Farm Entrepreneurship Will Be A Game Changer: Madhya Pradesh farmer Santosh Yadav

Bhopal : Farming for basic sustenance is all right, but farm entrepreneurship will really make a big change in the agrarian economy of Madhya Pradesh, says Santosh Yadav a progressive farmer from Khargone district, who received Krishi Karman Award from the Prime Minister at Tumkur, Karnataka recently. He received the Award for wheat production during 2016–17.

The wheat output from his field was assessed 44 quintal per acre. He owns 10 acres divided between four family members including himself in Dhaamnod, Kasrawad block-Khargone. His elder son Yogesh studies in class 10th while daughter Tanushree is in 8th standard. ‘I have one tube well and one conventional well. Enough for the size of my field. Besides, three buffalos, two bulls and a cow are a great help. The bulls are still useful,” he adds.

Sharing his views about “various dimensions of farming, Santosh Yadav informs that “the labour skilled in farming is thinning out. I have to perform many labour- intensive farm activities,” he says. “My soil health was deteriorated but timely testing was a great help. Deficiencies of potash and zinc have been removed. I have made it a practice not to use pesticides. Though not easy, but gradually zero level can be achieved,” he says. Appreciating, the Jai Kisan Crop Loan Waiver Scheme, he observes that “all debt–ridden farmers in Kasravad now feel relieved. Their crop loans upto Rs. two lakh have been waived off,” he says. “Last year I cultivated bitter gourd on less than one acre and earned Rs. 1.10 lakh at the rate of Rs. 20 to 30 per kg.”

Smt. Shivlata Mehto owns 4.5 acre out of total 10 acre in her family. The rest is owned by her husband and two sons. The elder son Rishabh Mehato is pursuing MSc in Agriculture at RKDF college Bhopal while the younger son Arjun Mehto is doing computer science from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Government Polytechnic Bhopal. She informs that “Rishabh is deeply interested in farm machinery and can repair tractor engines. Though they are free to pursue career of their interest but we don’t mind if they join us.”

‘I got the award for production of gram during 2017-18. The yield was assessed round 44 quintal per acre. The market rate of Rs. 4000 per quintal was a big relief. The biggest advantage is that my field is is in Pathrota village just 5 kilometre from Itarsi tehsil headquarters. It is a Gram Panchayat having a population about 3000. ‘My husband Sahab Lal helps me help me a lot in management of farm activities,” she says.

Similarly Smt. Kanchan Verma, who owns a sizeable land measuring 70 acre but divided into two families in Somalwada village in Itarsi, Hoshangabad. She received the Award for production of wheat in 2016- 17. The wheat output was assessed as 44 quintals per acre. She has a piece of advice for other farmers regarding examination of soil. Soil testing is fruitful before every season and always avoid monoculture practice. ‘I got my soil tested and zinc deficiency was reported. So I got it treated accordingly before the start of sowing. The last year, we harvested beans on a larger area and brought them to market at least one month before the season. Thus we got handsome price of Rs. 70 to 80 per kg,” she informs.

Sharing tips of profitable farming, Smt. Kanchan Verma says that -“farming requires alertness so that advance planning may be done. The simple thing to keep in mind is that always be in or around the field as you can’t do well staying away from the fields,” she says. Her family owns four tractors for different activities besides five cows and two pairs of bulls.

Asked about the challenges, Smt. Kanchan informs that- “adverse weather conditions are the biggest threat. The challenge is time-management failing which results in a huge loss.” She praises the Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s vision of transforming farming community into entrepreneurship saying that “this is the only alternative in sight to enhance the income base.”