City : Chak 85GB Faislabad
Profession : Lady Farmer
“Farming is not a job for woman and only women can work as daily wagers in the fields. This was common comment of my villagers about me when I started farming. But it was my need because I have my own land and no other source of income or earning hand for my children,” Kalsoom Bibi stated. She lives in Chak 85GB, Tehsil and District Faislabad.
She is a very hard-working lady farmer with a deep look, and life experience written in her face, puts her best efforts towards agriculture for last 20 years to fulfill the need of her family’s bread and butter where 05 teenager kids are living. The major factor for her poor output was lack of financial resources. She had no financing to purchase agriculture related inputs for cultivation. She had to purchased material/inputs from local money lenders and dealers with a very high cost as compare to market rate. These lenders demanded complete yields of her crop cultivation and did not pay him proper crop purchase rate.
She said, “I heard about the Akhuwat from my village fellows then attended a gathering at our Masjid and felt so excited to know about the interest free loan for small farmers like me.” After the process and meeting eligibility criteria, she got the interest free loan of Rs 15,000, Rs 50,000, Rs 50,000 and Rs 20,000 for Rabi 16-17, Kharif 17, Rabi 17-18 and Kharif 18 respectively. These loans are provided under the project of “Interest free Agriculture e-Credit Scheme” initiative of Government of the Punjab as part of Chief Minister’s Kissan Package. By availing this interest free loan facility, she became able to purchase inputs timely from the market with market price and able to boost up her income level and cultivation of land with modern techniques. Her production increase as 05 munds per acr.
Kalsoom Bibi told, “Not only received interest free loan but came to know about the importance of laser leveling and test of soil and water. My land was uneven and then I did laser level that reduced my cost of water. Now I do purchase seed and fertilizer on time and become able to sale my yield in open market on best rates. By this facility as blessing of Almighty Allah, I have saved money by cash purchasing and better sale price of my crops.”
Kalsoom Bibi now have her bank account with ATM card and said, “I am taking out the amount as per need.” She also provided a free of cost smart phone by Government of the Punjab for availing other facilities like wallet account and agriculture related advisory services.
People around Kalsoom Bibi taunted her, but she faced societal pressure. Nevertheless, she remained dedicated to her work and not only has this experience changed the lives of her children but it has also instilled a confidence in Kalsoom Bibi and her children. Today, they are hopeful for happiness, success and a better future. She thanks to Government of the Punjab as well as Akhuwat for such a value addition services in the life of small farmers.
City: Chak Hameed
Profession : Farmer
Amir lives in Chak Hameed village of Tehsil Pind Dadan Khan, District Jhelum. He got education up to elementary class and engaged in farming for last 18 years. He adopted agriculture as profession and became tenant on 05 kanals land of one of his villager. Amir stated during talk, “it was my dream that there should be an institute from where I get interest free loan to fulfill the expenses of crops.” He told that his dream became true when Akhuwat entered in his village and he acknowledged it as blessing of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
As Amir is a marginal farmer and his income from farming was less as he had to sell his produce to the moneylender from whom he used to borrow seed and fertilizer for carrying out cultivation activity. The agreement with the moneylender was that he would sell his produce to him only. In this whole process, Amir got inputs on high price and handover his yield on the lowest rate as compared to the market. Amir said, “maximum reward of my efforts gone to the moneylender”.
When Akhuwat started working in his village, Amir become the member of a community organization that is the prerequisite for availing interest free loan. After the certain process, Amir got interest free loans Rs 25,000, Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000 in Kharif 17, Rabi 17-18 and Kharif 18 respectively for purchasing of seed and fertilizer under the project of “Interest free Agriculture e-Credit Scheme” initiative of Government of the Punjab as part of Chief Minister’s Kissan Package. He now has cash in hand at the time of cultivation and he purchases the required item from open market. This makes him very comfortable regarding the price of agriculture inputs and the quality that he needed. After the harvesting, now he is keen to sale out his produce where he will get the better price.
During the discussion, Amir Shahzad said “this interest free loan not only liberate me from the moneylender, however I get proper guidance from agricultural experts about optimum production with a little effort.” Amir also stated that with loan amount he purchased some new tools and equipment as well as repaired some existing. He said, “due to community organization formation, a relationship of brotherhood grown up in the community.”
Amir have his bank account from which he received the loan amount directly in real time and then using ATM for cash withdrawal. He also received a smart phone from government of the Punjab by that he is using other digital facilities related like wallet account and agri advisory service. He expressed so excitement when saying, “he never seen like these facilities in his life for a small farmer without any cost.” He suggested continuing this project because if a small farmer will get prosperity then Pakistan’s economy will grow.
City: Chak 427-TDA Layyah
Profession : Kissan
Standing in the farm, Ghulam Akhter was telling his story. “I used to take loan on interest to fulfill the financial requirement of cultivation. I never felt easy to run the kitchen of house due to low income, major portion of my income went to in term of interest. The home was often quarrelsome as the requirements were not fulfilled. I was very depressed about it and worried how to overcome the situation. One day I attended a community gathering at masjid where some officials told us about the interest free loan facility for small farmers that is initiated by government of the Punjab with coordination of Akhuwat. At that day I felt that Allah has created this opportunity for the farmers like me.”
Ghulam Akhter lives in Chak 427-TDA, Tehsil and District Layyah. He is engaged in farming for last 11 years on his own land of 12 kanals. He is a very hard working farmer and generating income for his family of 07 members. With other fellow farmers, Ghulam Akhter used to purchase fertilizers from middleman on credit, who charged high prices on it. He used to charge Rs 4,000 for one bag, which had market price of 3,000 Rs per bag. And the delivery of fertilizer was very late, that resulted in very poor production of crop. Moreover, Akhter and other farmers were bound to sell their crop production to the middleman. When the crop was harvested and sold to the middleman he used to purchase crop at cheaper rate than market. Akhter informed that “the middleman was exploiting us. We were forced to purchase fertilizers from him at higher rates than market and to sell our crop to him, which he purchases at lower rates than market. We didn’t have cash to purchase fertilizer, so we had to go to the middleman for credit purchase, we had no other option.” The middleman used to purchase Rs 1,000 per bag less than market price which resulted in Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 loss per year to these farmers.
Ghulam Akhter got interest free loans Rs 55,000, Rs 34,000 and Rs 55,000 in Kharif 17, Rabi 17-18 and Kharif 18 respectively for purchasing of seed and fertilizer under the project of “Interest free Agriculture e-Credit Scheme” initiative of Government of the Punjab as part of Chief Minister’s Kissan Package. He also got some additional facilities which geared his yield production. The basic agriculture training, water test, soil test and laser leveling caused decrease in expenses and increase in production.
Akhter said that, “I never use bank earlier, but now I have my ATM card and also learn about to use it. My loan amount is now safe in account and I use it as and when need.” He received a smart phone with internet service from government of the Punjab to get useful agri advisory services. He stated that he never seen this kind of facilities from government for the small farmers like me.
He now feels very happy for his good crop and was also happy that he finally got rid of the middleman. He appreciated the efforts of Akhuwat and Agriculture Department for the services on door-step of the farmers. He suggested to continue the project with addition of water schemes.