FTB Stories

MP Farmer is Hoping to Get Double the Price for his New Kala Chana

Amit Bhatt
Amit Bhatt
Vinod Chouhan with his kala chana

Vinod Chouhan is the owner of brand Vinod's Black Gram, based in Dhar, Madhya Pradesh. His main and major product is black chickpeas (kala chana or desi chana). Black chickpeas are low in fat and high in fiber, vitamins and minerals.  

In his video that has been uploaded on FTB, he proudly displays his produce, his farm and farm machineries. Kala chana is a rare crop among the local farmers who are not aware about this crop. There are lots of benefits of black chickpeas because it has vitamin A,B,C, D, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, potassium. It has the highest protein content among all varieties of chickpeas.

He regularly searches and researches on social media. He got the idea of cultivating black chickpeas via social media. There are different varieties of black chickpeas and the one he is using, MPK179, were developed by Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth (MPKV), Rahuri. He blogs regularly on social media which encouraged him to farm kala chana. The difference between MPK179 and the common variety, American chana is not much,  but the black chana seeds are required less per size of land, and produce more per size of land. Also these seeds germinate much better and quicker than the common variety seeds.

kala chana germinating

It's production depends on the weather and this year the weather is more  suitable to grow black chana crops, there is no frost and it's not been excessively cold so we are expecting 10-12 quintal harvest per hectare of land.  Irrigation facilities and fertilizers are very important to grow any crops, especially for growing crops in bulk and selling in open market. Farming black chana is similar to farming other crops. In states like MP, Punjab, UP, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat the climate is suitable to grow black chana.   

Black chana grows well on the right type of soil with minimal irrigation, you need to irrigate your black chana fields only once or twice in a crop cycle. So far this crop cycle, my crops have grown for two months. He expects high returns from this investment because kala chana is not readily available in the market. Therefore any consumer interested in kala chana will have to buy it from growers like him.  

Harvesting kala chana

He has marketed his product by promotions on social media and so far the response has been very good. Although he has not harvested his crops yet, but his crops are already in great demand and buyers from UP and Maharashtra are showing great interest in his kala chana.  

Kala chana seeds cost Rs 12000 per quintal, and this year he has bought 2.5 quintal for 15 acres of farm. Profit that he earns, he says, depends on the amount that he has to invest and the price that he will get will depend on demand in the market and the productivity of his farm. He expects to get double the amount that farmers get for common chickpeas. This is a new product for the market. 

He said that most of the farmers in his locality have shifted from traditional farming to mechanized farming, mostly for higher productivity. Also the farmers are experimenting with their farming methods and with the fertilizers, insecticides, machinery and seeds to improve productivity and quality of crops. Farmers, locally now having seen my crops succeed, want to follow my example and grow kala chana  crops. I have advised and guided my fellow farmers with what I have learnt.

His message to farmers all over India is to give up traditional farming and take up modern farming and experiment with farming. In farming there is nothing to lose and everything to gain. His message to youngsters leaving villages and moving to metro cities or township, to increase their income, is that  they can earn as much by working in their farms in their villages with modern farming techniques. Chemicals and insecticides impact on the soil more than the produce. He is using both organic and chemical means of farming to grow kala chana. 

Vinod  Chouhan

Vinod Chouhan

Dhar, Madhya Pradesh

Vindo's Black Gram

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