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Organic Farming: How to Market Amla?

Shigraf Zahbi
Shigraf Zahbi
Kailash Choudhary
Kailash Choudhary

Kailash Choudhary has been practicing organic farming since the year 2000. He got certified in 2003. He works in several agricultural areas including animal husbandry.

Choudhary first came to know about organic farming from a Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK). There, he learnt that organic farming was nothing new; in the ancient times, when there were no chemicals, farmers still practiced agriculture. The need of the day was to add new research findings to these age-old methods. Motivated by this knowledge, and with a desire to do something new, Choudhary took his first steps towards organic farming. He started incorporating these techniques slowly. “Farming is not like a switch you can press and begin with everything anew. You have to adapt new techniques slowly,” he said.

Organic farming: the Basics

The Nitrogen Factor

Choudhary explains that the crops which do not require huge quantities of nitrogen are the ones which can be most easily cultivated through organic farming. Crops like wheat, bajra, and maize, which greatly require nitrogen, should be produced on a smaller scale by farmers, he suggests, adding further that green manure should be used for them. In two or three years, the farmer would have a better understanding of what to grow, and how much.

Keeping Diseases Away

A farmer should have complete knowledge of the types of crop related diseases, the time when they occur, and prevention methods one must follow to avoid them, Choudhary says. He also advocates periodical spray of neem and cow-urine in the fields. “Prevention is always better than cure,” he says and urges all the farmers to be alert about their crops and make farming their first priority.

Farmer to Customer

Choudhary believes that farmers should market their crops directly to customers. This effectively eliminates the role of middle-men and makes them earn greater profits. It also helps in building trust between farmers and their customers.

Vedanta Organic Products: From a Bunch of Indian Gooseberries (Amla) to a Brand

Choudhary planted a bunch of Indian gooseberries, commonly known as amla, in 1998. He says that horticulture used to be the trend during those days. Lacking experience, he suffered setbacks in the beginning. In the fourth year, the plants bore fruit. Excited with the yield, his brother decided to pluck the still unripe fruits and sell them to the market. “It wasn’t sold even for a single rupee,” Choudhary says. This brought a gloomy atmosphere to his household. Dejected, he approached the KVK which had initially helped him cultivate them. They advised him to visit a nearby village and observe how gooseberries were produced and marketed there.

Farmer receiving award

Choudhary saw that these cultivators had turned the fruits into various products like pickles, juices, and sweet preserves (murabba). Further into the village, he noted how the women were preparing these on mud stoves. He observed everything for a week and then set out for his own village with a reliable person who had knowledge of these processes. Back at home, he put into practice everything he had learnt and seen. Thus began his long and successful journey.

In 2004, he attempted growing and marketing the gooseberries again. He was again unable to sell the entire produce as the community he lived in was a very small one. Choudhary returned to the agriculture department and enquired with them about marketing the fruits. He was then directed by a senior officer to set up a stall at a government building and begin from selling there. This idea proved to be a great success and also earned him bigger opportunities, awards, and media attention.

After spending a significant time learning gooseberry recipes and exhibiting them, his problems related to marketing were solved. He then took step further and established his own brand, Vedanta Organic Products.

Conclusion

Choudhary is a progressive farmer who believes that there is no age-limit for learning. “I am very old and yet I have learn, so, anybody can do the same. It is all about determination and will power,” he told Krishi Jagran’s correspondent. 

Choudhary can be contacted at +91 9829083117. Address - Kotputli District, Jaipur, Rajasthan- 303108.

Kailash Choudhary

Kailash Choudhary

Jaipur, Rajasthan

Vedanta Organic Products

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