Discover the hidden treasure underneath your uncultivated land
Gulfraz sets an example
Time certainly flies but the promised change in its wrappings was yet to knock at his door. A per chance meeting with someone can change the course of his life; he would never have thought about it, may be even in his wildest dreams. But, as they say, change is inevitable. His was not a different case as today he is all set to eat the bread by the sweat of his face.
Gulfraz Ahmad, 38, had never seen good days in his life. Making both ends meet was always a herculean task for him. His children were badly under nourished and provision of education to them was never on the list of his top priorities. So morale sapping and disorienting was it all that he had almost resigned to fate. A detailed sitting with the agricultural experts of the HAI-Pak soon made him realize that change was still possible.
During the interaction, he informed the HAI team that he possessed a tract of uncultivated land and wanted to make the best use of that. After the survey, it was discovered that the piece of land he talked about was highly suitable for olive farming.
The HAI decided to select his piece of land for a pilot project on cultivation of olive plants in the area called Jihala, Bagh, AJK. Gulfraz was provided with extensive training and 25 plants to try his luck in this sector.
It was 2012 when he started the project formally. Today, the plants have grown up significantly and Gulfraz is quite sanguine that "within two years these plants would start bearing fruit and I am genuinely hoping to earn a handsome amount by selling olive oil products such as pickle, hair oil, cooking oil and so forth".
He also plans to cultivate many more olive oil plants in coming days and become a role model for others in this sector. He has already started guiding interested people as how to grow and tender these plants. He believes that one can earn handsomely from a 20-plant garden to live a smooth and respectable life.
"This is not all about helping you earning a respectable livelihood", he reminds, before adding that "the HAI-Pak has rekindled a new hope and yearning in me. Gone are the days when I was known for my idleness and bankruptcy. Today people know me as a trendsetting farmer…! What else one can ask for, by the way. Thank you HAI for helping me reaching this far… a dream has certainly come true", he utters before herding off a stray goat eying at his plants, only to redouble his determination to make his initiative a true success story.