I am Adnan Arshad, a 27 years old young Pakistani Agriculturist and Environmentalist, post-graduated from PMAS-Arid Agriculture University. I am young agripreneur and have start earning from agriculture farm when I was only 24 years old. Along with my graduation I did a lot of research work on climate adaptive food crops, forest plants species, seasonal and off seasonal vegetables farming and fruits plants. Got seeds and plants from different research stations and experimented it with different replications and sowing patterns to check their climatic adaptability. The region where we living and working is totally rain-fed and there rainwater is the only source of water for drinking, domestic purposes and agriculture.
Changing climate, nutrient scarce soils and uneven rainfall pattern makes this region more vulnerable to prolong droughts and food insecure for small farmers particularly for young growers. Keeping in mind these facts and on the basis of expertise’s I started climate smart diversified agriculture model farm with very low capita in March, 2011. I have started agripreneurship from 1-acre of cultivated land and divided it into four sub-plots; 1) Grapevine yard 2) Citrus orchard 3) Seasonal and off-seasonal vegetable 4) Poultry farm.
Grapevine yard have more than 160 plants of four climate adaptive varieties (cardnor, perlit, king roobi, black NARC) and started bearing fruits after two years of plantation. In citrus orchard we have 80 plants of different citrus varieties (seedless oranges, sweet lime, red blood, grape fruits) and it starts bearing fruits after three years. We have secure our continues earning source with seasonal and off-seasonal vegetable production at our farm, this plot also helped me a lot during very first years when grape yard and citrus orchard were not ready for fruiting.
Now, we are earning from grapevine yard and we are the only organic producer practicing environmental friendly farm operations. There is no compromise on farm produce and plants sustainability, seasonally during dormant period we practicing grape yard training/pruning and raise nursery of more than 1000 plants annually. Farm monitoring and replantation is going on throughout the years. In small portion of the farm we have poultry farm of traditional chickens which also support us to generate income to run other sustainable farm operations. We have Farmer Seed Bank with all required facilities and equipment to store quality seed for batter crop production. Every year our farm organizes different events for women and youth farmers about introduction of new varieties, celebrate world water day and awareness sessions.
Farm remain open all the time for local community visitors, we also organizing regular demonstration visits of locals farmers, students and youth groups to motivate them to start their own agriculture farm. All farm produce is 100% organic according to IFOAM standards and free from all type of chemicals and GMOs. More than 35% of farm produce is sale out in local community on very flat rates lower than the market rates and 60% of the produce yield is transported to the capital city to sale out at Go Organic Farmers Market where we get good price and customer response. This farm also providing new techniques, seeds and production methodologies’ to local community to replicate it along with a platform to share their issues.
I have six years of academic and agriculture research background which always push me to take initiatives to started my own project because I always takes interest in agriculture farming with conserved rainwater. I always believe on practical earning as compare to theoretical thinking. Initially, we have faced shortage of rainwater leads to prolong droughts due to extreme weather conditions but my motivations helped me to develop rooftop rainwater harvesting for our agriculture farm.
My aim is to start my own agriculture farm and develop it according to the climate smart adaptation practices. I also intend to develop farm as role model for other youth to replicate is as success case study for their batter livelihood. All technical work has been done by myself i.e. soil testing, preparation, annual work planning, rooftop rainwater harvesting source, composting, mulch, sowing to harvest and marketing along with varieties experimentation to the climate adaptation process.
Our agriculture farm is the role model for the all the community groups and they are trying to replicate it. I am also supporting them to start small vegetable and fruit farming farm with available income. During this project I learned and earned a lot and did my post-graduation study and successfully completed my degree. During the project I invented bio-sand filter for cleaning of water along with he introduced Moringa seeds for rainwater purification. I delivered more than 152 capacity building trainings to the farmer community especially women and youth. The measurable strength is to develop youth climate adaptive policy to engage youth to play their effective participation for sustainable agriculture development and acclimate agriculture as profession.
Currently, I am facing some energy and water loss issues at farm to irrigate it during higher temperature of summer with efficiently. Due to energy crises we have to face difficulty to run water pumping system to irrigate the whole farm, so with 55% of the budget will install green energy solar power system at farm which will be enough to run all the power operations of farm. High temperature causes big water loss from direct irrigation so 25% of the budget will be planned to install Zero Gravity Drip Irrigation system at farm to enhance the water holding capacity of the soil. Remaining budget will be utilized to get new rootstock and pruning tools for farm. The time frame of this proposed development will be one year with monthly updating reports and photos.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Adnan Arshad (Pakistan) – adnan.poda(at)gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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