Gurraj Singh Virk

(Horticulture, Kinnow)

A Farmer Who Made His Skills His Strength in His Difficult Times and Emerged as a Futuristic Agriculturalist

It is generally seen in India that most of the farmers gave up very easily, instead of facing their home, financial, and other types of difficulties with confidence. Even some farmers also choose the path of committing suicide. But today we are going to discuss one such a farmer, who not even faced his personal and financial problem with boldness, but he also worked harder and achieved many high level of awards in the field of horticulture and that man is, Gurraj Singh Virk who is farming Kinnow from the last 30 years.

Gurraj Singh was born on 1st October 1954, in a normal farmer’s family and he is a residence of Surgapuri village (District Faridkot). Even though he has just passed 12th standard, but he never gave up on his courage, and not only with his self-confidence had he accomplished a great position in the field of horticulture, but he also invented the machine to make his work easier and efficient. But the position he has achieved today for that he had worked very hard.

Beginning Struggle in his life
In the beginning, he was farming cotton, but his crops faced many diseases due to which he had to stop the farming of cotton in 1990 because money debt on him was increasing day by day that he took from other local merchants and banks. Then he started sugarcane farming, but after some time, he had to stop that as well because of low profit as Faridkot Sugarcane Mill was on a stage of getting shut down. After that, he decided to start paddy farming, but in this venture also he didn’t gain much of a profit because the land was not capable enough for irrigation.

Turning Point in Life
At last, with the support of Horticulture Department, Faridkot and Punjab Agriculture University he got trained in 1983 and planted Kinnow Orchard. It was not even 2 years since he planted the kinnow trees in the orchards, his father (Sardar Swarn Singh) expired, and because of this, the whole family’s strength was shattered. Although it took a lot of time to recover from it, but from patience, hard-work, and faith he managed to direct their life on the right path. The family was not even recovered properly from their great loss, and his mother also got expired in 1999, the whole family was again in a great shock. But even facing all this he never gave up his confidence and he continued his hard-work and effort.

Fruit of Hard Work
It is said that fruit of patience is sweet, in the same way, his kinnow orchards started giving fruits and good days were returned. He never misused the profit he earned from kinnows, on the other hand, he used it well with his wise senses to expand his orchard area and got installed a deep tube well. Now he has enough water to irrigate his paddy field which resulted in increased revenue. He also planted grapes on 2.5 acres of land, which made him earn a profit of almost one lakh per acre.

But the path of success was not that easy, almost after 15-year termite attacked his grape vine fields due to which he had to uproot the whole grape orchard. Then also he never loses his hope and he expanded and continued his kinnow, paddy and wheat farming.

Modernized ways of farming
Sardar Virk always keeps himself updated with the latest technology and also implemented the necessary technology in his farm. Today he has total 41 acres of land, from which 21 acres is for kinnow farming and 20 acres is for wheat and paddy farming. Other than kinnow he also has trees of Lemon, Grape Fruit, Mousambi, Malta Red, Malta Jaffa, Nagpuri Orange, Orange, Plum, Pomegranate, Grapes, Guava, Amla, Jamun, Falsa and Chiku on his farm. For better water management he uses drip irrigation system and in summers to maintain the moisture level in the soil he implies mulching technique. He is well-skilled in taking care of natural resources. Most of the times to increase the fertility of the soil in which Kinnow plants are planted he always supports and recommend the use of green manure. Along with traditional ways, he also follows high-density farming technology for kinnow farming.

Inventions and Creations
To make his work easier he has invented many things. He has designed many types of machines, which are not of high level and costly, instead they are very normal and designed in a simple way. Machines designed by him save time and money both. He has also designed a spray pump and machine to cut and give proper shape to the trees in a very simple layman’s way. Other than this he has also created a machine for cleaning and grading the kinnows, which cleans 2 ton of kinnows in one hour. And the total expenditure in cleaning two tons of kinnow it only costs him Rs. 125, whereas if that work is done by hand then the expenditure is Rs. 1000. And there is more money is cleansing the kinnows by the mechanical way.

Other than above-mentioned inventions, Gurraj Singh Virk has also contributed to literature. He has written 7 famous articles for kinnow farming and a book also.

The success and hard work of Gurraj Singh Virk have made him many achieve many awards in different events. Some of them are as follow:

• He has received many awards district and state level for kinnow farming. He was awarded Best Kinnow Farmer in 2010-11 and 2011-12 by National Horticulture Board.

• He was also honoured by the Advisor of Monthly Agriculture Magazines for organizing fair in March 2012.

• Gurraj Singh Virk was also an advisor to the high-level committees of PAU (Punjab Agriculture University) of fruits and vegetables, and he also made a special position for himself in Malwa Vegetable and Fruit Growing Committee.

• He is also known for helping many farmers on the behalf of many departments and organizations.

• Gurraj Singh Virk has helped farmers in around 150 acres for Kinnow farming.

He is very thankful to KVK Faridkot State Horticulture Department for the training of Kinnow Production.

Family Life
Even though Sardar Gurraj Singh Virk was not that educated enough and he also faced many great problems in his life, but then also he has great achievements. Today his kids are also reflecting the same and are well settled at higher job positions. His wife (Jagmeet Kaur) is more of a home lady. Of their 5 children, one son is a doctor in America, one son is an engineer in Canada, one daughter is doctor in Canada and other is in Punjab and one is nurse in Canada. All his children are happily living with their family. Gurraj Singh Virk often visits his children in Canada and America.

Farmers should never lose their hope and self-confidence because of small losses and other difficulties and they should never give up. Farmers should also think other than conventional framing ways. There are still many fields in farming in which farmer can reap higher profit. Horticulture is the same field like this in which farmer can make profits in lakhs very easily. But in the beginning, they should keep patience. I’m making a huge profit from horticulture and for the future also I want that farmers should adopt horticulture along with other traditional farming methods.