The country’s premier public agri-research body ICAR today presented ‘Pandit Deendayal Updhyay Krishi Puruskar 2016’ to 12 farmers who raised their income substantially after skill development training at the institute.
The national award with a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh was given to an enterprising woman farmer Krishan Yadav from Najafgarh, south west Delhi, for her entrepreneurial journey from selling vegetables on road to setting up a food processing factory to manufacture more than 200 products like pickles.
The zonal award with Rs 50,000 cash prize was given to 11 farmers selected from agri-zones including Kanpur, Ludhiana, Patna, Jodhpur, Pune, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
“We have instituted this award this year itself to recognise the work of those poor and small farmers who have transformed their lives after taking training from our institutes.
“They have come up in life despite not having education and financial backing,” Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Direct General Trilochan Mahapatra said.
The award was instituted this year to commemorate the birth centenary of Jan Sangh founder Pandit Deendayal Updhyay.
The other 11 farmers are being awarded at their respective zones today.
Ravinder Kaur, Director of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), one of the institutes under ICAR, said, “To increase farm income, we need to increase yields and focus on integrated farmers. Farmers should take advantage of new technology from our institutes.”
Highlighting her entrepreneurial journey, Yadav said, “I was selling vegetables on roads. Then I thought since vegetables in wholesale markets are available at lesser rate, why not do something big. Then I approached IARI on my own and took training in preparing pickles. I started my business with a loan of just Rs 500 in 2000.”
Now, Yadav is processing 50-odd agri-commodities and selling to BSF canteens and other retail chains, making business in crores and providing employment to more than 150 people. She sells pickles under the brand name of ‘Krishna’.
Among zonal awardees, Punjab-based Jinder Singh has been recognised for growing and selling nursery vegetable crops under the brand name ‘Chamkaur Sahib Paniri farm’. He also started bee-keeping to add to his farm income.
Haryana-based farmer Pooja Sharma has been awarded for adopting IARI technology for making soyabean products and starting self-help groups for making products at national and state levels.