“Farming is fascinating. The only thing is that it requires continuous hard-work and devotion without anydistraction” says Mr. Barun Singh, a government bank manager-turned-farmer.Mr. Barun Singh maintainsa vermi-composting unit in a portion of his 10 acre land. A dairy unit is attached to the composting unit sothat the cattle dung can be easily utilized for the process without much labour involvement.Wastematerials like dried leaves, rotten vegetables, fruits etc is spread on a polythene sheet placed on theground and then covered with cattle dung. Tanks are made of bricks and cement with small holes tofacilitate easy movement of earthworms from one tank to another and effective collection of vermi-wash.
“The farmer made a net profit of Rs. 12 lakh from his composting unit alone which included sales ofabove Rs. 25 lakh in the States of Bihar and Jharkhand together with supplies to the government in 2012and in the current year, he expects a net profit of Rs. 15 lakh since the demand for organic inputs in Biharis quite high,” says Mr. Aditya, Assistant Professor-cum-Junior Scientist, Department of ExtensionEducation, Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour, Bihar, who is working on an action research to catalyzerural leadership for better dissemination of information.
In addition to this Mr. Barun has maintained a two-acre farm exclusively for the cultivation of tissue culturebanana through high density planting (HDP) technique. “Two months old plants are growing even betterthan the normal banana cultivars planted at the same time in other plots,” says Mr. Barun.High DensityPlanting (HDP), an advance technique, is an effective method used to improve the fruit productivity.Through HDP 4,000 to 5,000 plants can be planted in a hectare and the yield improves radically.
According to Mr. Aditya, this technique is more useful for perennial crops because it allows efficient use ofland and resources, realizing higher yield and net profit, easy canopy management suited for farmmechanization, and cultural practices, efficient spray and weed control, improvement in fruit quality easyand good harvest.In India, HDP technology has been successfully used in banana, pineapple, papayaand mango, guava and citrus where the yield has increased two to three times.The combination ofdairying with over 30 high yielding cows of Sahiwal, Jarsi and Holstein- Friesian breed along with 28calves, goatery with Jamapari breed of goats brought from Rajasthan, fishery in 0.75 acres of land withmix-carp variety of fish and short-duration tissue culture banana plant, maize and vegetable crops likebottle gourd, potato, ladys finger are grown in his farm.
Sale of milk:
From dairying alone, he is able to sale over 180 litres of milk each day fetching over Rs. 1.70 lakhs per month.The carp fish has great demand in the local market and the state capital. The demand oftenexceeds the supply. It is a good source to meet current expenses incurred day to day on his farmThe bestpart is that the crops are grown completely by organic means with no use of chemical fertilizers.
The vegetables produced from the farm are packed and sent to different parts of the state as well as thelocal market. Along with it, he owns a mustard processing plant to extract oil and use mustard bran as anutritious concentrate feed for cattle,” says Mr. Aditya.“More than 80 per cent of Indian farmers havesmall farm holdings. The success of an agricultural research programme or project must be on increasingproductivity and income to the small famer,” he adds.Mr. Barun was conferred the best Innovative Farmer Award by the university last year for his sustained efforts and leadership qualities in guiding other farmersin the region.
“My dream is to intensify my current activities in the coming years to give it a shape of an agro-industryand also form a club of rural-leaders who would be trained by the University for working in the area offarming they desire,” says Mr. Barun.
For visits and more information, readers can contact:Mr. Barun P. Singh, Gram: Patwaha, Block: Kehra, Dist,Saharsa, Bihar, Mobile :08809419388 andMr. Aditya, Assistant Professor-cum-Junior Scientist,Department of Extension Education,Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour,Bihar. email:firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile: 9798649444