Bumper crop brings windfall for bean growers

CHITRAL, Oct 7: The farmers of Karimabad and Susoom valleys of Lotkoh transported beans for the first time to markets in Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Lahore after getting a bumper crop. A number of the farmers here said bean had replaced wheat and barley crops in the area for the last couple of years. “It (growing beans) has improved our economic condition substantially,” they added. Haider Shah of Susoom valley said that the beans produced in the area were considered to be of the best quality. He said that the product was transported to national market for the first time at commercial level. Mr Shah said that they got about four times greater dividend in the national market as compared to the local one. It was also a good fortune of the farmers that the role of non-local middleman was abolished in the process, he added. Bashgali Khan, a local bean merchant, said that middleman used to exploit farmers of the valleys and purchased their products at a throwaway price. He said that the yield of the crop would be increased next year as more farmers would switch to bean crop. “The main factor is that they have also come to know how to market their products and keep maximum return with themselves,” he added. Mr Khan said that condition of poor farmers was improved as they earned a good sum of money by cultivating bean instead of wheat and barley crops. The farmers attributed their success to the efforts of Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP), which encouraged them to adopt new approach and modern farming techniques. Khosh Bali Khan, a resident of Karimabad, said that bean was introduced in the valley by the experts of AKRSP. The experts found the soil of the valley, its temperature and other factors congenial to the crop of bean and persuaded farmers through demonstration to grow it. “The farmers are now in possession of adequate sum of cash to purchase wheat from the warehouse of food department and fulfil their other necessities,” he said. Bali Khan said that poverty could be eradicated in the valley by cultivation of beans and vegetables.–Zahiruddin Print Friendly and PDF]]>

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