Chandigarh, Oct 15: Gurpreet Singh Kuthala, 26, a farmer from Ferozepur Kuthala village in Punjab’s Malerkotla district, has been earning huge from the paddy straw, which most of the farmers considered a liability.
He grabbed the opportunity by buying ex-situ machines -- a straw rake and a baler -- provided by the state government on 50 per cent subsidy.
The farmer is 12th pass and cultivating 40 acres. He had signed a contract with Sangrur RNG Bio Gas Plant, Panjgaraian, to supply 12,000 quintals paddy straw bales last year and earned around Rs 16 lakh by selling them.
Now, this young farmer with the help of his friend Sukhwinder Singh has bought four new machines -- two balers and rakes each.
Expressing hope to earn over Rs 1 crore this year, the farmer said he has inked a contract to supply 18,000 quintals paddy straw bales at Rs 160 per quintal and Rs 10 for transportation of per bale to Sangrur RNG Bio Gas Plant, besides contracting with Pusav Beler in Mansa to provide 5,000 quintals straw bales in Amritsar district and 5,000 quintals for local Gujjar community.
He said he would store around 20,000 quintals bales from his own land and other nearby villages and will supply it to paper mills, and bio-CNG plants at approx Rs 280 in off season.
He said he will also collect around 18,000 quintals bales from around 1,125 acres in Malerkotla.
Congratulating the farmer for joining the government’s endeavour to save the environment, state Agriculture Minister Gurmeet Singh Khudian urged all farmers to take an inspiration from Gurpreet Singh and be a part of the government’s anti-crop residue burning campaign for larger interests of people.
He said around 24,000 crop residue management (CRM) machines, including surface seeders, are being provided at subsidised prices by the government to farmers this harvesting season to curb the paddy straw burning incidents and manage the crop residue effectively.