Saturday, January 23, 2016

#100StoriesofOptimism - The Impact of Organic Farming

In my earlier post I shared Mark D’Souza’s inspirationalstory of being compassionate towards a small group of elders who had no support. His initiative of helping these elders by serving them fresh, home-made food daily, on his own touched a chord with many. That is the impact of positivity and optimism – making a difference.

And so as promised, my initiative – 100 Stories of Optimism – has a second story. It is from lesser known Maharashtra, populated by farmers and their families.

Now in India, we know how farmers are in turmoil due to the unsuccessful yield to their crop. 

Thousands of farmers are left with no choice but to either sell their land or hunt for jobs. And some farmers, who have no other means of living, burdened by the notwithstanding pressure of mounting loans and lendings, take the extreme step of suicide.

Yet, there is hope.

Some farmers have taken the positive leap of faith in farming by educating themselves and taking a chance in trial and error with certain methods of farming.

A farmer who took the positive leap of faith in farming methods is Rajendra Mane.

This impactful story is about Rajendra Mane from Pandharpur in Solapur, who adopted organic methods of farming to boost the production of pomegranate and grapes. Like every other farmer, Rajendra Mane was using pesticides and chemical based fertilizers to treat his crops. But after year or two of unsuccessful yield, made worse by the unpredictable weather conditions, Rajendra Mane sought advice on organic farming methods to have a successful yield of pomegranate fruit.

In the above video, Rajendra Mane talks about how invested a mere INR 10,000 in raw materials and is now reaping upwards of approximately INR 10 Lakh worth Pomegranate fruit yield per acre. And instead of chemical based pesticides and fungicides, Rajendra Mane employs the usage of organic pesticides – cow urine, cow dung, slurry, neem oil and more such environment and crop friendly substances.

Not only did this move keep Rajendra Mane’s Pomegranate crops pest free and disease free, but also reduce his costs of purchasing comparatively expensive pesticides and herbicides.
And the stats are staggering. Thanks to some planning and space management, he is able to plant 1500 plants instead of 300 plants in an acre of cultivable land.

And he recommends this form of farming and the usage of organic substances as fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. Not only are they relatively easy to source, but are cheap and go easy on the farmer’s pocket.

Some lessons we can pick up too:

If possible, we can implement organic farming in our neighbourhood. Say a 5 ft by 5 ft patch of land is arable, receives adequate sunlight and has access to water, one can use it to plant a small vegetable patch.

Even using potted plants in your verandah or balcony. But do use organic means of farming, that is environment friendly.

Do share your comments on this story in the comments section below. I’ll be back with another #100StoriesofOptimism, till then always be on the look out for hope, it’s right around the corner!

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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