Sambalpur: Farming is often not viewed as a glamourous or even a profitable profession and why not as agrarian crisis is a perennial issue in the country. Yet, it has now become an attractive option for some and has led them to quit their comfortable government jobs.
And, the story of this youth in Jujumara block of Sambalpur district testifies to this. Tankadhar Pradhan has 25 acres of ancestral land in this area. Though his father was very passionate about farming, he could not earn a good amount from agriculture profession “because of his traditional approach.”
An engineering graduate from Savil Engineering College, Pradhan started working as a data entry operator at Sambalpur block office. Along with it, he used to lend a helping hand to his father in farm works. While helping his father, he observed that many farmers worked hard but not smartly, hence failing to gain the most.
However, affection for his village and family made him return to his roots and thus, he decided to be a full-time farmer but by using new technologies.
As time passed by, Pradhan started to feel drawn to the idea of applying his planning and executing skills, which he had learnt as an engineer, in farming. But he feared quitting his stable government job and taking a leap into the unknown.
And so, two years ago, just after a few months of joining his government job, Pradhan quit and took up farming as a full-time career.
At first, he evaluated the area. He started with paddy, moong and other pulses items; employing modern methods. After reaping profits from these crops, he decided to start a new type of farming combining dairy, poultry, fishery and agriculture.
“The agriculture department suggested that I grow crops like pulses which require little water,” he said.
Pradhan did some research and discovered that there were good possibilities in doing multiple cropping instead going for a single one.
Now, he owns two farms where he is doing diary and fish farming. He has 20 cows and 25 goats in his dairy farm and is minting Rs 3 lakh per annum from there. From paddy farming and pisciculture he earns around Rs 2 lakh.
Recently, he was awarded in a state-level event for his achievements as a farmer. Pradhan stated that this award has encouraged him to make further investments in farming.
“Exposure to new resources, planning, optimisation and execution – these things have helped me and I believe every farmer can benefit from such knowledge. But farmers too have to leave their fears behind and come out of their comfort zones,” concluded Pradhan.