'Avartansheel Kheti' changing lives with periodic, proportionate farming

Avartansheel Kheti is based on the philosophy of A Nagraj, who was a proponent of harmonious co-existence

Published: Friday 06 December 2019

Prem Singh of Banda district in Uttar Pradesh practices Avartansheel  Kheti, which he says is the way forward for farmers in the country. Periodic proportionate farming involves dividing the land into zones, for cereal crops, vegetables, fruiting trees and animal husbandry.

Singh believes that nature value adds to everything, like trees add value to the soil nutrients by producing fruits. Similarly, farmers should also process everything before selling. Avartansheel Kheti insists that farmers should produce food for themselves first and what remains after consumption should be sold in the market. This way, the farmer will never put harmful pesticides and fertilisers if they are growing for themselves.

Avartansheel Kheti is based on the philosophy of A Nagraj, who was a proponent of harmonious co-existence. Singh took up farming using this method in 1992. In 1989, after finishing college, he wanted to do agriculture. But conventional agriculture was proving to be very expensive and his family began slipping into debt. That is when he started to look for alternative ways of farming and his meeting with Nagraj helped.

He now processes all the produce from his farm, He makes pickle out of turmeric; candy and powder out of amla (gooseberry), sattu or gram flower out of chickpeas. He also gets about 15-20 tonnes of mango every year, which he sells in the open market. Middlemen, he thinks, are the biggest problem for farmers and he says that the only way to reach the consumer directly is by processing the produce at the farm level.

He now practices on a 7-acre farm which has also become a training centre for farmers.

Singh believes that most problems with farmers, especially indebtedness and suicides, can be controlled using his technique. He also believes that a number of issues like climate change can be tackled by this method of farming.

He believes in farmer empowerment, and for this, he has also set up a small museum dedicated to farmers on his farm. Avartansheel Kheti is purely an organic method of growing food.

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