farmer Prem Singh banda

Aavartansheel Kheti of Prem Singh is changing fate of Bundelkhand farmers

Updated: Sep 4,2020,11:41 AM IST

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Banda: Uttar Pradesh’s Bundelkhand region, has seen drought many times and 70% farmers suffer from ravage of crop failure, where many distressed farmers have taken their lives in the past few decades or have been forced to migrate, story of farmer-activist Prem Singh from Banda spells hope.

The farmer, known in the area as pragatisheel shares 32 bighas of land with his three brothers. On his farm one can see full water bodies, fruit laden trees-which have improved the risk taking capacity of the farmer- and healthy cattle, which in turn provide manure for organic farming. The quality of the soil continues to be good as he has access to natural fertiliser.

 

 

 

What Prem Singh has been practicing since 1989 was recommended by National Institute of disaster management two decades later, emphasis should be on diversification-minor crops and animal husbandry. He believes that his experiment with “sustainable & traditional farming” could be replicated at a larger level. Today many farmers of his village have an orchard on their farms. Their earnings have increased and so has their yield.

It has been an eventful journey

Born in 1964 into a farming background, Prem Singh studied philosophy in Allahabad University. In 1995, he adopted a traditional method of farming.  He says, It has been an eventful journey, involving learning from my mistakes. I maintained a notebook on farming, and realized that 70% of my money was going into paying interests, chemical fertilisers, electricity bill and diesel. Then I thought of doing something that would bring me out of this vicious cycle and of the risk of crop failure.

Adopted “Aavartansheel Kheti”

Crop rotation, organic farming, animal husbandry, food processing, planting and research for improving soil fertility and seed development, he calls his pioneering method of sustainable farming ‘Aavartansheel Kheti.’ The idea is to ensure the prosperity of the farmer’s family, ecological balance and food security of the country.

For this farmer would have to utilise his farm by dividing it into three parts. One-third would be used for rearing fruits and crops, the other for growing timber and the remaining portion for animal husbandry.

He advises farmers to not directly trade their produce in the market but to sell the processed extracts.

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