Nahar and his family cultivating coriander leaves
Nahar is a 65 years old farmer residing in Kelwada village of Kumbalgarh block. He has 3 children, a daughter who is married and two sons who have migrated to Mumbai city in search of employment. He is mainly dependent on agriculture cultivation practiced on 2 bigha of irrigated land and animal husbandry for his livelihood. He has always been interested in vegetable cultivation but due to lack of technical know-how his production has been limited.
Seva Mandir started giving agricultural trainings to farmers in Kelwada village, in the year 2015. Under this training, agricultural experts gives information and conducts field demonstration on package of good agricultural practices to the farmers. These practices includes methods for improving soil health, new sowing and vegetable cultivation methods, importance of using natural fertilizers & pesticides, role of cleaning and grading of crops in fetching a better market price etc. This effort aims to boost agricultural productivity with improved methods of cultivation.
Nahar developed keen interest in vegetable cultivation during these trainings. Further, in order to motivate him and other farmers alike, they were provided with 4 kgs of Coriander seeds by Seva Mandir in May 2016. Then he sowed the seed in his field using the new method, for which he initially leveled his field and made a soil bed of 4 inches in height. And, as per the guideline he sowed the seeds in rows (line) unlike broadcasting done in the traditional method. Accordingly, the new method increases the survival rate of the crops by 40%. In this case, not only leveling of field helps in checking run-off water, but also alleviating the land helps in checking soil erosion.
The coriander plants started producing new leaves within 1 month after sowing. It was harvested after every third day and was sold in the nearby market using local transportation. In a matter of 2 months, Nahar was able to make 15 trips to the market. He sold coriander at the rate of Rs 50-70/kg and earned around Rs 65,000. The only monetary cost he had to incur in the process was the cost of transportation, the labor for cutting coriander leaves was provided by his family members and he had hardly incurred any input costs. A single trip to the market cost him Rs. 200, and the net profit he could earned through this was Rs. 63,000. This endeavor is even more praiseworthy as no fertilizer or pesticide was used, thus making it a 100% organic production.
Elated and considerably encouraged by first time success of his coriander harvest and sale in market at such a good price, Nahar decided to cultivate cauliflower which he expected would fetch him Rs 50,000/- to 60,000/-. Accordingly, he developed a cauliflower nursery in the last week of May 2016, and transplanted the sapling to his field in early June 2016. Up till 15th August 2016, he could sell cauliflower of worth Rs 35,000. While the total cost of production and marketing which includes input cost and transportation came to Rs 7,000, his net profit was Rs. 28,000. Here, the production turned out to be less than expected, as 50% of the crop was damaged due to heavy rainfall in the months of July and August. Nonetheless, the whole experience has been rewarding for his family. In particular, the additional income generated from the sale of vegetables as compared to previous years. The usual farm practice has been of single crop production during Kharif season in this region and that too is for household consumption. In the first place, vegetables cultivation during Kharif is rare in this area; while it not only has the potential of generating additional income for farmers, but also helps arresting their migration to nearby cities in search for alternative employment.
Observing the thriving vegetable farm of Nahar, together with his new knowledge and skill of improved package of practices, other members in his community are eager to step into marketable vegetable cultivation. This success story is perhaps a major stepping stone in the field of agriculture for enterprising small scale farmers of Kumbhalgarh!
Nahar is today happy and thank Seva Mandir for all the knowledge and support.
We thank you for showing interest and for your continued support to our “Provide Enough Food for Poor Farmers in India” project.
Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team
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Training session with farmers
Cauliflower garden at Nahar's Farm