Chander Singh (Bhagatji) - progressive farmer from Alirajpur district, Madhya Pradesh

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Makes farming profitable with trails in production and trade updates when selling

“I always study the market before sowing the crop and experiments are intrinsic part of my life as a famer,” says Mr. Chander Singh, progressive farmer from Alirajpur district, Madhya Pradesh. He is known for trying out the low-investment and high yielding farming technique in his farm. 150 papaya fruits/tree from 100 trees, 2.9 tonnes maize and 0.4 tonnes of soybean/hectare are few of his records. Next he tried ginger, “I grew ginger because it is sold at premium price. I took the crop as experiment, got the bumper crop thereby attained remarkable profits.”
Ginger root - Mr. Chander Singh Chouhan (Bhagatji) 1.jpg
Ginger farming is a hassle-free crop for the farmers. Its’ fresh and dried rizhomes both fetch good price in the market. “I harvest ginger only when I have to sell it in the market else it is in the soil. It stays good in the soil for more than six months. In this way there are no worries for storing ginger post-harvest,” he claims. First and foremost the land was ploughed vigorously in month of March after which it was left idle for entire April. “Then to nourish the soil I spread 2 years old cow dung in the entire farm followed by moderate irrigation. Ginger roots were sown in the field till May 15 and later monsoon comes so the germination progresses. It was harvested from October 15th till December end. I sold it all as the quality was very good,” he elaborates.

“I received immense guidance from Jabhua KVK in form of land preparation, seeds and other inputs,” he acknowledges the help received from the KVK officials. “Following their advice I also stored little quantity of rhizomes to be sold later as dry ginger when the market price shoots up. Further dry ginger has got a good export market. I could encash good profits through closely watching the trade analytics.”

Ginger is grown alternate year considering the health of the soil. Hence on crop rotation different vegetables are planted throughout the year based on the market demand. “This year I will be growing onions. Reason being, currently onion was sold at throw away prices so no other farmer shall be cultivating it this year that would affect the demand-supply ratio. And I shall use this gap to my advantage,” he asserts.

Mr. Chouhan also has mango orchard where 5-6 varieties namely alphanso, mallika, langra, dashari, keshar, and neelam are grown. In the orchard he grows animal fodder as an intercrop for his own dairy herd comprising of cows and buffaloes. “Integrated farming secures farmer’s financial status. I found dairy as the best source for everyday earnings that is attained by selling the milk. Buffaloes are murrah breed that yields more than 15 liters milk per day. In addition I have indigenous cow breed in my farm that fulfills the requirement of farming inputs,” he adds.

“When practicing chemical based farming I was like a slave under the grips of money lenders. Whatever I earned was to be given to them as interest on the borrowed money that went on mounting forever! This put me into deep thinking and the only solution I could find was to switch to natural farming practices as far as possible. Hence slowly I started using natural farming inputs and today one of my farm that is a fruit orchard is absolutely organic. In other farm where I grow a mix of vegetables and ginger, there also I earned remarkable profits due to improved quality and quantity of the produce,” he answers on being asked about farming practices in his farm. Farm has teak trees planted on the boundary in three rows. “Trees protect the farm crops from stormy winds and heat waves. Under its’ shade I am cultivating cucurbit crops,” he adds.

As a farmer Mr. Chouhan always thinks and acts like a businessman but as a human he spreads awareness on his self-learnt farming intricacies as well as assists other farmers to prosper. He has taken many initiatives such as free-of-cost distribution of fruit saplings from horticultural department and no-charges consultancy. “I am also running a small school where students are imparted knowledge on horticulture and dairy farming. Agriculture is the base of our existence hence every child must learn to grow food. Students belong to underprivileged tribal societies therefore no-fees is collected. I intend to make them self-independent adults,” he accentuates.

In time to come Mr. Chouhan aims to increase the farm earning by many folds in the same farm area. “I want to plan farming in a way that there is not a single patch left unused! Besides I wish for rising the earning potential by venturing into value added processing and sharp marketing tactics,” he emphasizes and concludes, “Farmer needs to think ahead of time because his work today will influence his earnings after three-four months. If he follows the crowd blindly instead of using his own mind then getting flourished will be always be never-to-be-realized dream.”

Contact details:
Mr. Chander Singh Chouhan (Bhagatji)
Gram - Inder Singh Ki Chouki,
Post- Burkhar, Tehsil and District - Alirajpur,
Madhya Pradesh
Mobile: 09424063057