Interviews from the farmers of PKMT Farmers Cooperative Jazba

Under PKMT Farmers’ Cooperative Jazba there are 12 agroecological farms in three provinces, Sindh, KPK and Punjab. Each farm is on one acre of land. Six farms are in Sindh, four farms are in KPK and two are in Punjab. Out of these twelve farms, women farmers manage four.

During our visits to the Jazba farms we carried out interviews with different farmers. The farmers provided details on preparation of land and the varieties of traditional seeds they have sown.  They also described green compost preparation that they are carrying out on their land so that will be applied on their land. The farmers were also preparing the natural pesticide, which they will use if needed.

  1. BakhtiarZeb, farmer from Lower Dir said that he has been part of PKMT since 2011. He said that our ancestors did not use chemical pesticides such as DAP and urea but we have used it and face the harmful effect on the crops. Our father had also advised us and stopped us from using chemical inputs as it carries disease. Now as we realize it, we have also gone back to sustainable agriculture.

To prepare natural fertilizer (green compost) we have put rotten vegetables as well as peel from vegetables collected from our home use and animal manure. It will be ready in two months, but will look open the pit again after 10 to 15 days. Bakhtiar said that “I believe in natural traditional farming and have practiced it from a long time.”

He has willingly contributed one acre of his land toward the Jazba cooperative. In his one acre of land he has sown two kinds of traditional seeds, namely, Haripur white wheat (which was obtained from a farmer in Haripur about 9-10 years ago) and Ratti (which is a red colored seed indigenous to Dera Ismail Khan, Punjab). He added that he is also making natural spray for pesticides from urine of cow as an experiment.

  1. The Farmer from district Shikarpur, Ali Gul Solongi, said that he is member of PKMT. He had sowed three varieties of wheat seed in his one acre of land. He had used 25 kg of a traditional seed from Mansehra, Khyber Pakhtunkwa, 25 kg of seed from Rajanpur, Punjab and 15 kg of Galaxy seed form Sindh. The last is not a traditional seed but has been used over and over again for the past four years. It is being sown for the fifth time with in PKMT farms. He has added the third variety as he feels that 25 kg of seed may be less for the acreage on which it is being used.

According to him, he has turned to sustainable way of cultivation so that he can grow healthy seed. He feels that production may be low, but it will be healthy. Secondly, expenses will be reduced and yield pure seed. Ali Gul added that we will be able to eat this grain, save it as well distribute it to other farmers. His message was “Desi beech ugao . . . companeo ko bhagao” (sow traditional seeds and drive out companies).