1. Success Story

MP Farmer Earns Rs 40 Lakh through Organic Farming; Inspires Thousands to Go Chemical-Free

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Tarachand Belji

Tarachand Belji used to produce rice and other traditional crops on his 6-acre plot in Kanai village, Madhya Pradesh. His father used chemical fertilizers and pesticides in his farming.  However, Tarachand saw the impact that extensive chemical use had on the farm, soil fertility, and human health in the early 2000s after working with others on the farm and reading media accounts. 

As a result, Tarachand joined Krishi Vigyan Kendra in 2005 to learn about organic farming and met Nanaji Deshmukh. Nanaji was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 2019 for his contributions to social and rural reforms. 

Tarachand was taken aback by the notion of growing food without using chemicals. “For three years, I worked in three villages in Madhya Pradesh's Sanai district and Uttar Pradesh's Chitrakoot district, learning all elements of organic farming under Nanaji's direction. I spent a lot of time in the library learning about natural farming practices and their benefits to the soil, and then I put what I learned into practice by working on a small plot of land and then expanding to a larger one,” he says. 

Thousands of farmers benefit from his knowledge and innovative techniques today, both in India and abroad. 

Making The Correct Decision 

Nanaji, according to the 41-year-old, insisted that young farmers work to benefit the community as a whole. “I believed that organic farming could help address a number of issues, including human health, poverty, and farmer unemployment. As a result of his advice, I relocated to Narsinghpur in 2009 to start organic farming with my in-laws,” Tarachand adds. 

In the same year, he founded Prakritik Kheti Shodh Sansthan, with the goal of reaching farmers in the Seoni, Balaghat, and Mandla districts. 

“I created several organic agricultural methods in places such as Zari, Bhatni, Khamariya, and Dhodar in three years. By 2010, I had rented a 13-acre plot of land and had begun producing unusual crops like mustard, wheat, green peas, lentils, and guava using organic methods,” he explains. 

According to Tarachand, he spent the following four years pursuing farmers and promoting the advantages of organic farming practices. 100 farmers joined his effort after being convinced by his accomplishment. 

Farmers that followed organic agricultural practices, as per Tarachand, began to notice benefits. “My role progressed to become a trainer and lecturer at GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in Pantnagar, Uttarakhand,” he says, adding that he began reaching out to farmers in other states and assisting them in making the transition to toxin-free farming. 

Tarachand has now assisted farmers in 19 Indian states, as well as certain places in Nepal, in converting to organic farming. “I've done over 200 seminars and contacted hundreds of farmers to work on increasing soil and harvest quality,” he adds, adding that he occasionally receives inquiries from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Canada. 

“People who watch my YouTube channel come to me with their concerns and queries,” he adds. 

Tarachand has created several sorts of organic fertilizers appropriate for diverse crops after years of testing. “Like how calories function for the human body, the crops require particular nutrients in specific proportions. I found 70 different things, including jaggery, white salt, sugar, fruits, fodder, coconut shells, and charcoal. He claims that the organic material when combined with cow manure and other farm wastes, helps to enhance output. 

Unlike other organic fertilisers, which frequently create a bad odour, Tarachand claims that his formula removes odour and promotes the growth of micronutrients. “I discovered 5 techniques for making organic fertilizers. He claims that using the materials softens the texture of the soil and makes it easier to plough in order to cultivate a variety of crops. 

Nature Seems To Have Everything 

Tarachand claims that his farmer organisation has grown to 2,000 members over the years. They created a Farmer Producer Organisation, Raah Crop Producer Company, in October 2019 and have achieved a turnover of Rs 40 lakh in 1.5 years. 

Tarachand also launched a new initiative to assist farmers in growing red and black rice varieties that are high in antioxidants and iron, low in fat, and beneficial to diabetic patients during the COVID-19 lockdown. “When the broader market was underperforming, the distinctive diversity helped them gain income and survive the economic crisis,” he adds. 

“The soil has all the minerals and nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus, and more, needed to develop good crops,” Tarachand says. Microbes have the ability to protect plants. A farmer does not need to add artificial components to boost agriculture production; instead, he should use natural ways to his advantage.” 

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