1. Success Story

This Homemaker Turned Barren Land into an Award-Winning Organic Farm, Earns 18 lakh

Meet P Bhuvaneshwari whose decades of hard effort turned a barren land into an organic farm that helps her earn 18 lakh!

Binita Kumari
P Bhuvaneswari
P Bhuvaneswari

Maruti Gardens, in Elappully village, Palakkad, Kerala, is a wonderland with golden paddy fields, fruit orchards, vegetable farms, and more spread out across 24 acres of land. This organic farm, like the Garden of Eden, was the fruit of decades of hard effort by P Bhuvaneswari, a 62-year-old homemaker turned organic farmer.

Her journey began in the 1990s with 4 acres of barren land, which she was positive would one day bear her great prosperity. She worked hard to turn the barren area into a lush paradise, eventually expanding it to the 24 acres that it is now.

"At first, the dry ground was infertile because it was covered in stones. To get it to where it is now, I had to put in a lot of effort. As a result, I cleared some land that was free of stones and began farming there. I never used pesticides or chemical fertilizers. "All that we reap today is the result of natural organic farming," says Bhuvaneshwari, who attended school until the 10th grade.

Bhuvaneswari, who was born and raised in a traditional agricultural household, considers farming to be the foundation of her education.

"I learned to farm by following the footsteps of my father, Kunjikannan Mannadiyar, who has always been passionate about agriculture. As a result, I've always had a passion for farming in my blood. "Perhaps that gave me the courage to dive into agriculture," she speculates.

She began farming in 1995, after her husband, Venkatachalapathy, retired from his profession as a school teacher. "We needed to find a means to make a livelihood, so I decided to do what I enjoy the most."

"Farming on our property was difficult since it was very dry, stony, and only had a Ph value of 4.8," she explains.

Bhuvaneshwari then began to try to bring the land back to life. "After removing the weeds and bushes, I planted sheema konna" (Gliricidia). "The tree's leaves, as well as limestone, were added to the soil, which helped in some ways with its revival," she explains.

She also went to a workshop led by Subhash Palekar, a natural organic farming pioneer. She learned about chemical-free farming here and decided to give it a try. "I learned how to fertilize the land using natural manures." So, I began manufacturing natural fertilizers such as jeevamrutham and panchagavyam, which are mostly made from cow dung and urine. This really helped in enhancing soil quality and promoting crop growth," she says. 

It took her five years to completely change the soil. "Until then, we relied on the cows and made a living selling their milk," says Bhuvaneshwari, who recently received Malayala Manorama's Karshakasree Award for her success in organic farming.

On a ten-acre plot of land, Bhuvaneshwari has been farming paddy using sustainable and natural ways. "We can produce up to 25 quintals by feeding it with organic manure and green leaves," she says, noting that she made a profit of roughly Rs 18 lakh from rice and rice products alone after an initial expenditure of just Rs 2 lakh.

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