Mr. Ahmad's class had been planning a picnic for sometime. The Headmaster had allowed them a day's outing and they were to go by the school bus. They were naturally very excited. Mr. Ahmad arranged the visit to a farm with Mr. Hassan, the manager of the Model Agricultural Farm.
It was a pleasant day in April when Mr. Ahmad and his class reached the Model Farm. Mr. Hassan received them at the gate and showed them around. The boys had no idea that an agricultural farm could be so large and interesting. It was the wheat harvesting season. The party saw a huge machine called the "Combine" working in the vast wheat fields. It cut the crop and tied it into sheaves. With one sweep, it seemed to eat up a large area of the golden crop which came out tied into a bundle at the other end. The wheat then went into "Thresher" which separated the grain from the chaff. From one end of the machine fell a golden rain of sweet-smelling wheat, while chaff flew out at the other. The students watched the working of the machine with keen interest. Mr. Hassan said: "The whole process of ploughing, seeding, harvesting and threshing the corn is done with machines on our farm. One man working with this machine can do as much work as one hundred men working without it."
Bilal (One of the students): "Sir, do you get bigger crops in this way"? Mr. Hassan: "0, much bigger. While an average farm produces 15 to 20 quintals of wheat for every hectare, we produce as much as 60 to 70 quintals."*
Bilal: "This is wonderful. But, surely machines do not make the grain."
Mr. Hassan (laughing): "No, certainly not. What, in fact, happens is that first the machines called 'tractors' plough deeper. Then, they prepare the land for sowing much faster. The sowing machine sows the seed very fast, and no seed goes waste. We also select the best seed. Then we use, chemical fertilizers to enrich the soil. We get a lot of canal water but we also irrigate our fields with our own tube-well which can supply water all the year round. Finally, we spray insecticides on our crops to kill germs and harmful insects. So, our farm produces three to four times as much wheat per hectare as an ordinary farm does."
Sarosh (another student): "Do you grow only wheat?"
Mr Hassan: "No, we grow wheat, maize, cotton, sugar-cane and gram. Moreover, we grow vegetables and we also have a large orchard, where we grow mangoes and oranges.'
The party was then taken to the vegetable farm and the visitors were surprised to see growing there such vegetables as were out of season. Mr. Hassan explained that by using chemical fertilizers, with plentiful supply of water, and with the help of machinery, they could grow, finer and better vegetables in all seasons and in larger quantities. He offered the boys fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. They were washed in running water and the boys ate them with great delight.
It was afternoon by now and Mr. Hassan gave the boys a delicious lunch prepared mainly from the farm's own produce. Later, the students, visited the mango orchard and were delighted to see green fruit, hanging from the branches in large numbers. The trunks of the trees had been white washed with lime and the ground below was neat and clean. They did not see any weeds or wild grasses around. Mr. Hassan told them that it was necessary to protect them from pests and diseases which destroy the plants as well as the fruit.
Mr. Hassan also told the visitors that the farm had been doing so well that they had decided to add a dairy to it. There, finest cows and buffaloes would be kept. He surprised the visitors by telling them that the farm would use an electric milker to milk the animals. Modern machinery would make cream and butter and preserve the milk. He promised to invite Mr. Ahmad and his class when the dairy started working. Mr. Ahmad thanked him. The boys were really happy with their visit and cheered loudly when they left the farm.
While coming back they talked about their visit to the farm, Biial said, “We need to establish many such farms throughout the country." Mr. Ahmad agreed with him and said, "I think you are right. In this way we would be able to meet the needs of ever growing population of our country.”
*Quintal = 100 Kilograms