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Small farms can be profitable.
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Rupees 10 lakh every year, 20771 one-hectare ha land — an unbelievable proposition for all those bought up on the much-propaga ted idea that small farmlands are unprofitable. But Ramesh Chander Dagar has made this proposition into a reality.
Diay visit to his farmland in Akbarpur Barota village, Sonipat district, Haryana can be quite an eye opener. The farmland resembles the laboratory of any agricultural scientist. Says Dagar, “I am a simple farmer, who has studied only ,rishi to the 10th standard. I used to keep hearing claims of the government that small land holdings are not viable for agriculture. And that set me thinking.
About four years back, I set aside one ha from my agricultural land and started experimenting on it. Today I am confident that this land can give a minimum income of Rs 10 lakh per annum.
A good combination of all these practices is sure to make organic farming successful, both ecologically and financially,” adds Dagar. Today he is busy spreading the message of integrated organic farming in his home state. With support of other farmers, he has set up the Haryana Kisan Welfare Club, which has branches in all districts in the state.
Close to 5, farmers are active members of this club and they are fast spreading the word around. In states such as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat there are now efforts at replicating organic farming clubs. Learning by doing Dagar started farming with a mere 1. A clear understanding of three factors — the market demand, the natural resources available and maintaining the product krshi — helped him succeed.
Most organic farmers find it difficult to get good markets for their produce, but not Dagar. It is only when I am 60 per cent sure of getting returns, do I take 40 per cent risk,” he says. And in most cases it works to his good. Almost all seasonal vegetables, fruits, paddy, wheat, mushroom and flowers are grown organically in Dagar’s farm. He has also started growing exotic vegetables and fruits, such as lettuce, krjshi corn and strawberry, for export.
This innovative farmer disry set aside one ha for research purposes Dagar’s research lab. Kgishi a bit of hard work and understanding 207 nature, any farmer can earn a minimum of Rs 10 lakh per annum. I do not understand why everyone is running after a job?
Dagar’s research lab Dagar’s lab oratory is a visual extravaganza. One can witness composting taking place at one end, flowers krixhi at the other end, a farm pond with fishes, and a biogas plant.
And all these elements in his farm are interlinked through various agrocycles and together generate an annual income of Rs lakh see table: Moreover, the farm saves precious energy by using solar power.
Spreading the word Kdishi Dagar is busy spreading the word of integrated farming throughout the country. Farmers from Haryana are playing a lead role in the mission.
Small farms can be profitable
The Haryana Kisan Welfare Club gives hands-on training on organic farming. Since most farmers cannot come to the district clubs, workshops are organised at village level. In February this year, a gathering of about 4, farmers was organised at Sonipat. Apart from farmers, experts, agricultural scientists and bureaucrats were invited. But Dagar concedes that motivating government machinery towards integrating organic farming is a big task. But Dagar is not waiting for government help.
He has made organic farming his mission. For instance, right now I am trying to grow a Chinese plant, which is times sweeter than sugar but is cholesterol free. If I am successful in my venture, I will recommend it to others. Since the plant has medicinal value, it has a huge international market,” he says. Way back inDagar had introduced baby corn in Sonipat on a mere 0. Today, almost ha land in Sonipat is under baby corn cultivation. Future challenges With success come new challenges.
The cost of organic food is priced higher than food grown with the use of chemicals. Dagar has tried to turn this adversity to his advantage. He makes use of good marketing tactics to exploit the high premium on organic food.
He has also tied up with voluntary organisations that market organic food. To be doubly sure, he himself conducts market research to ascertain the demand for various organic foods. Another, problem for organic farmers like Dagar is that India lacks a streamlined procedure for certifying organic foods.
Also one kind of certificate is not valid for all countries. It has about 10 companies registered under it, of which only one is an Indian firm. A day’s visit of a company official costs about Rs 15, Which Indian farmer has so much money? The Haryana Kisan Welfare Club has taken up this issue with the government, but without success. Finally it approached a Gurgaon-based private company for certification.
The company should start work within a month.
The club is following group certification scheme where rich farmers will subsidise the certification process of the poor ones. But it is high time, the Indian government facilitates the procedure and supports farmers like Dagar.
Small farms can be profitable
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You can further help us by making a donation. Irishi will mean diaty lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground krlshi that we can make change together. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. I was searching for some information on how to convert a regular farm in to organic farm and landed here.
This is wonderful and motivating. I have a 5 acre farm in Haryana. With ground water level going deeper, canal water never reaches up to my farm and scarcity of rain, its challenging to continue traditional farming.
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I am searching for new modern technical ways to transform my farm into organic farm. Dear Chanderji, its so satifying to see people who walk the talk. Many of us live ‘practically’ and few like you live ‘ideally and practically’. It takes courage, faith krjshi earn a livelihood by providing a tangible benefit to society.
Stories like ypurs surely stir many of us, who are chained to this rat race. And one more thing you said ground water to be increased while rainy season by way of adopting pond to harvest rain water.
Great article and encouraging one to those who are thinking of agriculture as a career. I am realy apreciating your knowledge. I am thinking a lot, if require will visit your place and share your knowledge. This is very nice. This is a real eye opener. Dagarji is a real time hero, a motivator. More and more people should adopt this methods and become self efficient and help play a role in raising nations economy by self growth.
Hats off to you Sir. I am from kerelainterrested in fishery n organic vegetable farming can u guide me. The Sustainable practice of Agriculture shown by Dagar is really a man of inspiration.
At the age of climate change and global warming, farmers of our country can take his path. At the same time, the unemployed youth of both educated and uneducated section can learn his lesson and make them self-sufficient.
Very interesting to learn about Mr. How can I get more information about his cultivation Jacob. Sir we have 10 aches land but we cont get more than 3 lk we suffer a lot how we can earn more money by making good crop please reply me. I have few doubt regarding organic farming. Could you please give your mobile number.
Dagar I want to learn about your technique And I want to talk to you for further starting my farming career. Thank you for this useful information.
I want to contact information for this farming. I have 6 acres land. I will start and after success I would like to encourage other farmers near by me. Please suggest me how to start. I want to talk with him as I am interested in cultivation and doing now in traditional methods.
Plz expand ur farming in Assam