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Amla Farming by a-60 year Old Farmer through Rural Entrepreneurship in Rajasthan

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Mr. Amar Singh, aged 60 years, is an inspiration to all cereal and pulses farmers in Rajasthan who want to venture into horticulture and improve their income. His hard work and dedication has led to his success story being shared all across Rajasthan. 

Mr. Singh once came across a leaflet about Amla farming at an agriculture exhibition in the state which was about the health benefits of Indian Gooseberry (amla) that inspired him to plant amla trees in the year 1997. Prior to that, he had plum trees in his field. He bought 60 saplings at a cost of Rs. 1,200 from the Horticulture department, Pratapgarh and planted them in his 2.2 acres of fertile land. After one year, he purchased another 70 plants and included them in his nursery. He maintained the fertile land with good irrigation facilities, and within a span of 4-5 years, the trees were ready and started bearing fruits. Some trees bore 5 kg fruits, while some bore up to 10 kg. Within a year, he started receiving an income of Rs. 7 lakh. Between the horticulture plants, he also took up the cultivation of green peas, tomatoes, brinjal and green vegetables to supplement his income.

Mr. Singh’s enterprising nature has not only generated employment in the village, but it is also an example of women empowerment. He has employed village women in his Murabba preparation unit.

The turnover of his business is around 26 lakh in one season from August to February. He is keen to learn new things and never misses an opportunity to interact with experts in the agriculture and animal husbandry fields whenever he meets them in the village or at the panchayat, where he makes frequent business visits. The Amla fruits from his field used to be sold at Rs. 2-3 per kg even though they were of the best quality. At the same time Mr. Singh observed that amla murabba was being sold for a much higher price compared to the fruits. Assured market and remunerative prices led him to start processing amla fruits for the preparation of murabba in 2007.

He started visiting murabba factories near Bharatpur district and observing the procedure of murabba preparation. He gathered a wealth of information through keen observation and his interactions with murabba factory owners, workers and traders. Initially, he employed 25 workers from the Hathras district in Uttar Pradesh to work in the processing plant. He had to travel from village to village to market his produce initially as he had no linkages. Gradually,he developed contacts with big traders in Bharatpur district and started supplying murabba to them in bulk quantities. Mr. Singh regularly invests 40 percent of the profits into farm mechanisation. He has set up a solar unit, a compost pit and a gobar gas unit on his farm. He also has six buffaloes, including two milking, two dry and two buffalo calves. The milk is used for home consumption and the cow dung is used for the gobar gas plant.

Marketing was another big challenge for Mr. Singh who was felicitated by then Chief Minister of Rajasthan Shri. Ashok Gehlot, as he observed that big amla would fetch Rs. 10 per kg, while small amla would fetch somewhere around Rs. 5 to Rs. 8. Initially he got good rates, but gradually the demand started to dwindle and he had no option but to sell his fruits to traders at wholesale prices. He received training in murabba preparation from a private foundation. In 2005, he started his own factory with an initial investment of Rs. 5 lakh. In the first year, he managed to prepare around 7,000 kg of murabba, for which he employed several village women. He sold the murabba under the brand name “Amrita” in Rajasthan in Kumher, Bharatpur, Tonk, Deeg, Mandawar Mahwa, Surooth and Hindaun.

Singh travelled to many places, such as Mathura in UP, Bhusawal in Maharashtra and Bharatpur in Rajasthan itself, in search of a market. Slowly and steadily, his business expanded, and in 2015, he produced 400 quintals of murabba. Meanwhile he also got the license from Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to sell processed murabba. In 2012, he re-registered his unit and named it “Amar Mega Food Pvt. Ltd”. Presently, his company is involved in growing, processing, packaging and transporting. He takes a keen interest in every step of the production process. Even after getting a turnover of around Rs. 26 lakh every year, he manages to stay simple and rooted.

After earning a big fortune from amla processing, Mr. Singh now wants to diversify and has decided to venture into goat farming. He has purchased 10 Berari goats. He says that Berari goats do not make much noise and can be stall fed. He was introduced to this idea when he accidentaly picked up his son’s smart phone once and found a video about the income and growth in goat farming, and it struck a chord with him.

Authors

1.NEETA MAHAWAR

Ph.D (Ag)  Soil Science and Agriculture chemistry, RVSKVV, GWALIOR

2.B.SRI SAI SIDDARTHA NAIK

Ph.D (Ag)  Agronomy, MPUAT, UDAIPUR

3.RUPESH TIRUNAGIRI

M.Sc(Ag)  Soil Science and Agriculture chemistry, MPUAT, UDAIPUR

Farmer details

Mr. Amar Singh

Penghore (Village), Kumher (Panchayat)

Bharatpur (District), Rajasthan.

Mobile No.: 9982566104, 8003114663


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Krishi Jagran Marketing
Krishi Jagran