IIPR Showed the Way
Lokesh Kumar (26) is a torch bearer for toor growers of Firozabad district, Uttar Pradesh. Excessive use of fertilizers is reducing the total productivity in the entire western UP including Firozabad. Now, preserving land composition is a challenge for the farmers. Efforts initiated by Lokesh are giving results as farmers opt to grow pigeon pea or toor using organic farming instead of potato. His campaign is gaining momentum in neighboring districts as well.
Lokesh is a resident of village Nagla Radhe, Sirsaganj, Firozabad. He has a five acre ancestral land. With a Master’s degree in economics, Lokesh was always keen to learn new methods of farming for increased profitability. His growing concern was that potato cultivation resulted in reduced productivity and more infertile land. Cash crop of potato was encouraging farmers to use excessive use of fertilizers which reduced the total productivity of the land. Lokesh decided to take an initiative.
In 2008, he took part in an exhibition organized by the state agriculture department. Through this exhibition he came to know that the regional farmers can get benefit through pulse farming mixed with organic farming. He collected information of different progrmmes and projects for encouraging farmers for pulse cultivation. Lokesh participated in a workshop organized by the Indian Institute of Pulses Research, Kanpur. This workshop gave him valuable information on pulses and different varieties developed by the IIPR.
After getting expert opinion from IIPR, he started growing toor in his field. Efforts are giving good results. The production cost of toor ranges from Rs 3000 to 4000 per acre and gives Rs one lakh/acre profit. He showed the way to his fellow farmers. Now it’s a movement, as farmers having 50 acre land are now growing toor.
Now, Lokesh has formed a group of toor growers and they are selling entire production without taking help of any mediator. Thus, they got market price directly. Total productivity of the land is also improving.
(Source: NAIP Mass Media sub-project for Sharing Agro Information, DIPA)