Thursday, November 15, 2018

Transforming rural India through large-scale horticulture

My endeavor is to transform rural India by creating a replicable model using technology and new techniques. The drought this year in Marathawada has thrown in an intense challenge to put in place sustainable and long-term solutions. These solutions should be able increase income by ten times in the next five years and insulate farmers from these periodic droughts.

We are embarking on creating a lasting solution by planting 10,00,000 fruit trees across the taluka in the next monsoon. This is over and above, ensuring supply of drinking water to all the 106 villages in Parli Taluka, Beed.

On the 3rd, 4th and 5th Dec ’18, we intend to take over 200 farmers who are interested in horticulture from these 106 villages for field visit and technical presentations and lectures to Jain Hills, Jalgaon. Jain Irrigations is India’s finest company with multiple agronomists and scientists in the field of agriculture and horticulture.

Posters are being put in all villages and sarpanch and other eminent people in all villages are being called for the trip. We wish to address the following issues:

1. Out of 10 lakh fruit trees to be grown by the farmers, which fruit trees to grow. Our first priority - Kesar Mango (UHDP), Cashew, Moringa, Mulberry and Sitafal. Next priority - Peru, Pomengranate, Nimbu, Chinch, Papaya etc
2. Water requirements (month wise) for each of the fruit plantation options. Drip irrigation and its costs and subsidies. Sourcing of water.

3. Economics, income and expenditure, profitability, time for production to being, which months will fruition take place, any inter-cropping solutions?

4. Marketing plans for each of the fruit plantation. Is there a buy-back arrangement for any fruits? What is the pricing?

5. Quality and varieties of saplings and fruits. Advantages and disadvantages of the same. Soil testing and quality parameters.

6. Government subsidies and documentation for the same.

7. Regular training, exposure visits and responding to technical challenges.

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