Have you ever wondered, from where do we get the fruits, vegetables, crops and flowers we see around us? From our Nature, you would say. But is there someone who is growing, cultivating them for us? In your science textbooks you have read about agriculture and its practices and there are questions which generally pop up in our minds for e.g. “How is a land able to yield wheat in one season, while the same land produces something else in another season? How are various vegetables like onion, potato, okra, etc, grown parallelly? Are there any specific technique(s) which our farmers use to grow them? How are we able to get exotic, non-indigenous varieties in our local markets?
Let’s meet the heroes of farming who put their sincere efforts and lead to a change in the field of Indian agriculture. They are Padma Shri Awardees of the year 2019. While there is one ‘Kisan Chaachi’ who helped the fellow women of her village with her innovative organic farming techniques, there is another who is known as ‘Banana King’ and has used tissue culture practices for achieving higher crop yields. Here is a quick look of their exceptionally amazing stories:
- Rajkumari Devi:- Popularly known as ‘Kisan Chachi / Cycle Chachi’ has been a role model for over 300 women farmers helping them to opt for organic farming of fruits , vegetables and grains. Despite of her joint family responsibilities and being a mother of 3 children, this young woman was not allowed to step out of her home, not even in the market. When her husband Avdesh’s family got divided, they got two and a half acres of land. Her husband was doing tobacco farming on the land. The revenue generated was unable to meet the expenses of their family. She then decided to step out of the shackles to look for an alternative source of income. It was then, when she started acquiring some farming skills by cultivating organic vegetables, fruits, trees and shrubs. She upscaled her skills to advance her business to make homemade pickles, jams and jellies. Today, under her guidance, nearly 300 women have formed self-help groups where they are getting skilled in organic farming practices. To know more about this dynamic women please visit the link:
- Vallabhbhai Vasrambhai Marvaniya:- At the age of 97, Shri Vallabhbhai has been recognized with the Grassroots Innovation award with his innovation of ‘Madhuvan Gajar’- an improved carrot variety. He is based out of Gujarat and has the honor to serve carrots on the plates of Gujaratis for the first time. Until 1943, the people of the state did not feel that carrots were suitable for consumption as they used it only as cattle feed. While feeding his cattle, he tasted the vegetable and finding it delicious he asked his father to grow it. Vallabhbhai dug the roots and earned Rs 8 which was a big amount at that time by selling just two sacks of carrots. His father supported him then and he rose to huge success, earning the Nawab of Junagarh and Muhhamad Mahabat Khan III as his clients. To know more about this man please click the link here:
- Kamala Pujhari:- A 70 year old preserver of paddy seeds, an Odisha based tribal woman was always fascinated with the traditional paddy seeds . She wanted to conserve them and the thought helped her to preserve hundreds of variety of indigenous paddy and rare type of seeds including turmeric, black cumin and mahakanta. After getting the formal training and knowledge from MS Swaminath Research foundation, she along with the fellow women from her village formed groups to create awareness to not use chemical fertilizers and switch to organic farming. She has also been added to the Odisha State Planning Board Committee in 2018. Pic Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamala_Pujari To know more about her click here:
- Venkateswara Rao Yadlapalli: A man who hails from an agricultural family had interest in agriculture since childhood. He took up to farming in his his own fields. To serve the farming community with varied communication medium, he published magazines, DVDs and books on agriculture and the allied With 3 farmer magazines ‘Rythunestham’ (Agriculture & Horticulture) ‘Pasunestham’ (Dairy, Poultry & Fisheries) and ‘Prakruthinestham’ (Organic & Natural Farming), he developed a course curriculum for these diverse sectors. These magazines became popular among the farmers of Telangana & Andhra Pradesh. To know more about this interesting personality please visit this link: https://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/viral-and-trending/100219/making-greenery-his-mission.html
- Ram Saran Verma:- He is known as the ’Hi- Tech farmer’ who practices farming on his 150 acres of land and has earned a sufficient amount of profit per month from it. He is the first farmer in his state to introduce the Tissue Culture technique for banana farming. For an incurring cost of 1 lakh, he earned a profit of around 4 lakhs. He grew some amazing yields like ‘Red banana’ with the help of crop rotation technique. He uses this technique diligently to reduce soil erosion and to increase soil fertility and crop yield. To have a glimpse of his sincere efforts, please visit his website: http://www.vermaagri.com/
If you feel excited after reading these heroic stories and are curious to know more about Organic Farming, some glimpses of the Organic Mahotsav held in Udaipur from Nov 29 to Dec 1, 2019 will help you. Click here for Organic Mahotsav.