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Friday, March 31, 2023

Growing Fruit in Drought-Prone Beed Earns Organic Farming Thousands of Dollars

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Farmers favour reliable organic farming practises and market-friendly produce as a source of consistent income.

However, a farmer in Beed district’s Parali taluka, a perennially drought-stricken area of Maharashtra’s Marathwada region, chose to defy tradition and has become a promising pioneer.

I used to grow soybeans, grammes, and other arid crops that were popular in the region. However, a presentation on organic farming and its success with fruit crops persuaded me to give it a shot. Sandip Gite, a farmer in Nandagoul village, says he grows papaya on a single acre of land.

Sandip claims that in late 2019, he planted 1,000 saplings, some of which were given to him by Mayank Gandhi, who is currently working on farmer empowerment in that village.

  • Organic farming, according to Sandip, uses less water and is a more sustainable way of farming.
  • Investment costs decreased, and crop management became more straightforward, he adds.
  • The farmer said that he received Rs 3 lakh from the crop in seven months.
  • For the crop and other expenses, I spent Rs 1.5 lakh. Watermelon was also planted as a side crop. 

As a result, fertiliser, water, and other services were only used once, lowering overall costs, Sandip explained.

Sandip’s profits increased dramatically as a result of the double harvest.

I immediately extended the crop on another acre of land with the earnings and two acres has helped me earn an income of Rs 11 Lakh, he says.

The farmer claimed to have produced 20 tonnes of papaya, which he sold throughout the state.

The performance became the talk of the town, and other farmers soon decided to try their hand at it as well.

A community of eight farmers that began in January 2020 and has since grown to about 50 farmers. Certain fruit varieties are also being experimented with by the growers.

Around 150 acres of land are now used for fruit plantations. Sandip explained that papaya is grown on about 40 acres of land, with the remaining land being used to grow other fruit varieties such as custard apple, guava, sweet lime, lemon, and mango.

Dnyanoba Gite, another farmer, repeated the same process.

I used the same technique as Sandip and received three lakhs so far by selling six tonnes of produce in Delhi on a three-acre plot of land. The fruit is still being harvested, and I am anticipating a strong future income, he adds.

Subhash Gite, a custard apple and papaya farmer. The aim of growing other fruit varieties is to ensure that they complement each other and that some produce is delivered every few months.

This, according to Subhash, will ensure more than two harvests per year.

Such experiments, according to Subhash, could help bring hope and lower the rate of farmer suicides in the area.

Many such experiments are being registered by farmers earning a good amount of money with organic farming, said Dilip Zende, joint director of the agriculture department (Pune division).

Farmers employ a variety of strategies, according to Dilip, and the government is studying their effectiveness and long-term benefits.

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