December 15, 2015

Community College Alumnus Revolutionizing Farming in Pakistan


Alvi and Professor Jim Beard experiment with gourd seeds to find ways to improve farms in Pakistan.
Thanks to his experience in the Community College Initiative Program, in one short year, Alvi has revolutionized the way farmers across Punjab, Pakistan are growing bitter gourd crops by using organic and low-cost measures that increase plant yields and fruit quality. He has become the go to guy on farming and crop growth.
While at Fox Valley Technical College, in Wisconsin, Alvi took agricultural and sciences classes which helped him not only run his own farm, but also to teach others. Alvi also partnered with a professor to solve a challenging situation: how to grow bitter gourds in the warm and dry Pakistani climate.  They replicated the conditions and tried different fertilizing techniques, and continue to be in contact to this day, sharing ideas and techniques for improving crop yield.   
He devoted his exchange experience to his home country and was able to make a substantial impact once he returned to Pakistan. “My door is always open and my cell phone is always ringing,” Alvi jokes about his new-found popularity. “I’ve trained the farmers in my small village, and even had a farmer from a neighboring province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa come and learn from me.”