We have read and shared numerous stories of software engineers, MBA graduates and even scientists who quit their jobs to do organic farming and are now earning in lakhs and crores. But, many of us have the question, “If organic farming is that profitable why are the other farmers not turning to organic farming and earning a lot of money?” Efforts For Good got in touch with Anita, a marginal farmer who has adopted organic farming in 12 bighas (2 acres) of land from a small village in Hapur, UP. She narrates her experience in details.
In her own words
“A year ago I attended a session on organic farming conducted by Action India in a nearby village. Generally, I grow sugarcane using chemical farming, but after the organic farming session, I really wanted to try out organic farming on sugarcane crop. Since I didn’t know what is organic farming, I didn’t want to risk my entire farm and face losses. So, as a starter, I planted 2 bighas of sugarcane farm and followed organic farming practices. In the rest of the land, I planted other crops like moong, arhar, as well as five bighas of sugarcane crop with chemical methods.
The yields of sugarcane from organic and chemical farming were drastically different. The cane from organic farming is fat, tall and juicy and the taste is delicious. I started making jaggery with the organic sugarcane. Everyone liked the flavour and I managed to sell a good amount of jaggery. I showed my organic sugarcane farm to Ajay Etikala who helped me with various information on how to do organic farming. He was happy to see the sugarcane field.
Right now I am the only one from my village who is trying out organic farming.
Let's support the efforts of our farmers Meet Ms Anita, who has taken the first step to do organic farming despite…
I do not own a cow, so I have brought organic inputs like gobar, gaumutra, gulmor etc from other shops. I used decomposer and Jeevanamruth to protect the crop from pests. If I have a cow my input cost for organic agriculture will be very less. For our kind of farmers, the main hindrance is market access. Some market training will also help me move ahead and it will also encourage others to join me.
Unlike other families, I and my sister have a say what to do and what not to do in farming. So I took the whole responsibility – good or bad, profit or loss – from this experiment. I am happy with the results. After seeing my success, the other farmers who were sceptical about organic farming at first expressed their wish to join me.”
The dilemma of marginal farmers
There are many reasons why small-scale farmers are not practising organic farming. Above everything else, the farmers hesitate to experiment with a different farming technique. The reason is that if they fail, they fear that the repercussions are very severe as they do not have any other livelihood options.
According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the average monthly income of a farmer is Rs. 6,426. So the other reason to avoid organic farming is the lack of proper marketing options to sell their organic produce at good prices.
All the stories we see these days about organic farmers who are earning lakhs or crores of rupees are the ones who have more landholding with tens of acres and a good economic background.