bank along the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, began farming shortly after graduating from Indira Gandhi National Open University in 2010 at a time when the majority of Patalbagh's youth were turning away from farming due to low returns on traditional varieties of paddy, mustard, and oat grass.

Some of them began looking for government positions, while others became sand diggers.

Dar didn't follow suit. Dar began growing peas on his land under the supervision of experts from the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology and the Agriculture Production and Farmers Welfare Department of Jammu and Kashmir after learning that the soil in the Patalbagh area is very fertile and suitable for vegetable cultivation.

"The technical instruction helped me a lot," Dar told the media, adding that he occasionally attended agricultural courses and dabbled in dairy farming and saffron production.

His wealth changed over time, and he began building a new house and purchasing more kanals of property. He became a role model for others to follow. This young farmer did not confine himself to current farming practices.

He got concerned about his people and began visiting specialists from the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology, as well as the Agriculture Production and Farmers Welfare Department, to Patalbagh to share technical knowledge with other farmers.

Dar, according to Zubair Ahmad, a native from Patalbagh, plays a significant role in converting village farmers to mass production of peas, organic vegetables, and other high-breed kinds of rice, mustard, and saffron.

In appreciation of his efforts, authorities appointed this progressive farmer to the Kisaan Advisory Board in 2021, where he raises and seeks resolution of concerns affecting the farmer community. He has also been recognized as a champion farmer for his contributions to vegetable and saffron cultivation.

Mohammad Iqbal Khan, the Chief Agriculture Officer of Pulwama, stated that Irshad Ahmad Dar is proactive in the adaption of technologies and the marketing of organic goods.

"He has served as a connection between several government offices and farmers in his community," said Mohammad Iqbal.

Patalbagh, a vegetable production organic hamlet, is home to over 100 households that cultivate peas. For the past four years, they have been blessed with wonderful fortune. Patalbagh generates a revenue of around Rs. 1,00,000 per year from peas alone. 

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