FTB Stories

A Young Farmer from Madhya Pradesh explains How to make more Money in Farming

Amit Bhatt
Amit Bhatt
Krishna on the farm

Krishna Sankhla from Madhya Pradesh was interviewed by Jyoti Sharma in a group interview on the FTB platform. He has inspired a number of farmers with his excellent planning skills  and business mindedness.

Krishna Sankhla started by thanking Krishi Jagran for the platform to express his views. The  brand was started in 2014. He started by setting up a polyhouse to grow  coloured capsicums, red and yellow. On successful production of these he thought why not start a brand and he was able to see market for himself in the nearby city of Indore. His horticulture farms are spread over 40 acres. He is also in nursery business. 

In fruits he grows papaya, guava. He also grows garlic, onions, wheat, corn and soybean. Farmers locally are not able to generate enough income and must diversify and grow products that will fetch good income. This video will be preferred by those farmers who want to experiment and grow different, he said. You will have to go out of your comfort zones to achieve better results.

Krishna with fresh produce

At the moment only guava is in production. He said our farming should be environment friendly and profitable. On the ways are figs, lemons, Thai blackberry and bel patra (Aegle marmelos). Bel patra Sharbat (squash) is very popular in Delhi. He sells his produce through mandis, street vendors, shops in village and customers in his village. His concept for his sellers is that sellers - family will be economically self sufficient, in terms of food they will be self reliant. He said 100 such seller families are enough for his business. He said farmers should build customers and  farm to table concept is something he wants to build on. 

On being asked about the type of vegetables he grows, he explained that there are  two types of vegetable produce - one type "kachi" and other type "pakee". "Kachi" includes loki,  dhanya and  "pakee" includes potatoes, onions, ginger and garlic. He focuses on "pakee" and not on "kachi", as bulk maintenance of the "kachi" is difficult in terms of storage and we will not get the correct rates. "Kachi" is suitable for small farmers.

Krishna with corn crops

Krishna said he prefers to do something unique every time.  At the moment they are providing - guava, papaya and ginger are in the market and he hopes to earn the trust of his customers through quality products. He said they sometimes give free samples, and these are liked by the customers and they come again and again to us to buy our products. Our business can also become popular through word-of-mouth publicity. He has a Whatsapp group where on receiving orders, he confirms if he will be able to deliver depending on the distance for delivery.

When asked why he chose farming as a profession, Krishna said that it is common belief that people take up farming as it is traditional, or you are forced into it, or if you are not able to find work in any other field you can join farming. He chose to farm after completing education and has been successful in it. There are other young members of the family who he hopes will become good farmers when they grow up. He said the education systems needs to upgrade to encourage youngsters into farming. He said British created education system was created by British to produce servants to their rule, hence we need a totally different course. 

On being asked why he chose to farm veggies and nothing else, Krishna replied it provides good returns on investment. If you are not able to earn enough you need to upgrade or change your business model. He said that the rich farmers are a role model for young farmers.

Krishna when questioned said struggles, challenges and problems are part of every farmer's life. He continues that one thing that every farmer depends on and has no control over is the climate. We are part of the economy and need to follow the rules of supply and demand. You should know when your product will be in demand in market and grow accordingly. Even if you produce less but you must get good prices for it. You should list all of persons or businesses you supply to  and the ideal time to provide them your produce, ideally just before they open. Most of the farmers know what they are doing and work as professionally as they can. 

On being asked what to grow so as to maximize profits he replied India is a big country with different regions having different climates, so if asked about a particular crop in a particular region he would be able to explain better. Temperatures in Maharashtra are 8 degrees higher than his state, and hence the way they till, sow, irrigate everything is different. 

When asked about potato, garlic and onions, that he grows locally, he replied that potatoes need cool climate in the initial period and as the temperatures rise good quality potatoes grow. Onion needs hot climate to grow, hence you must prepare a schedule for crops rotation and plant your crops according to the seasons in which will survive and be healthy. All this knowledge comes with experience. 

Krishna said that contrary to common belief farmers are the once who have suffered the most from this Corona Pandemic. It hasn't been noticed or reported much. He continued that farmers mostly work on credit and if there are any problems in selling their crops, they won't be able to repay their loans. He suggested to the government to open a department that will identify what crops are growing more and which are growing less and hence identify what they can export and how much to import. He said every country has researched on us and is exporting to us, instead we should be exporting to them. He said that country doesn't need to import anything other than petrol or diesel and with good government policies this may come true in next 20-25 years.

Krishna recommends to the farmers not to plan too far ahead and work on their farms step by step. Stay positive and your future will be good. He said don't grow just one product, the mandis will make you go crazy. Diversify, grow multiple crops at a time and your all bases will be covered. Produce what you can easily store and has high value in the market. Please click here to see the group interview of Krishna Sankhla.

Krishna Sankhla

Krishna Sankhla

Dhar , Madhya Pradesh

HBA Farm

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