More than half of the population in India depends on agriculture to earn their livelihood. Today, when many farmers could not earn enough to make ends meet, there are a few who are making farming a profitable business using modern techniques and knowledge.
One such farmer is Nagendra Pandey who turned farming into a fruitful business. Today, he is training many farmers to adopt the offbeat techniques and providing employment opportunities to many families in his area.
Nagendra lives in Anjana village, 15 km away from Maharajganj district of Uttar Pradesh. He graduated in agriculture and started looking for a decent job. After 15 years, when he couldn’t find a suitable job, he began farming on his ancestral land. He always knew that the traditional methods of farming would not earn him enough from such a small piece of land. So he decided to take help of modern farming techniques to improve his earnings.
Preparing Vermicompost fertilisers
Nagendra noticed that the farmers with small land holdings often have shortage of fertilizers. To overcome this problem, in the year 2000, he started preparing vermicompost fertilizers on his own land. To prepare vermicompost fertilizers, he needed earthworms. When he approached the Department of Agriculture and Horticulture, he was turned down. That’s when one of his friends gave him about 50 earthworms.
Nagendra kept the earthworms in the feeding nudge with leaves and cow dung. Within 45 days, two kgs of earthworms were obtained and the production of vermicompost fertilizer began. Nagendra tells that lab testing is done from time to time to check the quality of these fertilizers. The fertilizer contains 1.8 percent nitrogen, 2.5 percent phosphorus, and 3.23 percent potassium permanganate, which improves the growth and yields of plants.
Optimum use of water and Mulberry nursing
Nagendra realized that the farmers are totally dependent on rain for irrigation. To reduce this dependency, he built a pond so that water can be supplied through pipelines. Rain water and excess water is collected again through pipelines and then reused for irrigation and providing moisture to vermi pits.
With the help of latest techniques in farming, Nagendra cultivates wheat and paddy and gets good returns with low investment. Apart from this, he also prepares nursery of Mulberry in one acre of his land, from where he gets 10,50,000 plants. He sells these plants in every six months to Madhya Pradesh government at Rs 2.50 each and earns around Rs 15 lakh.
Today, 750 quintals of vermicompost fertilizer is produced in 120 square feet area. Nagendra also does its packaging and marketing. The cost of 25 kgs of fertilizer is Rs 200. Nagendra also gives earthworms as freebees to the farmers. He employs 35 people who work in different departments like sorting of manure, picking, transporting, etc.
Nagendra is the largest worm manure manufacturer in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. He has established three large units of vermi fertilizer in Maharajganj and Gorakhpur district. Nagendra’s efforts for the sustainable farming have been appreciated by various people including the Commissioner and Deputy Director Agriculture of Gorakhpur district.
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