ICAR’s book records 75,000 farmers who doubled their income in the last 6 years.
Anwesh Kumar Sahu in Odisha’s Sonepur district now makes ₹40,000 to ₹50,000 a month from less than three acres of land, while his father only made ₹50,000 a year from the same land until 2017. The difference is that Sahu raises chickens and other animals, while his dad grew rice in a system called ‘sharecropping.’
Sahu, who has a B Tech in mechanical engineering and is 26 years old, decided to start a small poultry farm in 2017 with help from the local Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK).
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has put together a book of 75,000 success stories from 1400 villages across the country where farmers have doubled their income in the last six years. His story is one of them.
KVKs great job on getting technology to villages
‘When Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that farmers’ incomes should be doubled, ICAR decided to take on two villages in each KVK across the country. The goal was to reach the goal by demonstrating the technology on the front lines,’ says AK Singh, Deputy Director General (extension) of ICAR. He talks about how KVKs have quietly done a great job of getting technology to people.
Sahu said that living in a remote village, about 40 km from the district headquarters, has not been a problem because he wanted to try something new and on his own. ‘From the start, I was interested in animals and birds. I built an incubator and am now in charge of everything from breeding to raising to selling the babies. Even more recently, we made a new breed of chicken,’ Sahu said, adding that chicken farming is his main source of income, but that goat farming brings in some extra money as well.
Guiding progressive farmers
The KVK of Sonepur helped a farmer named Suprava Dani double her income by growing mushrooms and milk. They also help all progressive farmers who come to them and show them how to use new technology in their fields.
According to the most recent estimate of the income of agricultural households, done by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) during the 77th round (January-December 2019), the average monthly income per agricultural household, from all sources, was estimated to be ₹10,218. This is up from ₹6,426 in 2012-13. In other words, the income from farms had grown by 59% by 2019.
Ramesh Chand’s 2017 NITI Aayog report on Doubling Farmers’ Income said that in some cases, farmers’ incomes went up when their output went up, but in many cases, farmers’ incomes didn’t go up much when their output went up.