1. Success Story

‘Avartansheel Kheti’ Helps Him Earn Rs.15 to 20 Lakhs Yearly: A Paradise in Parched land of Bundelkhand

Sheetal Dhamecha
Sheetal Dhamecha

The story of Prem Singh from Banda’s Badokhar village sparks a ray of hope for the farmers of Bundelkhand who are rather distressed and plan to abandon the ancestral agriculture. In contrast to the parched fields in the region, Prem Singh’s 5-acre lush green farm stands tall. 

Singh’s farm is self-sustained. The cattle and poultry drink from the in-farm water bodies, the orchards have enough fruits for the family, the soil is healthy and nourished and there’s a steady production of organic products. 

He has a strong belief that ‘sustainable and traditional farming’ could be implemented on a larger scale and it can bring great change. 

He calls his pioneering method of sustainable farming ‘Aavartansheel Kheti,’ translated as ‘periodic proportionate farming.’ 

What’s Aavartansheel Kheti 

This technique requires a farmer to divide his land into three parts. 

Part 1: This part of the farm is required to grow trees, timber, and fruits. The cost of labor required to maintain this part of the land is low. The diversity of the crops helps to maintain ecological balance. This part of the land also gives the farmer dried leaves which can be later used for creating compost to increase the soil fertility. 

Part 2: This area in the farm can be used to rear livestock. Milk by the cattle can be used by the family and the excess can be used to make products like cottage cheese for higher profits. Also, animal dung can be used as manure which reduces the farm’s dependence on external chemicals. 

Part 3: This land is made use of to grow crops for the household. Staples like wheat, rice along with pulses, cereals, vegetables, fruits, and spices are grown. 

The ‘pragatisheel’ or progressive farmer advises the farmers, not to directly trade their produce in the market but to sell the processed extracts. For instance, sell paneer but not milk, sell flour instead of wheat etc. Mr. Singh says that this shall help the farmers to directly engage with consumers, reach their kitchens and at the same time provide quality products to consumers. 

In the past 28 years, he hasn’t sold any of his produce raw. “The milk is sold as ghee, butter or paneer; our mangoes are turned into murabbas (pickles); oil is extracted from our seeds, spices too are processed, packaged and sold,” he says. 

The farm helps in the employment and sustenance of over 14 families. The farmhouse within the area has also been built in an eco-friendly manner. There is a biogas plant in the field that caters to the needs of the people like cooking food without a gas line. 

Prem has built vermicompost pits to ensure the supply of natural fertilizers. A 3KW solar grid provides electricity on the farm. 

What adds to the achievements is a ‘Humane Agrarian Centre,’ an open university to teach farmers about sustainable agriculture practices. Farmers from various countries, school, and college students visit his farm frequently to learn about his techniques. 

He believes that the only way to spark a farming revolution is to revive the ancient farming methods. 

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