Jaipur, January 18
Believe it or not, but a class 10 dropout from Rajasthan would sit alongside scientists and academicians to design an organic farming curriculum for agricultural universities in India.
The man in charge of a mission is Hukumchand Patidar, a farmer from the village of Manpura in the district of Jhalawar in Rajasthan. He was commissioned to design the curriculum on organic agriculture for agricultural universities in India.
Interestingly, he’s the least worried about not having a degree. “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 said.
“The module I’m working on, natural and cow dung farming, will be introduced in schools, colleges and universities,” Patidar said.
He advocates the use of ‘panchgavya’ or the five elements derived from cows to nourish the soil and make crops healthier and has been a consultant to the four agricultural universities in Rajasthan on the subject of organic agriculture.
Patidar decided to go into organic farming in 2005 even as his family and friends resisted the idea of experimentation for fear of losses.
Indifferent to the lack of encouragement, he took up organic farming on a small plot of 25 hectares of farm.
Today, Patidar, in addition to earning millions, also exports the products to Japan, Germany and Switzerland. In fact, his organic produce earns him 40% more than crops grown using the conventional farming method.
Patidar was therefore commended by the Padma Shri in 2018 for his efforts to promote organic farming on his farm – Swami Vivekananda Jaivik Krishi Anusandhan Kendra.
He decided to start organic farming after realizing that “conventional farming was dangerous and its harmful effects were visible on people’s 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 said.
Therefore, he started organic farming and helped turn his home village of Manpura into a completely chemical-free farm.
In view of his achievements, he was included in the national committee of the program set up by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research as he has expertise in the cultivation of oranges, pulses, onions, coriander and organic fennel, most of which is exported to Europe.
“After introducing several measures to improve the carbon cycle of my farmland, I received a positive impact as the soil conditions became more conducive to the growth of microorganisms and insects that make the soil fertile” , Patidar said.
He endorses nature more than technology, and on Swami Vivekan and Jaivik Krishi Anusandhan Kendra Manpura’s Facebook post, he mentions: “Our elders were far ahead of us, scientifically. IANS