Once a Worried Farmer, Now Inspiring Villagers

Highlights of Success

Change in economic condition of a poor farmer.
Effective use of land for vegetable cultivation.
Exploring new income generating option

Keshav Prasad, a farmer of Mahogni village of Jamalpur block in Mirzapur district, Uttar Pradesh, owns 1.5 acre cultivated land adjacent to river Ganga. Vegetable cultivation is main source of his livelihood, but the declining production and income was a cause of great worry for him.

On the advice of a close one, Keshav Prasad visited Indian Institute of Vegetable Research (IIVR), Varanasi, a premier institute of ICAR, to see and learn new production technologies for vegetables crops. He was impressed with the cultivation of cowpea. He acquired all relevant information for the cultivation of this remunerative crop. Then, he prepared his land under the supervision of scientists of IIVR. They demonstrated two varieties of cowpea Kashi Unnati and Kashi Kanchan to him. He started the cultivation of these cowpea varieties in an area of 1.5 hectare. The sowing was done in the month of May on ridges following the methods as suggested by the scientists.

He harvested tender green pods at right stage and sold in the market. He was able to catch early market from July first week and got higher market price @ Rs. 28/- per kg. Regular picking of green cowpea pod fetched him a return of 1.50 lakh by September. Later, instead of selling green pod he left the crop in field for seeds. Thus he was able to get about 3.5 quintal of cowpea seeds by October end, which he later sold @ Rs. 90/- to150/- per kg and thus again he received a return of about Rs. 0.50 lakh. The total cost of cultivation, transportation and marketing of cowpea was calculated as Rs. 40000/-. Thus, within a period of one season, Keshav Prasad earned a net return of Rs. 1.60 lakh from an area of 1.5 hectare with a single crop of cowpea.

Now, Keshav Prasad is one of the cheerful farmers in the region. He is enjoying vegetable cultivation with his family. He had brought two buffaloes and three cows from the earning of cowpea. Selling of milk is other source of his earning. Keshav Prasad is inspiring other farmers in his village to grow cowpea and other vegetable crops.

(Source: NAIP sub-project on “Mobilizing mass media support for sharing agro-information,”  DIPA and IIVR, Varanasi)