Rajasthan-based Santosh Pachar spent years developing a new variety of carrot seeds that has earned her success and helped thousands of others
Santosh Pachar wanted to have good crops on her farm like every farmer. But the carrots that grew on her farm were crooked and not sweet. She realised that they were not attracting customers in the market. When her husband did not do anything to change this situation, Santosh thought of taking things into her hands.
“To gain better knowledge about farming, and hoping to find a remedy to our problems, I started attending agricultural fairs organised by the State Government. It helped me learn more aspects of farming.” With her newly gained knowledge and interactions with experts, Santosh learned that the seeds used to grow carrots were of poor quality and responsible for her disappointing yield.
She decided to find a solution herself. Santosh started implementing a new pollination technique by blending 15 ml of honey with 5 ml of ghee (Indian butter) and drying them without directly exposing them to sunlight. As naive as it may sound, Santosh experimented with the seeds, and a few harvests later, she found a visible difference. “The carrots were sweeter and shinier. Their size and shape were also improving.”
Santosh says it took years for the seed to evolve into a newer quality product. She adds that her new variety of carrots could yield in 75 days, about 15 days earlier than the previous seeds, as they germinated quickly and the size ranged between 1.5 to 2.5 feet. The couple started selling the carrots and developed a nursery to prepare saplings from the seeds. “We started earning 1.5 times more profit than before,” she says.
The couple earned about Rs 1.5 lakh a year with the old, poor quality seeds. But the new variety today earns them about Rs 20 lakh a year. “Over the years, our income increased by 20 times,” she says.
She also received the President’s Award in 2013 and 2017 for her innovative practices. Since then, Santosh has trained over 7,000 farmers in the state to grow carrots using organic methods.
Credits: The Better India
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