Our New Farmer Training Center
Please see our new photos!
Organic, Horticulture and Integrated Farming Demonstration and Training Centre The project leader for this project (Educating farmers for organic farming) is Balwinder Singh, who is a great practical knowledge of organic farming and teaching other farmers. He is assisted by expert farmer Gurlal Singh, who has offered his farm to be used as the center.
Teach farmers the proper techniques for growing organic crops of highest quality at a lower cost, by non-chemical methods, using less water, and compatible with the ecology. It has started with organic 180 fruit trees and planting of sugarcane. Oher crops will be added in due course. Vermi-composting (using earthworms) is being added.
This center will be Pagri’s cardinal training Center in Punjab for all farmers throughout the state. It will supply Desi seeds and nursery plants along with the training.
We are excited to tell you that this project has been transformed from a small farmers marketing project to a major one on Organic Farming ! Please read and then Donate generously!
The project leader will still continue helping with farmers markets and getting the word out about Pagri activities.
What are the problems?
Many decades of “Green Revolution” agriculture have left Punjab with high levels of the use of water, chemical herbicides and pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and decreasing soil fertility, besides having a negative effect on economic and social welfare. So the time has come for gradual transitions to organic farming that begins to reduce these negative effects, while helping consumers overcome the negative health effects of cancer causing chemicals. Also, as of now, there is no direct support for organic farming from the government.
So what is Pagri doing?
That is why PAGRI is transitioning this project to one that provides, “Education and help to farmers to transition to organic farming” in the Faridkot district of Punjab. For this we have been fortunate to find a very capable, motivated, sincere and active person in Balwinder Singh, who has good knowledge of organic agriculture, to educate and encourage farmers and educate consumers.
Balwinderji will begin talking to farmers who have already started organic farming, conduct meetings, visit farmers to develop information and a database about them and encourage them to grow to a group of about 50 genuine farmers in the next 6 months. While he is doing this, he will be demonstrating to them and educating them about the right ways to do organic farming.
He has started to put together a training program to educate farmers about soil health, weed management, irrigation and water management, pest control, sale and marketing. Farmers markets, as were there at the start of this project will be used to disseminate information to farmers and while spreading the word about PAGRI support and activities, and most importantly, to help farmers increase their incomes, and educate consumers about the medical health benefits of organic produce so that they are willing to pay a premium, as happens in the USA.
Winter is a good time to try techniques
For a number of reasons, the winter months are more favourable for organic farming. Hence, PAGRI and Balwinderji will cooperate to encourage some farmers to demonstrate to other farmers, the benefits of organic farming by devoting some of their land to organic practices. Then in the winter months and in spring, these “demonstration plots” will be used to convince other farmers to undertake such practices in the next growing season.
See our updates & photos
Please check out the photos we have posted. Watching the short accompanying video sent to us by Balwinderji will give you an overall familiarity with what he is doing with the support of PAGRI. We hope that you will support this PAGRI project and the very worthwhile activities of the project led by Balwinder Singh by donating generously!