Hukumchand Patidar, a farmer from Manpura village in Rajasthan’s Jhalawar district, is the man with a mission who redefined organic farm mantra in Rajasthan and converted land in his village as chemical free patch.
Now, he has been assigned the task of designing the curriculum on organic farming for India’s agricultural universities.
Interestingly, he is class Xth drop out and is least worried about the fact that he holds no degree. “I have been trained reading ancient texts and manuscripts which speaks significance of organic farming and I shall share the same with my colleagues in the panel,” he said.
The module he is working on, including natural and cow dung-related agriculture, shall be introduced in schools, colleges and universities.
Patidar advocates using ‘panchgavya’ or the five elements derived from cows to nourish the soil and make crops healthier.
A consultant to Rajasthan’s four agricultural universities on the subject of organic farming, Patidar decided to foray into organic farming in 2005 even as his family and friends opposed the idea of experimentation fearing losses.
Unaffected by fear of failure, he started organic farming on a small patch of 25-hectare farm and today Patidar, besides earning in millions, also exports the produce to Japan, Germany and Switzerland.
In fact, his organic produce fetches him 40 per cent higher rate than crops grown through the conventional method of farming.
Patidar, hence, has been felicitated with the Padma Shri in 2018 for his efforts towards promoting organic farming at his farm — Swami Vivekananda Jaivik Krishi Anusandhan Kendra.
He says he decided to get into organic farming after realising that “conventional farming was proving dangerous and its harmful effects were quite visible on the health of people and environment”.
“I realised that land productivity was deteriorating with conventional agriculture that uses chemicals and the soil was being harmed while crops were becoming poisonous,” he added.
Therefore, he started organic farming and helped turn his native village of Manpura into a fully chemical free farm patch.
Looking at his achievements, he has been included in the national curriculum committee set up by the Indian Council for Agriculture Research as he has expertise in growing organic oranges, pulses, onion, coriander and fennel, the bulk of which is exported to Europe.