FTB Stories

Agriculture after Retirement! Passionate Farming & Trading in Kangra

Amit Bhatt
Amit Bhatt
Gobind at his farm

Retired Captain Gobind Singh resident of Kangra, Himachal Pradesh released his video on FTB recently .

He retired in 1996 from the army and met lecturers and scientists at the University in Palampur (HP) and got interested in agriculture. He started by thanking Krishi Jagran for the opportunity to express his views and ideas. He said farming techniques and methods have evolved a lot with every generation he has seen.

It has been a long journey for him in farming since 1998.  He has his own polyhouse in which he grows vegetables like capsicum, fruits like kiwi alongside flowers. Dr Sant Prakash, DR Dogra and others from the University assisted and guided him in learning farming methods.

Gobind at his shop

There is a disease which affects the crops of tomatoes and capsicum, called Bacterial Wilt  which greatly affects these crops and is common to our region. Despite these hazards he wanted to grow capsicums. When he started farming few of his plants looked affected by this disease and he immediately contacted Lecturers at the university. At that time Capt. Gobind did not have any focus on organic farming. His son, was helping and cooperating with him at the time, went and met the lecturers who suggested organic pesticides, which we found extremely smelly to carry and apply. The organic solution that we applied by dripping completely killed the disease.

For Capt. Gobind may, june and july are the main months for growing capsicums. The capsicum that he grows weigh between 250 to 300 grams. The market where he sells his produce is McLeod Ganj near Dharamshala, which is frequently visited by foreigners. He also grows broccoli, parsley and other vegetables in his polyhouse. Whenever he faces any difficulties he turns to Dr. Sant Prakash at the university, who never disappoints him and always assists him. He said to get into farming and to succeed in farming you need to train yourself by meeting professionals and educators.

Govind and shop - Anything and Everything

He said nowadays agriculture is trending towards organic farming. Earlier our main fertilizers were cattle manure, but nowadays due to lessening of the numbers of cattle this natural fertilizer is not available readily. Organic farming is not possible without these natural fertilizers. Other way to get natural fertilizers is by composting your waste in pits with worms (he didn't use the term vermicompost until later in the video). He says through experience, that, after applying organic manure for two to three years the productivity of your farm will increase automatically.

He said Broccoli has more nutrients than any type of cauliflowers (broccoli and cauliflower belong to different cultivar groups).  There is a big market for broccolis and you have to find market for your products, because without market you will not be able to sell your products. And vegetables, fruits and flowers that he produces cannot be stored easily for long terms and hence have to be sold as soon as they are picked from the farm.

He regularly attends group seminars conducted by the university. He expressed gratitude towards the faculty at the University, whose advise allowed him to succeed in his mission in agriculture. He wanted for some time to grow wheat crop and where there is a will there is a way. With the advice of the lecturers his crops succeeded. They advised him to plant these in a line and he found helpful labourers who completed this task and his farm looked like a beauty. He was satisfied with what he had achieved but he was not able to till his farm with the big tractors that were available due to small size of the farm.

He studied about the latest technologies and the seeds available, how to plant them and has opened a shop Durga Shakti Traders.  This shop contains everything that a farmer needs. Any and every equipment and instrument for farming are available here like aata chakki, dhan shredder machine, weeders among others. His son has left his day job to work with him in the shop. He keeps experimenting with different and new farming techniques and products and he always takes permission from the Department of agriculture before trying anything that seems risky.

He said that you must try his weeder machines in your farm. These weeders can be used by farmers of any age group. He said he always wanted to grow fruit trees and decided to plant apple trees and to plant these he used diggers. These diggers digged till 3 and a half feet where he planted his seed. He dug more than 100 holes and still the digger worked efficiently.

He talked of a story circulating among people in his locality during this lockdown, that prices of veggies are going down in the market because everyone is cultivating them, whether you believe it or not. He said you must use seeds suggested by department of agriculture and not the companies. He said always keep record of seeds or practices you used every time you get a bumper harvest. He said you learn with experience in agriculture. His farm specialty is Kasturi Basmati rice, and this crop grows through excessive rain and cold. He says to succeed in agriculture you must put in all your effort. He is now 73 years old but once he has set sight on a goal, he makes every effort to achieve it. He still likes to learn new things.

He said he is a fan of the local variety of Palampur onions, which he was not able to grow this year due to unavailability of seeds due to the corona restrictions. He had to grow hybrid onions this year which are equally good. He started farming with capsicums and after three years he grew flowers after taking training from Horticulture department. He has grown flowers in his polyhouse for last 8 year and sells buds at Rs. 5 apiece. But due to lockdown there are no parties or celebrations and his business of flower selling is down. Everyone has lost some or other business due to lockdown. Once upon a time even his leechy plants suffered from insects. He also grows mushrooms, something he learnt with lots of effort. He said any information you need please contact department of agriculture, they are very helpful.

Gobind Singh

Gobind Singh

Kangra, Himachal Pradesh

Gobind Singh Farms

Like this article?

Hey! I am Amit Bhatt. Did you liked this article and have suggestions to improve this article? Mail me your suggestions and feedback.

Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters