I met Ramesh Narayan Patel (35 yrs.) at Matwa Village, in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat. He is a graduate and father of two children. He grows fruits, specially pappaya or pappali. I asked him about the expenses, he incur per crop. Ramesh explained me in detail. In one acre, 1000 sapplings are planted. He has to purchase the saplings from “Anand”, private agency. One thousand sapplings cost him Rs 8000. Then he invested Rs 8000 for manure, Rs 4000 for fertilizer, Rs 2000 for liquid fertilizer, Rs 1000 for insecticide, Rs 25000 for Water, motor, drip irrigation etc. Rs 12000 for labour, harvest, plucking and packing. All together Rs 60,000 is production cost in one acre land. Afterwards, in 18 months fruits can be plucked for 10 times. One ‘mond’ is 20 Kg which sells Rs 100/-. from one acre of land, the producer can get 300 monds. His total sales touch around Rs three lakh. Apart from this, he gets Rs 7500 as government subsidy. He cultivates fruits in 2.5 acre that is one hectare. Ramesh is a happy farmer growing fruits. He wishes to expand his cultivation capitalising on farmer-friendly policies of Shri Narendra Modi.
Here, I must mention about the special effort made by Narendra Modi for agriculture. He has made the income of the farmers going up many times more by arranging adequate infrastructure for post harvest needs. Immediately after the harvest of fruits, vegetables, cereals or pulses, farmers need pre-cooling unit, cold storages, refrigerated transportation, modernised market places and outlets. Gujarat’s agricultural policy offers interest subsidies and other incentives for the development of farmers.
I was glad to converse with an young educated farmer Suresh Bhai Patel. He is a BSc (Agri) graduate and involved in full time serious agriculture, as distinct from leisure farming. He grows capsicum, that is Simla mirch. In one acre 12,000 plants can be cultivated. He has to spend Rs 1,60,000 for manure, fertilizer, insecticide, labour etc. Finally he is able to produce 20 tons of capscum worth about Rs seven lakh. He has built a net house worth 1.6 lakh rupees. He is an educated farmer, having a car, tractor, cows, buffaloes and enjoys a comfortable life. Naturally, his confidence level is high.
Then I met Dinesh (30 yrs), a young man with modern out look. He is educated in agricultural farming and lives in Jethpur Village. He has built a green house and emment cultivates gerderas flower. Government has helped him in constructing a green house for farming and he produces flowers. It gives him sufficient profit to invest further in expanding his green house cultivation of flowers. Gerberas are the most popular florist flowers. Gerberas are available in a massive array of colours.
I had an interaction with Rathilal Patel in Rajat Kumba village. He cultivates ground nut. In one acre 800 kg of groundnuts are produced. He has to spend Rs 6000 towards production cost. He is able to earn Rs 20,000 in a period of four months. He says, it is all because of the present BJP government’s, effective implementation of various schemes.
Hithendra Bhai produces short-term cotton in six months. One acre gives 1200 kgs to 1500 kgs of cotton yield. He can sell cotton for Rs 25 per kg. Expenses varies from Rs 15,000 to Rs. 18,000 total sales per acre comes around Rs 25,000. He says cotton production in the state has grown in recent past. Gujarat is emerging as India’s largest cotton producing state and a major cotton export hub.
Mahendra produces wheat. One acre needs Rs 6,000. towards production cost. He is able to produce 14 quintal, i.e. 1400 kg per acre. He is able to sell it for Rs 20,000. The gestation period for this is four months. He is comfortable in doing wheat cultivation. I was able to feel the sweat and toil behind his success.
I met some more farmers, who produces potatoes in Dangia Village of Bannattwada district. They produces 10 tons per acre by spending Rs 20,000 as cost of production. After the yield they are able to sell it for Rs 45,000. All these farmers are growing cotton, groundnut, wheat, potato, flowers and vegetables. They are all happy, confident and successful.
A village lady, Smt. Malathy Ben, from Pratap Pura Village, earn Rs one lakh by selling milk. She maintains 40 cows. Each cow gives 25 liters of milk everyday. She sells 500 liters of milk to Sagar dairy and earns a decent profit of Rs one lakh. She leads a dignified life with family and children.
Gujarat is the largest milk producing state. During the last five to six years agriculture growth has gone faster than industries and services in Gujarat, improving its share in total income of the state. When I was talking to CM, he made a lighter comment, Nano Cars are cheaper than buffaloes in Gujarat. He was specially appreciating the role of 800 scientists touring the villages and motivating the farmers during the summer holidays. He called them as “Rishis of Krishi”.
The Bharatiya Janata Party government has actually devoted a great deal of energy and resources in accelerating agricultural growth in the state through a broad spectrum of policy initiatives. They have improved market access, technical support, specially credit facilities, canal irrigation, judicious usage of ground water, road and other infrastructure.
Gujarat’s stellar performance in agriculture needs better appreciation. Most Indian states have found it difficult to achieve even the modest plan to get four per cent agricultural growth per year. The country’s growth rate is meagre 2.9 per cent per year. Gujarat has charted out of a new course for its agrarion economy, which is exceptionally high 9.6 per cent per year besides being steady. This is mainly due to the hard work of the farmers, contribution of the agri-scientists, and above all CM Narendra Modi’s enlightened leadership and good governance of BJP.