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Uttarakhand Farmer is Revolutionizing Agriculture with the Development of Narendra 09 Wheat Variety

Meet Narendra Singh Mehra, an organic farmer who distinguished himself by forging a new path in agriculture. His new variety of wheat is an absolute game-changer!

Shreetu Singh
Meet Narendra Singh Mehra is forging a new path in agriculture.
Meet Narendra Singh Mehra is forging a new path in agriculture.

Narendra Singh Mehra's agricultural journey began in the village of Devla Malla in Nainital, Uttarakhand. Krishi Jagran has acknowledged his 12 years of experience and innovation in organic farming by honoring him as a State Millionaire Organic Farmer of India. He has pioneered a unique wheat variety named Narendra 09. His journey has inspired countless fellow farmers to embrace innovative and profitable organic practices.

Mehra holds a postgraduate degree in Arts (MA) and a diploma in tourism studies. However, due to his interest in agriculture, he shifted his career. Currently, he owns a 3-hectare of farmland on which he cultivates wheat, rice, and sugarcane, relying on traditional seeds, including old and indigenous varieties, and earns about 12 to 14 lakh rupees annually.

Transition to Organic Farming

Mehra remembers the early days when he used to apply chemical crop protectants and fertilizers on his fields. His expenses exceeded his income, making it challenging to manage the farm and support his family. "The circumstances pushed me to find other methods where I could secure a stable income for my family," he shares. "That's when I discovered organic farming, which lowered my input costs, replenished soil health, and improved my earnings." Since transitioning to organic farming, his expenses have been reduced by almost 90 percent.

Currently, he neither uses chemical fertilizers nor pesticides in his fields. Instead, he prepares pest control solutions at home, such as neem leaf extract, cow dung, and cow urine. Additionally, he collects traditional seeds and works on their conservation and enhancement. By using these innovative methods, Mehra has made his venture extremely profitable. He has also developed an improved wheat variety named Narendra 09, registered under his name with the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Authority. 

The Birth of 'Narendra 09' Wheat Variety

In 2008, with tomato farming booming in Nainital, many farmers diverted their attention from grains, resulting in a decline in wheat and rice cultivation. Sensing this imbalance, Mehra set his sights on reviving wheat farming. He discovered a late wheat variety called RR 21 and noticed a distinct plant in his field. With a keen eye for potential, he carefully harvested and nurtured its growth, multiplying its quantity to about 80 kilograms. This unique crop piqued the interest of neighbouring farmers, who began testing it in their fields.

After 12 years of persistence, the variety gained attention from the media, scientists, and agricultural officials. “Dr. Vijay Kumar Dohare, the head of PPV&FRA, helped me get this seed registered under my name as Narendra 09,” he says. From 2009 to 2021, he distributed samples across Uttarakhand and neighboring states, receiving positive reviews. Today, Narendra 09 is in high demand nationwide.

Unique Traits of 'Narendra 09' Wheat Varieties

Mehra highlighted the advantages of the 'Narendra 09' wheat variety: it requires about 35 kilos of seeds for planting compared to 40 kilos for other varieties. Its sturdy stalks withstand strong winds and rain without falling. Moreover, each spike produces 70-80 high-quality grains, surpassing other varieties which yield 50-55 grains per spike.

Narendra Singh Mehra at his farm
Narendra Singh Mehra at his farm

Other Considerable Works

Mehra has also introduced sugarcane cultivation to the mountains, enabling farmers to produce and sell natural jaggery at good prices. He introduced black rice from northeastern states to Uttarakhand. He also achieved a world record with 25 kilograms of turmeric from a single plant.

His shift from chemical to organic farming highlights his innovative contributions to sustainable agriculture, setting a new standard nationwide and enriching his community.

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