Prime Minister Narendra Modi has continuously mentioned support for MSME (Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) sector to spur growth in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. One such MSME making waves in Jharkhand and adjoining states is Sampurn Krishi Utthaan Foundation. Krishi Utthaan pride themselves in providing ecosystem which helps farmers adopt sustainable natural farming practices.
Krishi Utthaan works on switching farming from chemical to organic farming. It is about practicing conventional farming, like farming practiced before 1970 when chemicals took over- back to conventional chemical-free farming along with the use of improved scientific technologies and techniques. The idea is all about viewing land as an asset. As long as farmers have land, they do not have to worry. Unutilised land can be converted to a fertile one and all support and guidance for it is provided.
Krishi Utthaan started from Bokaro in 2017. The Director of the Organisation is Ravi Singh Choudhary who did his schooling from Vidya Mandir -Sector 3, Bokaro Steel City. He completed his engineering in Mechanical stream from BIT Sindri. Shankar Kumar Mahtha, uncle of Ravi Singh, is one of the founding members of Krishi Utthaan and works out of Bokaro zone where most of the farm research takes place. Krishi Utthaan is registered as Company in Ranchi in Dec 2018. Most of the initial farmers who connected with the organisation are from Bokaro.
The farm from where Krishi Utthaan started is spread over 3 acres and is located at Kashi Jharia, Chas, Bokaro. The first few crops grown at the farm also included strawberry, sweet corn. Drip irrigation technique is practiced which uses less water for irrigation thus helping nature by saving water. Exotic crops are still grown in the farm. The complete supply chain is taken care of with products are then sold at branded stores. They supply farm fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables directly to apartments, taking order from Apps and WhatsApp and as per pre-booking status. The decision to have minimum threshold volume is taken to make the chain running smoothly and minimising their operational cost.
Natural farming is being promoted by Krishi Utthaan in Jharkhand. Gradually farmers from neighbouring states like Bihar and Orrisa are getting connected- there are various social media groups like WhatsApp, with more than ten thousand farmers connected and the group is constantly growing. Farmers are given recommendations on how to improve fertility of soil, quality of seeds to even where to sell the corps, the complete supply chain, getting the correct market price for crops.
On weekends interactions with farmers are held and a sense of cooperative farming is established. Krishi Utthaan Foundation provides information to the farmers using WhatsApp groups and connecting with consultants. They try to make farmers aware of benefits with Block level Government Schemes. Krishi Utthaan helps farmers from harvesting to post-harvest management. The Director says building a strong bond with the farmers is key for them and rewarding farmers annually to bring a sense of dignity and respect. Krishi Utthaan got connected to many traders, wholesalers at national level and the team learnt many techniques from farmers at National level. Flashcards, Videos in local language, interaction via Video call also helped them reach many farmers.
In the last few days, we have seen a lot of migrant labourers return from their workplaces to their homes and villages in Jharkhand due to factories being shut and no means of earning. They come back to their homeland and the only asset they have now is their land. This is where Krishi Utthaan can be of immense help to them. They have not done farming before or have left it some time back. Krishi Utthaan can get help them get back to their feet by teaching them organic farming. It can also guide on government schemes for farmers who do not have enough money to start farming. If the farmer has land, Krishi Utthaan can help them be self-sustainable. Currently economy might be down, but something that is still in demand and will forever remain in demand for food. Farmers can get connected with Krishi Utthaan and get guidance on all fronts: what seeds to choose, which cops to grow, correct soil content, all tips regarding farming, correct marketing for organic corps grown and managing the entire supply chain for finished products.