In these distressed times, the story of Prem Singh from Banda’s Badokhar Khurd village, spells hope.
Amid the parched landscape, this 56-year-old farmer’s lush 32 bighas (five acres) of farmland stands in stark contrast.
It is a paradise where cattle and poultry drink from the in-farm water bodies although the region has scarce water, families relish fruits from their own orchards, a processing unit manufactures 100 per cent organic products, the soil is healthy and only nourished with natural fertilisers.
Prem’s technique of ‘Avartansheel Kheti’, or ‘periodic proportionate farming’ on four acres of land, helps him earn a yearly income between Rs 15-20 lakh!
This technique requires a farmer to divide his land into three parts.
One part is required to grow fruits and trees that grow in a forest. Apart from gaining additional income for the farmer, the cost of labour required to maintain this part of the land is low.
The second part is used to rear livestock like cows, buffaloes, goats, and poultry.
The third part of the land is used to grow crops for his home.
From staples like wheat and rice to three types of pulses, cereals, vegetables, fruits, and even spices and oil, everything that is required for consumption within the household, is homegrown.
Prem observes, “The farmer has to sustain his home first. Once that is done, the surplus should be sold in the market, not in its raw form, but after being processed.”
Some of the popular products are amla pickle and candy, cow ghee, mustard oil, organic rice and flour (wheat, gram, and barley).
These not only help a farmer create a market but also “add value to his produce and earn additional income”.
When asked what a farmer should do if they need to buy a few items from the market, Prem suggests that they buy them from within the community or neighbouring villages to help boost the local economy.
If this story inspired you, get in touch with Prem Singh on 94155 57444.
It also boasts of a ‘Humane Agrarian Centre’, an open university for young farmers to teach the principles of sustainable agriculture.