To Promote Farming, Farmers Set Up Company
Vakiya (Amreli): Collective effort and a little use of technology have shown positive results in a remote Gujarat village where farmers have more than doubled the produce and improved their income.
This village is situated 266 km south of Gandhinagar. To promote farming and to increase produce as well as income of growers, farmers in this village have formed a company.
A board member of the Saurashtra Swanirbhar Khedut Producers Company (SSKPC), Bauji Sagathiya said, “We are inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to double farmers’ income. The government is doing its part, we also need to come forward with ideas and show enthusiasm.”
Earlier, the produce from 1 acre land was 500 kg and now it has risen to 1,200 kg.He said, “As the produce increased, so has our income. Earlier we were getting 3,500 a quintal. Now it is ₹4,500. After setting up the company, We sell our produce to NAFED. Earlier, we used to sell the produce in local mandies.”
Sagathiya added, “A farmer informs us about the quantity of his produce and we allot him a date to bring his produce for sale. He is updated through an alert text. We have registered phone numbers of all of them and send them an alerts”
Under Companies Act in 2015, the company was registered. On its board, there are six people and over 1,600 farmers of 17 nearby villages are its members.
He informed that, the idea of forming a company came after Reliance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Reliance Industries Ltd, guided the farmers of the region to identify the issues in the dry Saurashtra region and form a platform to solve it collectively.
The company has set up a lab at Babra tehsil for better produce. Farmers from all the 17 villages bring their seeds for testing before sowing. This helps them to plant the right seed, which is one of the reasons for good produce. For irrigation, SSKPC has built over 70 check dams. The farmers also have moved to growing peanuts which requires less water than cotton.