Hukumchand Patidar, a class 10 dropout from Rajasthan, is said to design the organic agriculture curriculum for agricultural universities in India. A farmer from Manpura village in Jhalawar district of Rajasthan, he was praised by the Padma Shri in 2018 for his work promoting organic farming on his farm, Swami Vivekananda Jaivik Krishi Anusandhan Kendra.
He has also been a consultant to the four agricultural universities of Rajasthan on the subject of organic agriculture. Patidar started organic farming in 2005 even though his family and friends were against the fear of loss. He started organic farming on a small plot of a 25 hectare farm. Today, he has helped transform his home village of Manpura into a completely chemical-free agricultural plot.
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Patidar’s organic produce earns him 40% more than crops grown using the conventional farming method, the IANS reported. It claims to use ‘panchgavya’ or the five elements derived from cows for better soil quality and to make crops healthier. The school dropout is now earning millions and exporting the products to Japan, Germany and Switzerland.
He is currently working on modules to be introduced into the curriculum. This includes natural and cow dung farming that is currently underway and will be introduced to schools, colleges and universities, Patidar said. “Our ancient texts and manuscripts have taught me facts about organic farming and I will share the same with my colleagues on the panel,” he told the news agency.
He got into organic farming after realizing that conventional farming methods were dangerous to human health and the environment. “I realized that the productivity of the land is going down with conventional agriculture that uses chemicals and the soil is being damaged and the crops are becoming toxic,” he told IANS.
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The Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) has now included him in the national program committee because of his expertise in the cultivation of organic oranges, pulses, onions, coriander and fennel, many of which part is exported to Europe. He had introduced several measures to improve his farm’s carbon cycle, and his field conditions became more conducive to the “growth of microorganisms and insects that make the soil fertile”, he said.
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