Nitil Bhardwaj, 28, who lives in Mudera village of Ramnagar block in West Champaran, Bihar, is rearing pearls and fisheries. In addition, he has also started his own training center called ‘Bhardwaj Pearl Farm and Training Center’, where he teaches people pearl farming.
Since the year 2019, there has been pearl farming and fish farming. The most interesting thing is that during the lockdown, NITIL has also provided employment to the unemployed laborers who returned to the village by giving free training in pearl farming.
Nitil states that he belongs to a peasant family. However, they used to have traditional farming only. However, he never thought of making farming his career. He did a computer course after graduation. Due to the computer course, he also got a job as a computer operator in a multinational company. He further added, “In 2017, my father first read about pearl farming in the newspaper. In those days, I too came to the village after taking leave. When he told me about this, he felt that there should be an effort to do something different. ”
He gathered more information about pearl farming and went to ‘pearl farm’ training from ‘Bamoria Pearl Farm’ in Madhya Pradesh. He first trained there and then worked with him so that he could also practice pearl farming. In the year 2019, when he felt that he can now follow Moti himself, he quit his job. He told, “I dug a pond on my one acre land under the government subsidy scheme and started work. In November 2019, for the first time, they put pearl mussels in their pond. ”
Along with pearl farming, fish farming is also done:
Neetil says that farmers can put 25 to 30 thousand mussels in an acre of pond. However, he initially put only 400 shells and looked after them regularly. Their initial cost came to 25 thousand rupees. He further added, “If you start from a small level then the risk is less. I did training well, but, even when you work on your own, you should also be prepared for failure. Everyone has some problems in the beginning but if you are hardworking then you definitely move forward. ”
After eight to ten months of putting mussels in the pond, you can remove pearls. He further says that if you wish, you can remove pearls after a long time. Because, this increases the quality of the beads. He explained, “After the oyster operation, they are released into the pond and taken care of. For about 15 days, every day you have to go to the pond and see if any oyster has died. If an oyster is dead, you have to get it out. ”
He further says that one oyster costs around 30-40 rupees and two pearls are made in one oyster. You get at least 120 rupees for a pearl and if the quality of a pearl is very good, then you can get more than 200 rupees for it. In this way, you can earn at least 240 rupees from one oyster. He further stated that from the first crop, he earned about 75 thousand rupees. After the first success, they have now put 25 thousand shells in the pond.
“Along with pearl farming, he is also rearing fish in the same pond,” says Nitil. I cultivate two types of vegetarian fish. While rearing fish with pearl rearing, special care is taken that the fishes are not carnivorous. I have earned two and a half lakh rupees in a season from fisheries. ” Neetal Bhardwaj is also becoming an inspiration for other farmers in his area. A team from the district fisheries department has visited their fields.
Surya Prakash Ram, District Fisheries Officer, says, “I along with my team visited Neetil’s farm and we had some farmers with us. The work he has started is Kaabil-e-compliment. Along with general farming, farmers can double their earnings if they take initiatives like pearl farming and fisheries. Nitil has also started a training center for farmers so that they can get good training locally. Our department is also trying to provide all possible help to the farmers. ”
Employment is given to workers who returned to their homes in lockdown:
Nitil Bhardwaj says that during the lockdown, he noticed that many people in the village, who work in other cities, are returning. Many people became unemployed due to the lockdown and corona epidemic. He said, “I thought it would be nice if I could help some of these people too.” Therefore, I asked some young men from my village whether they would like to work with me, after learning to follow pearls. After most deliberation, I started giving pearl farming training to six people for free. ”
Along with free training, Nitil also gave him employment. He explains, “At the moment, I am giving them five-six thousand rupees per month and along with pearl farming, I am also giving free training in fisheries.” Sajarul Mian, who is working with him, says, “I used to work as a mechanic in Kashmir before the lockdown. However, the village had to return to lockdown when everything was lost. No good work found even after lockdown. Due to which there was a lot of difficulty in running the house. Then we came to know about the training here. ”
He further says that from October 2020, he has been taking training and working on the policy form. He further said, “I am getting a good job while staying here with my family. We are learning new things and trying ahead is that we will do some work for ourselves sometime. ”
Neetil further says that he has started a training for pearl farming for farmers coming from other places too. In a batch, he trains 10-15 farmers. He said, “This training is for two days and we charge a minimum fee from the farmers. We have taken two batches so far and further batches will start from the month of October. My experience says that a farmer can earn up to 30 lakh rupees from an acre of pond if he follows pearls well. All that is needed is skill and hard work. ”
Currently, he is selling his pearls to traders in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. These traders process the beads, make and sell different products from them. Nitik’s plan is to start processing beads on his own farms in future so that he can employ more people and earn more profits from it.