Carrots selected for farming in a small village of Bharatpur district in Rajasthan to replace conventional crops in the wake of increasing input costs, erratic rainfall and climate change have brought prosperity to farmers who were encouraged and provided guidance for getting good yield with low investments.
The collective income in the first year of sowing of carrots has been estimated at about Rs.20 lakh.
The initiative has been taken in Chak Sahana village which has now come to be known as “Gaajar Gaon” (Carrot Village) as a result of phenomenal increase in the production of carrots of high quality.
Farmers in the village who were earlier sowing the traditional crops of mustard, wheat and gram, were not getting good profits for years.
Amid the worsening financial condition of most of the villagers, the Lupin Human Welfare & Development Foundation adopted the village for its overall development and launched innovative efforts for farmers’ welfare. Twenty-eight farmers were convinced in the first year to take up sowing of carrots.
The Foundation supplied 240 kg of seeds of improved varieties of carrots at 25% subsidy to them.
Lupin Foundation executive director Sita Ram Gupta said here on Tuesday that favourable soil and water quality in the village led to the production of 400 quintals of carrots in the first year. The red colour and good shape and size of carrots made them popular among buyers and fetched better prices in comparison with carrots from other regions.Carrots from Chak Sahana have secured an identity for themselves in the mandis and markets of nearby towns such as Bharatpur, Bayana, Agra and Mathura.
According to Mr. Gupta, the farmers were earning a profit of Rs.1.25 lakh for each hectare of carrot crop, which was 2.5 times more than the profits earned on regular crops grown elsewhere.
Carrot growers like Mukesh, Vishnu and Jagdish have taken the lead by utilising their entire agricultural land. Farmers in nearby villagers have also decided to grow carrots from next year after witnessing the progress and prosperity of Chak Sahana.
Mr. Gupta pointed out that carrots are grown in September and the vegetable is ready by the last week of November and can be harvested till March-end.
After the digging of carrot, the same land may be used for sowing of wheat, moong , white radish and green fodder with enhanced yield.