Baripada: If you visit Kisanhadi village under Balidiha panchayat in Shamakhunta block of Mayurbhanj district these days, you will be greeted with a ubiquitous aroma.
By the time you identify the aroma with Basmati rice, you must have also known one Malakmani Singh – a female farmer whose produce of labour the spreading aroma is.
Malakmani has been harvesting about 40 quintals of Basmati rice a year and earning Rs 50,000 a year for the last couple of years.
Ask her how she has scripted the success story and she narrates: “As a child, I remember having an inclination towards farming. As luck would have it, I was married into a farmer’s family. My husband would grow paddy and green gram and vegetables in Rabi season on 7/8 acres of land. Once it came to my mind why not we start growing crops organically. My family supported me. I sought advice from agriculture department officers and hit the field.”
Using organic manure and pesticide she started growing green gram. Assistant agriculture officer Sudhanshu Panda provided seeds, organic manure and pesticide to her as per the government guidelines.
Despite no training at all, she reaped a good harvest in the first year itself. Then she was still using chemical fertiliser in paddy fields. As her interest in farming grew, she consulted Kanak Bioscience and Research Private Limited’s managing director Deepak Sahu and assistant agriculture officer Panda.
“They had advised me to try my luck in Basmati rice without using any chemical fertiliser. I was a little bit apprehensive regarding the yield as I had been growing paddy using chemical fertiliser. I took up the challenge,” a visibly happy and confident Singh said.
Following the recommendation by the experts, Malakmani prepared organic manure from cow dung and pesticide from bel fruit, basil, neem etc and applying them, she reaped a good harvest of Basmati rice. As of now, she is imparting training to others in her locality on how to prepare organic manure and pesticide. She says she would achieve more success if training is provided to her.
Now, others in the locality are taking a leaf out of her book to become successful organic farmers.