I am Harbant Singh Aulakh from Thulewal village of Barnala city. In my family, there are total 5 members (wife, son, daughter-in-law, grandson) including me. I was doing conventional farming from the beginning, but when my son Satnam Singh told me about his one year of research on dragon fruit and sandalwood I encouraged him to start it. In 2016 we started dragon fruit and sandalwood farming by following organic method.
It all started just one year ago when my son came in contact with a person (Vishal Doda) in Gujarat through one of his friends. Vishal Doda is doing dragon fruit farming in 15 acres of area. So my son visited Gujarat, bought the seedlings of this plant and then we started dragon fruit farming. I planted 500 seedlings of dragon fruit in one and a half bigha area, and now the plant has started bearing fruits.
Just after some time, we started sandalwood farming of Santalum album variety. The reason behind choosing dragon fruit and sandalwood as the major plant for farming is that they need less water for irrigation and also don’t need any special kind of fertilizer or pesticide. In the beginning, both the plants need more attention and once they grew up they give high yield and huge profit.
One plant of dragon fruit gives 5 to 20 kg of fruit within 4 years. In the sandalwood plant seeds start coming in 4 years and are sold at Rs. 1000/KG. Both the plants can be irrigated with rain water. Moreover, these plants have health and environmental benefits also. Dragon fruit is very rich in nutrients, Vitamin C, have antioxidant property and prevents cancer, high/low BP, cholesterol and Sandalwood purifies the environment.
Along with these plants, we have also planted other crops like cauliflower, split red gram seedlings and lemon, so that we can generate profit both in present and future also. This farming method is preparing us for the future. I am strictly following organic methods for dragon farming and sandalwood farming and slowly with the time, I will reduce the chemical use in my other crops also.
The main reason I switched towards organic farming is my son. Although by qualification my son is a Computer Engineer, but he was interested in agriculture from the beginning so he came up with his innovative ideas of farming and I supported him. I want to make the environment healthy and livable for the future generations, as our ancestors left the atmosphere for us.
Today, my son- Satnam Singh is making the full effort in helping me in farming with mechanized ways. We also prepare jivamrit and manure at home by using cow dung and Gau Mutr (cow urine). We avoid using pesticides and fertilizers. I am also working on water management in my village and I am teaching other villagers about it, so that, they use less tube well water. I myself have only one tube well for 12 acres of land.
Other than usual crops I also have guava, banana, mango and peach tree on my farm. My future plan is to grow garlic and mahogany tree. I want other farmers to recognize the potential and start investing in it for their better future.