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Farmer Entrepreneur, Lawyer and Padmashree Awardee from Haryana who generates around Rs 4.5-5 crore per annum from Baby Corn Farming

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

KANWAL SINGH CHAUHAN, farmer from the Aterna village in Sonepat, Haryana is the recipient of Padma Shri in the year 2019 for his contribution in agriculture. Kanwal Singh Chauhan is a farmer entrepreneur who didn’t just introduce baby corn to the region; but he also established a profitable market for the farmers.

While speaking to the Editor, Agriculture World, Dr Lakshmi  Unnithan he explains about his innovative and creative practices, the Integrated Farming System, Fruits and Vegetable Processing Unit, Export unit, on Mushroom cultivation and Organic Farming of Wheat, Paddy, Baby corn, Sweet corn, Tomato and Broccoli and other vegetables using Bio-gas Slurry, Crop residue management of Paddy and Sugarcane and use of Paddy Straw and Sugarcane Trash in mushroom faming and as fuel in boiler for steam generation.

He started farming at a very young age of 16.He started organic farming in 2002.It was in the late 90s,that Kanwal Singh Chauhan  decided to popularise baby corn farming in India from his small village Aterna in Sonipat. He took on the baby corn farming in 1997 and he came to know from a colleague that it was a profitable business and the income will almost triple. It  is almost  23 years since he  took over baby corn farming, but he has inspired the entire Aterna village and its farmers to baby corn farming and has taught them how to reap profits very intelligently .He said he generates  around Rs 4.5-5 crore per annum from baby corn farming . Baby corn farming needs about 7000 per acre investment and in return one gets 30,000 to 40,000 per acre. The speciality in this farming is that it can be taken year round. He also has established a mandi, a profitable market for the farmers as well.

He has established a Fruit and vegetable processing unit for Canning of: Baby corn, sweet corn, mushroom, tomato puree, fruit, cocktail, pineapple slices etc. The unit was Inaugurated by Mr. Lars PedderBrak, Agriculture Minister of Norway on05 February 2009).The unit has provided Minimum Guarantee Price (MGP) for Baby Corn, Sweet Corn, Mushroom and Tomato as follows: Baby Corn: Rs. 50/Kg, Mushroom: Rs. 50/ Kg, Sweet Corn: Rs. 7 / Kg and  Tomato:Rs. 4/ Kg. The unit is exporting Baby Corn (1MT/day) to London (U.K.) in collaboration with Kay Bee Exports (Maharashtra).In place of Coal and wood, the processing unit is using paddy straw bales and sugarcane trash bales as fuel in boiler for steam generation. This has resulted into zero percent paddy straw burning on the field by farmers in the Area.

SHELL MOUNT FRESH, A cold chain project with financial assistance of Ministry of Food Processing Industries has also been established by him.  Farmer members engaged in Organic cultivation of Baby Corn, Sweet Corn, Tomato, Mushroom, Okra, Bitter Gourd, Bottle Gourd, Broccoli and other vegetables were grouped to form ATERNA ORGANICCOMPANY LIMITED (FPO Registered with NABARD and APEDA).FPO is in the   process of establishing PACK HOUSE for export of Baby Corn and Sweet Corn with the financial assistance of Small Farmers Agri-business Consortium, Haryana (SFAC-H). Total investment in the project will be 6.1 crores. FPO has established Farm Implement Centre for custom hiring of implements for farmers. FPO also has post harvest crop residue management implements like straw baler, straw reaper, Mould Board Plough etc.

Hansapur Mushroom Farm and The Gulab Fruit Vegetable Growers and Marketing Cooperative Society Limited has also been established by Kanwal Singh Chawan. Growing and marketing of paddy, wheat, baby corn, sweet corn, broccoli and other vegetables. Canning of mushroom, tomato puree, baby corn, sweet corn, pineapple slices, fruit cocktail and tomato ketchup.

They have a Farm Implement Centre for custom hiring to the famers. The Gulab Cooperative Society has acted as Producer Organisation Promoting Institution (POPI) and helped in formation of two FPOs Aterna Organic Farmers Producer Company and Sonipat Mushroom Farmers Producer Company.

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