India has great potential to grow crops organically and can be a major supplier of organic products in the world. It has been observed that a vast area in the country is exploited with chemicals which give low yield. Organic foods are proved to have superiority in terms of health and safety, but there is no evidence to prove this superiority in terms of taste and nutrition, as most of the studies done are often doesn’t have conclusion.
Shivanand Basayya Hiremath from Benachi is a farmer like no other. He’s been quick to understand the importance of organic farming and cut-off of the chemicals and fertilizers. The gentleman farmer, who knew BDSSS’ colossal work since early days of 2014, became actively involved with Project Ujjivana in its second phase in 2019. “I always value the trainings provided by BDSSS and wish that all of us – the farmers take it in the right spirit and bring long-term improvements” says Mr. Hiremath. Such is the aura of the farmer that he’s a frequent participant in the major trainings and meetings of BDSSS in the project area and has participated in trainings and exposure visits everywhere. He also participated in the water conservation training organized by Caritas India in Mysore.
He had an unused land of 15 acres at a higher hillock. He comprehended the best use of the land and planted different fruits, spices, ayurvedic herbs, areca nuts, dragon fruit, commercial plants, sandalwood, etc of 36 different varieties. He made bunds for the water as well. The areca nut plantation is an experiment.
Mr. Hiremath has been largely benefitted by BDSSS as all the trainings accentuated on organic farming. The plan is long-term and therefore the income is expanded in the recent past. “I was happy that the land that seemed waste for me is being utilized aptly” says Shivanand Basayya Hiremath. The total plantation is a whopping 15000. There is also a water pond which also has a fishery unit. Hence this multipurpose usage is giving greater yields to Mr. Hiremath.
By doing all these, Mr. Hiremath has become a model farmer in the area and has been paving a way to show the fellow farmers that many varieties can be planted in the area with greater return on investment. Earlier Mr. Hiremath was only involved in sugarcane but he has shifted to multi-cropping and has also sowed vegetables. Mr. Hiremath’s has doubled his annual income. Where he was earning Rs. 15 Lakh every year, he’s now making 30 Lakh which will only increase from here. Mr. Hiremath is the president of the FPO which has 172 members and which will have 200 members in the near future.
With farmers like Mr. Hiremath, the project area is bound to progress forward taking every farmer onto newer heights.