Taking a step ahead, Punjab-based Zamindara Farm Solutions (Pvt) Ltd, which offers agricultural equipment to farmers at a nominal rent, intends to open 150 training centres covering 800-900 villages across the state in the next 12 months to train rural youth on agricultural equipment. According to the company, the initiative will not only help the rural youth to get employment but also help in making agriculture sustainable for small and marginal farmers.
It has transformed itself into a large supplier of agriculture goods and services. It operates one of the largest equipment bank, one of its kind, in Punjab.
Speaking to Business Standard, Zamindara Farm Solutions Director Vikram A Ahuja said, "We had set up a training centre in Malout for rural youth on farm mechanisation equipment including maintenance in association with the state government which would be inaugurated very soon. Similarly, we wish to set up sub-centre across the state. Initially, we plan to set about 150 centres in association with local panchayats, local people or may be in association with state government.&"
He added, farmers in Punjab have traditionally taken costly bank loans to buy expensive farm equipment. This equipment has been by and large underutilised due to the small size of the farm holdings (4.2 million hectares are cultivated by 1.5 million families) and the seasonality of use. With this situation in mind we have formed the company. "We have launched Karz Mukt Kisan (Debt Free Farmer) program, which in addition to providing equipments on hiring basis also encourages water conservation and soil improvement,&" he added.