A farming family from India is paying a visit to the Portage la Prairie area, and also looking into the prospects of a farm operation here on the prairies.

Gagandeep Grewal hails from Punjab, India, and says he passed by and checked out the combines on the island displayed by the recent Combine College this past week.

"I'm not doing agriculture here but back in my home country, most people from Punjab are involved in agriculture," says Grewal. "These machines are quite new for us. We don't have this type of machine. They are quite small there."

He explains he farms wheat, rice and some cotton.

Grewal says he noticed our combines have protective cabins with glass enclosures.

"There is nothing like heating or air conditioning in the combines in our country," continues Grewal. "Here, they are more closed and more secure, but I guess they are more costly than ours in Punjab. I'm also researching the lands. The lands here are very cheap as compared to Punjab, but the machinery is expensive. So, that's the thing. The one acre of land is around $1,000 or $1,500 on the Delta side, but in our place, it's around $10,000 for one acre and more. But machinery is cheap there, but here the machinery is expensive and the land is not that expensive. So, that's the difference."

He adds he is considering coming to our area to live and farm.

"This region is good," says Grewal. "I'm interested in knowing about farming here in Manitoba, but the thing is that we don't have many sources. I am looking for other sources to learn how to farm and what help we can get if we start anything in farming. That's why the people who came from my province are hesitant to go into farming. They have the skills, but they don't have the proper information."

Grewal adds he likes how much less and different the fertilizers are used here compared to his country and notes another plus. 

"It's a six-month farming period mostly, and six months off," notes Grewal. "At my place, it's 12 months."