India is primarily an agricultural country. More than 75% of the population depends on agriculture. Farmers are the backbone of the nation. Without them, we cannot survive. They sweat it out day in day out without rest. They are highly involved in tilling the soil, sowing the seeds, watering the fields, reaping and harvesting the crop and then they sell it to the market.
The sad reality is that they are very poor despite giving absolutely everything to the nation They dedicate their whole life for us but themselves live a poor life. Needless to say, they can also be called as the ‘God of the soil’. On the dark side, farmers commit suicides when they feel helpless under mountain pressure of debt. If Valentines Day is celebrated globally on February 14, then we should also celebrate Farmers Day on December 23 because they feed every individual in the world.
STORY OF HOW A FARMER WENT ON TO EARN 21 LAKHS IN 70 DAYS!
Khetaji’s story is one that needs to be told to inspire other farmers. His appetite for learning new things and curiosity to experiment helped him climb the ladders of success. Let’s take a glimpse of his story that is bound to inspire you. Khetaji was born in a small village Chandaji Goliya which is in the Banaskantha district of Gujarat. The village has a population of less than a thousand people.
Khetaji always had an eye for learning and experimenting new things since he was a child. His father is more into an agricultural field as he would grow traditional crops like potatoes, groundnut and Bajra. Farmers were counting themselves on potatoes as that would get good profit those days.
When times changed, Khetaji, who was very good at studies quit his school after class 7 due to financial problems. However, he then tried his hand in his farm to help his father and also learnt about the marketing tricks and techniques. He picked more information and learnt about export techniques and also got his export licence to his name.
In 1994, Khetaji’s elder brother bought land away from his village. He had to take care of their ancestor’s land. For the next few years, he got into the groove of traditional farming methods on his 4-acre land, until 2014- when potato farmers were heartbroken. “It was a time when we had to throw away our potatoes on the road,” he told The Better India.
The turning point of Khetaji’s life:
Khetaji’s marketing skills have never been in doubt. Even in tough times, Khetaji sold the potatoes to an export dealer. After understanding the situation, Khetaji tried to experiment with various crops. He was very active in his approach. He would attend ‘training programs for farmers’ on a daily basis to learn things. In one such useful program, KC Patel from Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IIFCO) told him about muskmelons.
Khetaji was a tech-savvy and downloaded application to know more about the fruit and its development process. Having acquired a great deal of knowledge, he was all set and geared up for the work. On February 12, 2018, he sowed the seeds of muskmelon on his 4-acre farm.
“No one had tried this in our village, and so people suggested that I try growing muskmelon in a small piece of land first. But I knew that I need to grow them in bulk if I want to export them,” he says while talking to an Indian Website.
When Khetaji touched the pinnacle of Success
In what was a staggering piece of achievement, Khetaji crop produced over 140 tonnes of muskmelon within 70 days of sowing the seeds. Yes, you read it right! The muskmelon was delivered to Kashmir through a dealer who got him a whopping amount of Rs 21 lakhs. It is learnt that the total investment was about Rs 1.6 lakhs, so there was a profit of 19.5 lakhs.
When asked about success, Khetaji told, “Minimum investment, maximum output, and marketing strategy are the keys that will surely open the lock of your success.”
“I have just passed class 7, but I am on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, and have also downloaded most of the apps specially designed for farmers. I attend every training program organised by the government. I also follow the instructions given by the agriculture officers who visit us from time to time and take the benefits of the numerous government schemes for farmers,” he concludes.
What really presses the case is that Khetaji made use of the modern technology to good effect. He gets all information from the internet. He installed a solar pump, using drip irrigation and mulching in his farm as well. He would also experiment with organic fertilisers and pesticides.