A call centre to aid farmers in AboharMay 30th, 2009 - 11:25 pm ICT by ANI
By Avtar GillAbohar, May 30 (ANI): A non-resident Indian has come up with a novel way to help farmers to manage their farm by giving suggestions regarding hiring farm machinery, fertilisers, and the like.
Equipped with five computers and handsets, this call centre in Fazilka has come as a boon for farmers in Punjab. Zamindara Farm Solutions, an initiative of NRI-turned-farmer Vikram Ahuja, offers agricultural equipment to farmers at a nominal rent. “Farmers in Punjab are turning towards `tractorization’ and not mechanization. There are around 15 lakh families in the state owning 10 million acres of land. The machinery they require for an average 5-6 acres of land is not available and they own machinery, which generally they don’t need. Realizing the fact, we are providing machinery on rent rather asking them to buy it,” said Vikram Ahuja, owner of the Zamindara Farm Solutions.
Marginal farmers can now hire expensive and sophisticated farm tilling, sowing and harvesting machinery.Zamindara Farm Solutions has over 4000 farmer members who besides hiring farm machinery also take its advise for crop diversification.The company’s motto is to make farmers debt-free by reducing farming costs. Rai Singh of Fazilka hired machinery to dig a pipeline in his farm and has saved both time and money. “We have benefited a lot by using these machines. It saves time. Earlier, we used to hire labourers for this work, who took take time to complete the work but now the problem has been solved,” said Rai Singh, farmer.
Zamindara Farm Solutions also provide laser-leveling technique to farmers. The process of land laser-leveling helps bring land to near-flatness with a slight gradation for drainage. This reduces consumption of water and improves crop productivity. Apart from catering to individual farmers, this centre outsources its services to farm products producer group Haryali and it has also done a pilot project with Punjab Agro and Punjab agriculture department.”Almost 30-40 percent of a farmer’s income is spent on machinery. Our aim is to reduce the cost to 8-10 percent. This way farmers’ net profit will increase by almost 30 percent. Even if the yield remains the same, their net profit will rise after expenses,” said Vikram Ahuja, owner of Zamindara Farm Solutions. This concept has worked successfully among farmers in South-west Punjab. Now farmers from other regions of Punjab and neighboring states have started consulting Zamindara Farm Solutions. (ANI)
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Tags: abohar, agricultural equipment, agriculture department, ahuja, call centre, crop diversification, crop productivity, farm machinery, farmer members, fazilka, fertilisers, five computers, flatness, harvesting machinery, lakh, marginal farmers, mechanization, million acres, pilot project, producer group