Monday, March 4, 2024

The dying art of making handmade farming tools

Every morning at 7am, Gulsher Khan opens a small shop on the Chakwal-Talagang Road close to the town’s general bus stand and closes it 12 hours later.

Despite the lengthy hours, he makes between Rs200 and Rs300 an afternoon. In the face of modern generation, there’s little call for for his merchandise: handmade farming and family tools.

Mr Khan, who’s from the Ranjha village, seems a lot older than his 65 years. Continuous labour that began all the way through his adolescence has tired a lot of his well being. He is now considered one of seven or 8 local artisans who make such equipment, coming from more than a few villages to paintings in Chakwal town.

Mr Khan used to be left by myself as a child after his parents separated. He recalls that he was raised “in deprivation and mistreated” by means of his relations. He has 8 daughters, five of whom dangle masters degrees while the 6th holds a bachelors and the ultimate two are still studying.

“We eat very simple food. Many days we eat bread and onions, but I always met my daughters’ education expenses.” There was once a time when artisans like Mr Khan had secure work, however now many in their handcrafted tools have been replaced through fashionable equipment.

For example, where a plough pulled by animals was once as soon as a basic farming instrument, the tractor has changed handmade ploughs. The extinction of the handmade plough method there’s little use for a yoke, or a punjali, that was once used to couple the livestock together. Now, the yoke is used basically in bull racing.

Another such device is the winnower, used to separate husk from grain. Two forms of handmade winnowers are used in Punjab: the traingal and the karai, and whilst the desire for each has fallen as farmers turn to modern threshers, they’re still used.

“We used to make every kind of farming tool, but now most have been replaced by modern tools made in industries. But there are some tools that are still made by hand,” stated Mohammad Din, 64.

“A cattle owner still needs a balling gun – a nullah­ ­– to administer medicine to his cattle. A farmer still needs a saddle for his donkey and a sickle to cut fodder and harvest his crop.”

Handcrafting farming equipment might live to tell the tale as a occupation for a decade or so, however it is waning. Mr Din realized the art from his father 40 years ago, and his grandfather used to be also an artisan. “But my two sons have not joined the profession.

The more youthful generation isn’t joining the career because it gives a bleak future. Team Team is a comprehensive online platform dedicated to providing valuable agricultural information and resources in Pakistan. With a focus on promoting sustainable farming practices, enhancing agricultural productivity, and empowering farmers, serves as a one-stop hub for all things related to agriculture in Pakistan. Through its user-friendly interface and a vast array of content, the platform aims to connect farmers, researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders, facilitating knowledge exchange and driving the transformation of the agricultural sector in Pakistan.

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