27 November 2023, Chandigarh: Agriculture is not always a loss making affair, if with change in times the farming pattern is also changed, it can become profitable for the farmers. The Haryana government is encouraging farmers in the state to adopt new methods and technologies to boost their income. By adopting cultivation of medicinal plants and horticulture instead of traditional crops like wheat or paddy and with the help of government incentives, farmers can earn a good profit. Farmers can present their products as brands and market them by forming Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs).
In the ongoing India International Trade Fair (IITF) at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, Haryana Pavilion showcases stalls of such farmers who, benefiting from state government schemes, have started making herbal products from medicinal plants. With a mindset of providing employment along with farming for oneself, Shyam Singh from village MP Majra in Sonipat has made his own products from horticulture. The stall at the Haryana Pavilion is witnessing a large crowd of people interested in buying herbal products. People from outside Haryana are also showing interest in these stalls of herbal products. Among them, farmer Shyam Singh, who used to practice traditional farming like other farmers until a few years ago, was inspired by his father, Shri Karam Singh, to cultivate medicinal plants by adopting Haryana government schemes.
Initially started horticulture with Amla (Indian Gooseberry)
Farmer Shyam Singh shared that he owns 18 acres of land. Initially, he planted Amla (Indian Gooseberry) on 2 acres and later diversified his cultivation by adding turmeric, mustard, peanuts and fennel between the Amla plants. The significant change in horticulture occurred in 2014 when he started making various products from Amla. Currently, he is cultivating Amla on 5 acres.
Producing Over 35 Herbal Products, Providing Employment to 17 People
Shyam Singh stated that in addition to making herbal products, he cultivates Amla, Bael, Fennel, Coriander, Moringa, Mustard and Rose on his farm. Initially, he had a few Amla products, but now he is producing 35 different products, including Amla candy, Amla pickle, laddoos, murabba, barfi, powder, juice, rose water and Gulkand. He highlighted that he now provides employment to 17 people on his farm.
Farmers group can form FPOs and do marketing of their products
Progressive farmer Shyam Singh explained that instead of traditional farming, there is benefit in horticulture. However, the farmers need to change their mindset, and when they step into horticulture, they should also learn how to make their own herbal products. He says that farmers should embrace the path of horticulture and cultivation of medicinal plants. One can earn more profits by changing agriculture crop patterns according to demand in market. Referring to the FPO (Farmer Producer Organization) scheme of the Haryana government, he mentioned that now farmers can form groups and also market their products, leading to an increase in their income.
He further mentioned that there are some challenges in the beginning like marketing of products. As soon as people get information about the products, they start coming to your fields or farm to buy then and there. He has set up an outlet in his fields where people come to buy the products he manufactures. According to Shyam Singh, besides this, he is supplying his products to several other districts.
According to Shyam Singh, initially, the Horticulture Department provided him with a 40% subsidy in a 11 lakh project for producing Amla products. Subsequently, he expanded the project by availing a loan under the MSME scheme. He mentioned that, compared to traditional farming, he is making three times more profit in horticulture and herbal products. He stated that the government has initiated several schemes in the horticulture sector, offering substantial subsidies. Farmers should take advantage of these government initiatives. The state government spokesperson also revealed that in the year 2022-23, subsidies totaling Rs. 16.6 crore were given to 25,000 beneficiaries under various horticulture schemes in Haryana. The state government is consistently committed to increasing farmers’ income and has implemented many schemes in this direction.
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