Homemaker Took Up Organic Farming After Kids Grew Up, Earns Rs 12 Lakh Now

21st-century people throw around the word ‘organic’ like confetti and there’s a rock solid reason to back it up. We are finally realizing the value o investing in a certified organic label and eating healthy along with the rising awareness of issues such as sustainability and world health. Meet Lalita Mukati, an organic farmer of Borlai, Madhya Pradesh who has taken up an ‘organic’ effort in her village to promote natural farming practices. Also, you’ll be surprised to know how much she is making out of her do-good mission. 

The 50-year-old homemaker had no agricultural background but as her children grew up, she decided to help her husband in her leisure time. Suresh Chandra Mukati, her husband, managed a 36-acre farm after completing his M.Sc in agricultural science. “I was busy with my kids while my husband was working in the fields. After the children grew up, I was sitting idle at home and decided to help my husband on the farm. He wanted to learn more about agriculture techniques and I decided to take over the responsibility of the farm.”

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The jump from house-hold to farm-hold

When Lalita started working on the farm, she practiced the standard way of cultivation by using chemical fertilizers. “The chemical fertilizers did no good. We ended up losing 70-80 percent of our income and ended up with no savings. With organic practices, we are saving a huge margin of our money. For instance, the work that was done for Rs 10,000 earlier can now be done for only Rs 3,000.”

In 2015, Lalita started with organic farming and started using cow dung and cow urine instead of artificial chemicals. She planted crops like custard apple, sapota and cotton to test her products and even started selling them to the local farmers. “I don’t have a business model because everyone has the resources to make it, and if anybody needs it, I give it to them at no cost.” With her successful practice, she today earns around Rs 80,000 and Rs 1 lakh a month. 

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Unlocking success through opportunities

In 2016, Madhya Pradesh Biological Certification Board certified her land as organic which helped her start selling the crops in other states like Delhi, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. “ There are people who are able to understand the benefits of organic farming. The number isn't large for now, but it will take time as they have certain financial constraints which bar them up to some extent”, says Lalita.

The market for organic products is rapidly growing and the government is involved more than ever in supporting those who are making it possible. Being one of the 112 women across the country felicitated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi for her amazing contribution to the agriculture sector, she is now aiming to develop more such methods and take the standards of organic farming to the next level. "It will take some time to completely switch over to organic farming, if not three then six years, but one shouldn't give up. The results are worth the wait as it will not only eradicate diseases, but also enhance the surroundings, and serve the farmers for a longer period of time,” she said. 

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Spreading the organic trend in farms of Madhya Pradesh 

In 2014, Lalita and her husband were selected for the Mukhyamantri Kisan Videsh Adhyan Yojana where they got a chance to learn advanced techniques in Germany and Italy. The technology inspired her to adopt solar power as an alternative to conventional electricity and today her home is partially solar-powered. “I witnessed a great use of solar equipment in foreign countries for farming. The water pumping in our field has become very easy, as it works automatically in the day and turns off at night,” she said. 

After achieving some of the greatest feats in the field of organic farming, she is now focusing on creating awareness among fellow farmers to adopt such practices. She also heads an association of 21 women under the banner of Maa Durga Krishi Mahila Sangathan where they visit farmers in an area and explain to then the importance and need to turn organic. Despite the heavy-promotion of organic produce, farms practicing such techniques are still in the minority. And only people like Lalita who are active supporters of such methods and understand the impact it creates on the health of a larger mass will be able to cure the many problems that are associated with the modern food crisis. 

 

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