Harish Kumar strikes gold by adopting Integrated Farming method

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 May 2018 10:30:31



By Abhinav Mishra


The success story of a progressive farmer Harish Kumar Chandrakar, who is earning handsome profit by adopting Integrated Farming method, could well be the right signal for the peasants of Chhattisgarh, who are going through tough times facing the scenario of poor yield and low income coupled with uncertain rainfall. Harish Chandrakar owns an agriculture farm sprawling in an area of 50 acres that also has well-maintained poultry units functioning at the corner of his farm. This assiduous farmer is earning a net annual profit of approximately Rs 40,000 per acre from thirty acres agricultural land, and around Rs 8.5 lakh per annum from Poultry Farming.

The synergistic integration and optimal utilization of the available resources by Harish Chandrakar is exemplary for the cash-strapped farmers of Chhattisgarh. This diligent farmer, who is 60 years old and doing farming since decades, hails from tiny Singarbhatha village of Abhanpur Development Block in Raipur District. As a progressive farmer he always tried to improve his skill. He says, “I was always eager to know every aspects of farming from various sources, trainings, experts, agriculture departmental personnel etc.”Initially, he followed traditional method of paddy cultivation. But, with the continuous guidance and information support of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) and Agriculture Department, he adopted SRI (System of Rice Intensification) technique of paddy cultivation, which proved to be highly lucrative. Last year he produced more than 900 quintals of paddy in Kharif season from thirty acres land.

While elucidating the details of SRI methodology, this enterprising farmer said, “It is a low water, labor-intensive method that uses younger seedlings singly spaced and typically hand weeded with special tools. In SRI system, the Rice field soil has to be kept moist rather than continuously saturated. Moreover, the Rice plants have to be planted singly and spaced optimally widely to permit more growth of roots and canopy and to keep all leaves photo synthetically active”.By adopting this method of cultivation with perseverance and dedication, not only the yield of rice in Sahdev’s farm increased manifold, but also his agricultural income. He proudly said, “Initially I owned only 10 acres agricultural land, but in the course of time, I have become an owner of 50 acres land, thanks to the SRI methodology and natural integrated farming system, which enhanced my standard of living. Presently I cultivate 30 acres land, and rest 20 acres I have given it to other fellow farmers on regha (lease).”

When asked about what inspired him to adopt integrated farming system, he replied that through agriculture department he came to know that agriculture and poultry farming are closely inter-related and can be done simultaneously in one campus, which is called as the Integrated Farming model that is profitable and time-saving venture. Motivated by the guidance of agriculture department personnel, he decided to do paddy cultivation with SRI method and poultry farming in his farm campus. While sharing the advantage of integrated farming he said that crop residues obtained from the farm can be used for feeding the poultry birds, whose litter can be used as bio-fertilizer in farming, which enriches the fertility of the soil.Thus, due to natural integrated farming system his expenditure in paddy cultivation and poultry rearing reduced substantially, he said.

Throwing light on his Poultry business he stated that he has been rearing 26,000 birds including varieties like broyler and cockerel in his poultry farms with state of the art facilities like fogger, sprinkler, exhaust fan, ventilators, proper lights and heater, for maintaining the temperature around 30 degrees centigrade conducive for the proper development of the chicks. He further informed that the he has been purchasing 1-day-old chicks, and developing them in his farm for 40 days in case of Broyler chicks and 3 months for cockerel chicks. After the elapse of this time, he sell them to the traders. He further said that he has been fetching handsome price by selling live broyler and cockerel birds @ Rs. 60/kg and Rs 90/kg respectively, which has very high demand in vicinity. Resultantly, he has been earning profit Rs. 8.5 lakhs per annum from his economically viable and sustainable poultry units.The mortality rate in birds as reported by him was about 5-6 %, which is mainly due to the disease, predators and adverse climatic conditions only. Understanding the importance of non-conventional energy sources, with the support of Chhattisgarh State Renewable Energy Development Agency (CREDA) and Agriculture Department, he had also installed a Solar Power plant in his farm, which enables him to run a 5 H.P. tube-well’s motor for irrigation.

Harish Chandrakar did not allow complacency to creep in him, and has envisioned embarking upon fisheries project also under the poultry units, thus making it as another part of his integrated farming in his agriculture land. He has demanded that the Government should provide subsidy in tariff and electric connection installed in Poultry units, and should also provide financial assistance for expansion of Integrated farming units. Finding Integrated Farming a profitable venture, he advised the unemployed youth of the state, “if integrated farming is done systematically, it will definitely give dividends, and one could make it as a career and earn handsomely, thereby raising one’s living standard”.

Lauding the efforts of this industrious farmer, Gayaram, Joint Director, Agriculture Department, Raipur, said “ farmers like Harish Chandrakar will act as the role model for other farmers of the region to take up Integrated Farming methodology, and will play an instrumental role in materializing the vision of Agriculture Department to double the income of farmers by the year 2022”. Vagish Verma, Rural Extension Officer (REO), Abhanpur said, “Agriculture department continuously provide technical guidance and field assistance to the farmers, and encourage them to adopt Integrated Farming”.