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Sharing the Secrets of Successful Vegetable Farming in Madhya Pradesh

Posted On: August 22, 2023
Sanjay Patidar stands between rows of trellised crops.
Sanjay Patidar in his field.

Meet Sanjay Patidar, a young farmer who is successfully growing vegetables using improved methods that require less investment, resulting in increased profitability.

MADHYA PRADESH, INDIA — 28-year-old Sanjay Patidar owns more than 10,000 square meters of land in the small village of Panda, located in Madhya Pradesh’s Dewas district. He has been farming for over 10 years, growing vegetables like pumpkin, eggplant, sponge gourd, and tomato, along with wheat and soybean.

During this time, Sanjay has faced challenges such as crop spoilage, pest infestations, and low yield. To overcome these obstacles and achieve higher yields, he sought to improve his farming skills.

Sanjay learned about East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation’s activities through farmer training sessions conducted in his village by one of our Rural Extension Workerscommunity members who are trained experts in vegetable farming.

Interested in learning more techniques to improve his yield, he contacted EWS-KT to come visit his field and discuss the problems he was facing.

Soon after, with the guidance of the EWS-KT team, Sanjay set up a bitter gourd demonstration plot on 300 square meters of land. He learned about methods like raised bed preparation, seedling nurseries, mulching installation, trellising, and pest and disease management. With a deeper understanding of seedling production, fertilizer use, pest control, and water conservation, farmers can incur less costs while achieving better outcomes. This new knowledge led Sanjay to realize the differences between traditional and modern sustainable farming techniques.

Sanjay Patidar holds a large container of bitter gourd fruit in one hand and another container on his head.

Just 45 days after planting the seeds, Sanjay successfully started harvesting his bitter gourd. His hard work and investment paid off, as he was able to produce 478 kilograms of bitter gourd. The total cost for the small demonstration plot was 7,405 rupees, covering seed, trellising, and other farm inputs and activities. Sanjay earned a total return of 23,650 rupees from the demo plot; after subtracting his costs from his earnings, he made a profit of 16,245 rupees.

With two young daughters, his wife, and his parents in his household, the extra income came in handy, and he also invested some of his earnings in supplies and land development for the next crop cycle.

Sanjay was very pleased with the outcome of his demo plot and appreciative of the chance to acquire new methods that have enhanced his farming skills and improved his outcomes. With renewed enthusiasm for vegetable farming, he expanded his vegetable production to about half of his total land area and is cultivating sponge gourd, tomato, and hot pepper, with raised beds, trellising, and sticky traps for controlling insect pests.

Sanjay’s success has inspired other farmers in his village and beyond. About 150 farmers attended EWS-KT trainings held at his demo plot. Some farmers in the area continue to seek his advice, and Sanjay is always happy to share his knowledge and experience.

One person who learned from Sanjay’s success is Devkinandan Choudhary, another young farmer in Panda village. Read Devkinandan’s story.