74-YO Kashmiri Farmer Grows Exotic Pears, Goes From Earning Rs 4K to Rs 25 Lakh/Year

If you are a person, who is in a dilemma to start a new crop on your farmland, then look into the story and meet the Haji Mohammad Shafi Sheikh who is an inspiration to many farmers who cannot able to start new crops due to many doubts, growing exotic pears and earning Rs. 5k to Rs. 25 lakhs/year.

Know the complete story below like how he started, why he has started growing exotic pears, and many more.

Farmers Inspiration Who Grows Exotic Pears Earning Upto Rs.25 Lakh/Year

Here we are looking into the success story of Haji Mohammad Shafi Sheikh a 74 YO farmer from Kashmir Who quit his job to start farming.

  • Previously in 1980, Haji Mohammad Shafi Sheikh worked as a contractor for a forest corporation and used to visit Kashmir regularly.
  • At that time he also decided to meet his cousin Ghulam Nabi, who was studying engineering at Srinagar’s Engineering College, along with his younger brother Abdul Rashid Sheikh.
  • Three of them decided to take a tour of Kashmir as it has many tourist spots.
  • Firstly they started their adventure from Nishat which is a charming neighborhood for Srinagar, and also home to the many Mughal gardens and chinars.
  • And they reached to to beautiful gree pear garden, through a road which is in the outskirts, and they spent many hours learning about those fruits.
  • By listening to that fruit for hours, Shafi got inspired and he also got an interest in starting a similar orchard in his hometown of Bharova, Bhaderwah, where the farmers only grow maize because of the fear of drought in their village.
  • Bharova people did not know about all these fruits at that time.
  • Even though they knew about such types of crops, due to lack of money they just used to grow maize.
  • And Shafi was the first person who started cultivating pears and walnut saplings next to his house.
  • To their surprise, the plants grew normally, and within a few years of growth, the plants started giving fruits.
  • For Shafi, it is very encouraging as he can tell other farmers in his area.

Challenges and Difficulties Faced by Shafi

For Shafi growing pears and walnuts was not an easy task at the time when foddar and maize were only grown. Look into the difficulties that were faced by Shafi are given below.

  • In 1993 as soon as he saw the fruits of the pears tree, he quit his job and started looking after his horticulture full-time.
  • He even took the help of experts who had already grown pears fruits and learned how to grow a tree and get disease-free produce.
  • He always has an aim to grow these fruits as he wants to help his community with his efforts.
  • After seeing the benefits of pears in 2002, he wanted to give up the maize crop completely and wanted to continue and expand his horticulture.
  • But many of his relatives and neighbors opposed but still he didn’t want to take his decision back it was a very difficult choice for him as he was going against his family.
  • Some people questioned him on why he gave up on the maize crop, so, he said that initial years were very difficult for him as the plants would not produce the fruits immediately.
  • After some years he made a good amount of profits in the pears and walnuts harvest but it didn’t satisfy his appetite, and he sought help from the sher-i Kashmir University of Agriculture and Technology Jammu to grow exotic red pears which was heard by him alone.
  • Normally, a team of scientists from Krishi Vigyan Kendra visit the farm on routine checks they saw his commitment and desire to expand his orchard one of the scientists, handed Shafi a few Italian pear seedlings, and Shafi got a turning point from there.

Shafi Given A Hope of Many Bhaderwah Farmers

After seeing all the benefits and profits of red pears, his brother Abdul Rashid also started horticulture and has 2500 trees planted after seeing the hard work of his brother.

  • Even his cousin Ghulam Nabi did the same thing and earned profits.
  • And shafi says that “ he was very happy to see many farmers in his village and the other villages near to them started growing pears as their crop. Each year the crop was increasing and with the three villages, nearly 1.5 metric tonnes of pears have been produced every year.
  • Shafi’s hard work helped many farmers to grow rare fruit which is having high demand in the market.
  • Slowly, horticulture became the main source of employment in Bhaderwah village and many people who are young are very interested in growing these plants.
  • Shafi employed 25 persons in the season as they needed to spray, trim, and harvest.

Key Outcomes

You see, today 165 households from the villages of Bharova, Khalo, and Shanatra, have shifted to cultivate these exotic fruits mainly pears, and taking their cue from Shafi.

And shafi is 74 YO now harvests 3000 boxes of exotic red pears and earns Rs.25 Lakhs per Year. And the maize crop provides him Rs.4000 per year.

Apart from pears and apples, Shafi also harvests 15-20 quintals of walnuts annually. He also says his productivity will increase in upcoming years as he is using high-quality insecticides to de-weed promptly.

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