Bishnupur (Manipur) [India], June 15 (ANI): Farming in Manipur is changing one farmhand at a time, wherein Heirangkhongjam Shantikumar, a native of Leimaram Mamang Leikai village, cultivates crops on his 1.5 hectares (approx.) of land on minimal pesticides with a profit of Rs 5 lakh annually.
The inspiration for this change in the region can be credited to Shantikumar, who said, "I gave up the conventional practice of growing paddy because of the excessive use of chemical fertilisers, I chose food crops based on minimal use of chemicals. I believe consumers should not be fed edibles that are toxic."A village which commonly tills for rice once a year and waits for the season to recur to repeat the process is slowly opting for multi-crop farming with minimal use of chemicals throughout the year, to bring home a constant income. This change is all thanks to Shantikumar - the first to adopt this method in the region.
Shantikumar recalled that his mindset changed during his visit to Central Agricultural University (CAU). The CAU provided him and other farmers with vital insights on the various aspects in their respective field. These techniques given to other farmers by the CAU fall on deaf ears, claims the farmer, as others are blinded by their desperate need to earn.
Many CAU students come to take samples from his farm to test his low chemical grown crops. Shantikumar does accept that he is not completely organic and lacks knowledge. His hesitation comes from the fear that going organic on a large scale might cost him more.
Despite this, the cultivator claims that his neighbours now follow his footsteps. This method has also resulted in traders making a beeline for his produce because of its quality. This has now given him recognition and access to traders. (ANI)