Gul Muhammad is a 40 year old farmer living with his wife and seven children in Chilgazi, district Chagai, located 17Km from the city of Quetta in Balochistan.
Many families make a living by farming in this district, both men and women of the same household contribute equally in the field.
Gul Mohammad and his fellow farmers work hard in the fields and practice old agricultural methods to enhance their yield. This year their crops failed due to the prolonged dry season and lack of knowledge about drought resistant cropping.
Islamic Relief introduced the Green Tunnel Farming System to these farmers. This helps them grow out of season crops and deal with extreme weather conditions. They did not know about new crops varieties, or off season cropping that counter climate change, and most importantly how to manage water which remains an extremely scarce resource.
Tunnel farming helps farmers reap more profits from the vegetable crops that are mainly grown in summer. The green tunnel creates summer-like conditions during winter that enables the crops sown in summer ready for harvest during winter. Gul Muhammad along with other farmers have now started adopting techniques to boost yield and produce off season crops.
I am growing tomatoes, cucumbers and grapes, hoping to gain double profit by selling my produce. I am sure the reward of my hard work will be phenomenal.
With increased crop yield, we will also be able to save enough for the upcoming dry season. Our children will eat healthy nutritious food and will no longer be anaemic and will perform well in school!
The improved profit from off season cropping has also enabled many farmers in my village to join saving schemes, for their children’s education, marriage, medical treatment and other household work.
At first, other farmers were skeptical about the new agriculture methods and idea of tunnel farming system, but when they saw Gul Muhammad’s success, they were also inspired to try these new agriculture methods.
Gul Muhammad, appreciated the efforts of Islamic Relief Pakistan and extended his gratitude for introducing him to the Green Tunnel Farming System and putting smile on the faces of struggling farmers.