It is said that flowing water makes its path anyway. It takes some time but eventually it leads to its tributary i.e. to its final destination.
Same happened with Tathagata Barod, a graduate of Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT), Bhopal. After completing his graduation, Barod went to IIT Bombay to pursue his masters. It is often envisaged that a graduate from top institutes of the country will be seen in Multinational Company either discovering new products or critically examining their software.
Only a few are strong enough to follow their passion and Mr Tathagata Barod was one of them. After completing his education, he decided to follow his family footsteps contrary to those who try their hand in start-ups. He was so determined that he didn’t even prepare his résumé.c
Mr Tathagata Barod is a resident of Chhapari village of Kalapipal tehsil of Shajapur district, Madhya Pradesh.He is practising this profession along with his uncle who is also a farmer. Its been nearly 3 years they have been involved in organic farming.
Tathagata’s father is a doctor but is associated with village and society, his uncle is connected to farming which influenced him to join the trend.
After his graduation in 2012 he took a year break which he called as a career drop. He went to many places, met farmers of the village and learned about farming.
During this time he started a little organic farming and also sold vegetables on carts. After this, he felt that why not to do some more studies in this field and start farming in a better way.
He then prepared for GATE and enrolled in IIT Bombay. From there, he did masters in Technology and Development in Rural Areas. He returned to the village after being pass out in the year 2016.
He told the farmers of the village about organic farming. The villagers used to listen were not ready to do that; they were not ready to take the risk. Then he decided that he would have to do this work and started farming as a profession.
Along with farming, they do animal husbandry and organic manure. Initially, they began their farming from a small patch of land. Now they cultivate around 18 acres of the region.
At very first he started cultivating Wheat, as he aimed first to reach kitchen of his consumers. With due course of time his consumer base raised and at this moment of time, he fulfils order of his nearly 140 families. Today, Tathagata is raising about 17 crops in his 18 acres of land, together with crops like
- Lemon Grass
After being successful in the production phase he told about it to his acquaintances. After which they started demanding it from him. Which eventually led to the growth of crops and land.
When expressed concern regarding his earnings, he said that his start-up is generating an income of Rs. 50000/acre per year, which accounts for 9 LPA (Lakh per Annum).
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In his animal husbandry, he owns a cow-shed where he has 17 cows for the production of dairy products whose processing and packaging is done by him.
They use manure, prepared from cattle dung and urine, in their fields so they do not have to buy compost from outside. He has also set up a Gobar gas plant, the gas production helps in running his household works.
He said that he wants none of his customers to go anywhere else for the basic necessities. He aims that all the needs of the kitchen, from spices to vegetable and ration, everything can be fulfilled at one stoppage. For this, he created a WhatsApp group of all 140 people named My Family Farmer, Where he tries to supply everything they need.
He does not sell any of his crops at high rates in the name of organic farming. They sell their product directly to customers. The market price of coriander is 250 rupees per kg and he also sells at the same price. They are not having any middlemen between producer and buyer so they are all the money for their hard work.
Along with the production of the product, they are now also processing and packaging it. They pack things like
- coriander powder
- turmeric powder
- cumin powder
and deliver it to the customers. He says that 10-12 people have contacted him after the lockdown and they are so much influenced by the ideology of organic farming that they do not want to go out and work. They want to do farming only by staying in the village.
According to him, one can start such farming on any agricultural land. To be on safer side, instead of cultivating the whole land, he suggested that in the initial stage one should only begin organic farming on 10% of land and do conventional farming on the remaining land. So that even if the experiment is not profitable, we could have gain assist.
How To Start Organic Farming
- Cultivate only 10% of the land; the remaining should be cultivated in the traditional way for being on the safer side.
- A survey should be conducted before farming; the survey includes
- their demand
- Start of with some basic products like
The biggest advantage of doing so is that we do not have to work hard to absorb our product because these are the products that a common family needs. After this, the scope should be increased gradually. As demand increases and people join, the market will grow.
- Requirements for starting a cultivation
- organic crop seeds
- organic manure
- like tractors
- irrigation facilities
In today’s era, social media is the biggest platform for marketing. He did not do any advertisement to develop his customer. It was through social media that he got his market-ready by talking to more people where he started getting responses.