1. Success Story

Profitable Agriculture: This Woman Farmer is Earning Lakhs Through Mixed-Cropping Technique in Her Coconut Gardens

Priyanka grows spices like Black Pepper, Nutmeg and Cinnamon as mixed crops in a Coconut Garden which fetched her extra income.

Abha Toppo
Priyanka
Priyanka Nagwekar in her farm

The small-holdings and family farming are the two major modes of agricultural production in Maharashtra’s Konkan region. Priyanka Nagwekar of Hatis Village in Ratnagiri Tehsil of Ratnagiri District, Maharashtra entered into family farming around twelve years ago.

In the beginning, she used to grow subsistence crops such as rice, finger millets and vegetables, etc., in the traditional way in her 22 hectare farm. Lack of knowledge and skills about the improved agricultural technologies, especially, Coconut and Spices Crops fetched her with limited income.

After coming in contact with the ICAR-All India Coordinated Research Project on Palms, Regional Coconut Research Station, Bhatye, Ratnagiri her life changed. There she came to know about the role of Vermicompost in improving crop productivity and mixed-cropping of spices in Coconut Garden “Lakhibaug” Concept to boost farm income.

Being interested in the mixed-cropping of spices in the Coconut Garden and Vermi-compost production technology, Priyanka started growing spices like Black Pepper, Nutmeg and Cinnamon as mixed crops in a Coconut Garden which fetched her extra income.

She also started Vermi-composting the biomass of Coconut (leaves after removing petiole portion; spathe and bunch waste), Banana (leaves and pseudostem after harvest of bunch), Nutmeg and Cinnamon (pruned biomass fresh) using Eudrilus sp. of earthworm and applied to coconut palms and component crops. This made her start a mixed-cropping system and Vermi-composting as an income-generating activity.

Priyanka attended 5-day Vocational Training Programme on Coconut and Spice Cultivation Technology and Vermi-compost Production at the Regional Coconut Research Station, Bhatye, Ratnagiri along with Programmes on Coconut Tree Climbing, “FOCT” Programme organized at RCRS, Bhatye, Ratnagiri in collaboration with CDB, Kochi, Kerala.

Knowing the financial benefits, she planned to start commercial mixed-cropping of spices in her old Coconut Orchard along with a Vermi-compost Production Unit. The public’s preference for organic food, especially, Tender Coconut and Spices including Black Pepper, Nutmeg, Kokum and Banana, etc., made her to expand her small-scale activity into a commercial business venture.

With her husband’s support, she purchased a four-wheeler for farming purposes that helped them a lot during the pandemic period for delivering agricultural products to the markets and also for home delivery purposes.

After establishing herself in mixed-cropping of coconut and spices, she mooted the idea of setting up a Spice Nursery with Black Pepper Cuttings / Seedlings. For this, she attended a training programme in Nursery Management at the RCRS, Bhatye, Ratnagiri.

With her innovative agriculture practices, Priyanka’s financial turnover is around Rs. 5.73 Lakhs from Mixed-Cropping, Vermicompost Unit & Spice Nursery. She is earning a net profit of Rs. 3.82 Lakhs from farming alone.

Priyanka is planning to adopt the Virgin Coconut Oil Production for better income in the future.

(Source: ICAR)

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