People Speak

Published July 13, 2019
Mohammad Shakir, 18, seed seller
Mohammad Shakir, 18, seed seller

“We have been selling vegetable seeds in Rawalpindi and Islamabad for the last four years. The first year, me and my brother started off at various vegetable markets in Rawalpindi, Rawat and Gujar Khan. Then we shifted to Aabpara and since then we are here. Most of the year, we are in Layyah, our hometown, and come to the twin cities during the summer vacations.

My father is a farmer and works on his land in Layyah. We are seven brothers and two sisters. I am the sixth among my brothers. I started working at the age of 5. I would sell chips and toffees. All this time, I did not skip school and handled the expense of my education.

Now I am in intermediate. None of my brothers has studied beyond 10th, so I am the only one in the family who is pursuing his FSc. Two of my older brothers teach at a madressah while one has his own vegetable shop.

I am planning to shift to Islamabad and get admission to a college here and also focus on my trade. We are three brothers who are involved in this profession. Since we come from a family which is involved in agriculture, this trade was a natural option.

The influx of vegetables from China has also increased the demand for local seeds. Many people want to grow their own vegetables, and besides the seeds are cheap as well. People are now preferring organic food as it is healthier. Me and my brother earn Rs500-Rs1,000 per day, which is good enough money for us. Both of us live with our brother in Rawat who is also involved in the same profession.

In my area, almost all people are involved in agriculture. Keeping this in mind, I want to pursue a master’s degree in agriculture so that I can contribute in this field and become a farmer who applies the latest technology to get a better yield.”

Published in Dawn, July 13th, 2019

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