The routine of Sudhanshu Kumar, a farmer living in the Samastipur district of Bihar, is such that he comes to his Fully Automated Farm every day, parks his bike in a shed and sits in a control room built there. After a while, he chooses one of the films to watch a film during the day. After this, he presses the button next to a panel on his chair. With the press of a button, the process of irrigation and fertilization on their fruit orchards begins. In the meantime, he enjoys the whole film by sitting comfortably. By the time the film is complete, irrigation on their 35-acre orchard is also complete. Sudhanshu collects his belongings, closes the system and goes back home.
Now Sudhanshu needs less supervision of farms and fewer workers. He is using technology for farming. Through farming, he is also producing quality produce, earning millions. On his 60-acre farm, he has grown 28 thousand trees of mango, banana, guava, berries, lychee, Brazilian mausambi and dragon fruit / lotus. Due to this, they get a revenue of 80 lakh rupees annually.
Sudhanshu started farming from 1990. He has always emphasized the use of scientific techniques to increase yield and economic benefits.
He said that it all started years ago. When he turned down an offer of an assistant manager job at ‘Tata Tea Garden’ in Munnar, Kerala and returned home to do farming. 58-year-old Sudhanshu says, “My grandfather and father were farmers and I wanted to continue the tradition. But my father wanted me to go to civil services. After much persuasion, my father reluctantly allowed me to cultivate his five acres of uncultivated land. ”
Technology and farming
Indeed, it was a way for Sudhanshu’s father to give Sudhanshu this idle land to Sudhanshu. He wanted to see if he could really take care of a place that had more wild plants. Sudhanshu says, “I am in Pusa.” Rajendra Prasad consulted the scientists at the Central Agricultural University about how technology can rejuvenate the farm. After a year of hard work and spending 25 thousand rupees, I earned 1.35 lakh rupees. This was a major achievement. Because, we never earned more than 15 thousand rupees from that land. ”
With this income, Sudhanshu first purchased a tractor mounted sprayer. The cost of which was 40 thousand rupees. From here, his journey to farming started with the help of automation and technology. Today, from the same five acres of land, he earns Rs 13 lakh per year.
Currently, Sudhanshu owns a 200-acre farm, of which 60 acres operate on micro-irrigation. At the same time, 35 acres of land is fully automated. Maize, wheat and lentil crops are grown on the remaining land. He says, “Technology and farming equipment helped me improve the quality and quantity of crops. This trend has been going on for years, which is very important for any farmer. ” Sudhanshu further explained that he thought to focus more on growing the fruit. They earned three times more income than traditional crops.
After his grandfather and father, Sudhanshu started farming. However, he chose technology for farming. Talking in detail, he says that the control room serves as a junction for monitoring irrigation and agricultural activities. He says, “Drip irrigation machines and micro-sprinklers are installed in the garden. The tanks in the control room supply manure and pesticides to the field through drip. The input from the control room decides when to irrigate the plants. Additionally, the controller can also choose the amount of manure and other additives to prepare the mixture. For example, with the help of these techniques, I add seven grams of manure to the fields every fourth day. In this way, this system program works. ”
Sudhanshu explains that micro sprinklers help create micro climates in gardens. Micro climate means climate found in a small area on the surface of the Earth, such as the climate of a forest area or locality. He says, “Lychee needs to maintain a certain amount of humidity around it, humidity and temperature. Micro-sprinklers help to maintain it. ”
This form is connected to a wireless broadband internet network. You can go to any corner of the world, through a smartphone or laptop, the irrigation system can be monitored. The fields are also equipped with CCTV cameras, which help in monitoring the movements and health of trees.
Creating a marketing network
Sudhanshu says that growing fruits is a difficult business. Because they are more likely to deteriorate or rot. Also, their yield is also large. Therefore, for their harvesting and fresh selling in the market, a strong network of buyers is required.
He says that as productivity increased, he started making contacts with potential buyers across India. Also, it ensured that fruits were delivered within 24 hours of harvesting. He says, “In 2012, I made a contract with a canning company based in Allahabad, which buys litchi. Mango has a stable local market and I have tied up with’ventors’ to sell premium bananas. I also sell my produce in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Delhi and Dubai. He has also started a company called ‘Orchards of Nayanagar’ to take online orders. ”
He says that having a lot of links in the market has helped him gain more customers over time. He further adds, “However, there is a shortage of cold chain facilities, which have not been developed by the government. Such farms incur a huge cost to set up the infrastructure. If the government facilitates, it will help the farmers to store, process their produce and earn good returns. ”
His achievements were recognized and appreciated at various levels. He received an Innovative Farmer Award, ‘Jagjivan Ram Abhinav Kisan Award’ in 2010. Also, ‘Best Mango Grower Award’ from ‘Society for Development of Subtropical Horticulture’ in 2011, ‘The Board of Trustees of Madhavi-Shyam Educational Trust’ and ‘Role by International Consortium of Contemporary Biologists’ (MSET-ICCB) Has been awarded the Model Award and the Mahindra Samridhi India Agri Awards in 2014. He is also a part of various peasant bodies, both nationally and internationally.
Quantity and quality are important
Sudhanshu believes that every farmer should practice gardening. He says, “At least one-third of the farmers’ land should be for horticulture, which helps in increasing their income. Farmers should take advantage of the subsidy given by the government and use technology for agriculture. ”
He adds, “Different state governments provide various subsidies on polyhouses, agricultural implements, fertilizers etc. Due to which, farmers get a lot of help in farming easily. It also helped me move forward. ”
Sudhanshu is the village headman. He says that some farmers have taken inspiration from him and have adopted drip irrigation techniques. He says that sugarcane is widely grown in the region. Which needs a lot of water. Some farmers have started using drip technology to reduce water costs. Also, they are planning to convert some areas into the horticulture sector. ”
He says he plans to sell his fruit production in bulk and work with corporate companies to get more returns. He says, “As corporates want, I have also produced more and more quality fruits for years.”
Regarding his success, Sudhanshu says, “My grandfather once owned 2,700 acres of land and today I own about 200 acres. Nevertheless, I have been able to increase production four times. This has only been possible through the use of technology and science. ”