Kailar (Himachal Pradesh): On the one hand where farmers are committing suicide due to poor returns from traditional modes of farming, a farmer in Himachal Pradesh’s Solan District has made his state proud by cultivating vegetables in the off- season.
Bahadur Singh Verma, of Kailar Village has successfully projected the Saproon Valley in Solan District to the world for it’s cultivation of off-season vegetables.
Driven by extreme poverty, Verma concentrated on planting cauliflower seeds. When this vegetable produce of his gained popularity, Verma began producing seasonal cauliflower seeds of different varieties.
“I was not sure whether the seeds could be sold or not. When I started this work in 1965-66, I gave samples of these seeds to farmers in the market. The seeds were good. Today, I can produce 20- 25 quintal of these seeds,” claims Verma.
Verma produces seeds worth rupees fifty lakh each year, the farming of which is done over a span of nine months. The seeds are then sold directly to farmers in Punjab and in other plain areas without the influence of middlemen.
Verma is a recepient of many prestigious awards and is always assisted by his wife, Tripta. She praises him for his achievements.
“We are very happy. We have seen a lot of poverty. My husband has struggled a lot to reach this point,” says Tripta Verma.
Local farmers purchase the seeds from Verma, as it saves them the bother of travelling outside to purchase the same.
“The seeds are good and moreover, he is a local. We also do not have to go outside to purchase the seeds,” says Khem Singh, a local farmer.
Verma has helped around 60 farmers in Saproon Valley, and they are earning profits from this form of cauliflower cultivation.