Srinagar: Khurshid Ahmed Reshi, an organic farmer from the Jammu and Kashmir's summer capital thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his words of appreciation during an interaction at the release of the eighth instalment of financial benefit under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme.
The prime minister interacted, via video conferencing, with five farmers from states like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Andaman and Nicobar.
On the occasion, he released the 8th instalment of the financial benefit of Rs 19,000 crore to more than 9.5 crore farmers under the PM-KISAN scheme via video conferencing.
Under the PM-KISAN Scheme, the Centre provides financial assistance of Rs 6,000 per year to farmers and the amount is payable in three equal instalments of Rs 2,000 each.
Reshi, who hails from Tengpora-Noorbagh village of Srinagar, cultivates vegetables like capsicum, green chillies and cucumber organically.
Post his interaction with the prime minister, he said he felt elated and the appreciation from the highest office of the country was very encouraging.
The words of appreciation from PM Modi Ji gave me more confidence and I personally thank him for the encouraging words for my work, Reshi was quoted in a press release issued by the UT government's PR department.
He said holding masters degree in English did not discourage him from taking up farming, but rather it motivated him for the same.
Three years ago, before turning to organic farming, Reshi was offering tuitions at a local private school. However, his interest and strengths were lying in something else.
He said he was always pondering that he was a misfit in the scheme of things and wanted to follow his heart and pursue something different.
I have 26 kanals of land (3.25 acres) of which I do organic farming on 14 Kanals (1.75 acres) and on rest I grow paddy. The traditional growing of vegetables was not paying many dividends, so I approached Agriculture Department Kashmir, which trained and guided me in organic farming, Reshi said, adding he now dedicates himself to his farm only.
It occurred to my mind that why should not I go for farming, and subsequently, with the help of Agriculture Department, I started growing exotic vegetables in my farm like capsicum, brinjal, cucumber, green chillies, etc he said.
The journey of his self-employment soon started when the Agriculture Department formed a cluster of 30 farmers through Farmer Producer Organsation', where the department facilitates organic farmers like Reshi to sell their produce at Srinagar's Lal Mandi which eventually fetch them handsome returns.
Reshi like many educated farmers are the inspiration for thousands of educated unemployed youth who can dedicate themselves and ultimately become a small but important part in employment generation, the release said.
He urged the educated unemployed youth of Jammu and Kashmir to come forward and take maximum benefits from the schemes like PM-KISAN and be an employment generator instead of job seeker, it said.