New Avenues of Growth
Tanishka members in Solapur district gave up farming of sugarcane and opted to cultivate an imported breed of chilli that could yield a high output with minimal irrigation.
Members from Bhose, Karkamb and Bardi talukas have taken up the cultivation of chilli and earned huge profits with the guidance and support from the Viththal Shetkari Bachat Gat (Viththal Farmers’ Savings Group).
Solapur: Sugar-cane cultivation offers quick and immediate returns; however, it is necessary to find a solution to resolve the issue of degradation of soil over a period of time and the permanent difficulties arising in farming on the same soil.
Tanishka member Ashwini Korke, from Bhose, feels that the high irrigation needs for cultivating sugarcane has always been a matter of concern for villagers. Earlier, farmers used traditional methods of cultivating sugarcane that were not really favourable for the desired output. Farmers had submitted a request regarding the use of drip irrigation to Mr. Bharat Bhalke, Chairman of a sugar factory in their area, but failed to receive any kind of cooperation from his side.
This is when the Viththal Shetkari Bachat Gat encouraged Tanishka members to cultivate a breed of chilli which was of export quality and had great demand in the foreign markets. Within just six months of cultivation, the yield of the chilli was exported to Dubai and helped farmers earn huge profits. Cultivation of chilli normally requires a small piece of land with very little water as compared to sugarcane and can be grown throughout the year.
Viththal Shetkari Bachat Gat’s Head, Anwar Shaikh, said, “G-4 breed of chilli is in huge demand in Dubai and other countries across the globe. With this in mind, we encouraged farmers to take up the cultivation over 30 acres in Bhose on an experimental basis. With the help and support from the Tanishka Foundation, saplings were planted throughout the field and members undertook the responsibility of spraying pesticides.”
“We sowed G-4 chillies in three fourths of an acre that helped us export around eight hundred and fifty quintals of chilli to Dubai. At a profit of Rs. 60 per quintal we have broken even in the very first deal and the income over the next two and a half months will be our net profit.”
said Medha Bankar, a Tanishka member, Bardi.
Total area under cultivation – 30 Acres.
Saplings per acre – 6500.
Yield per acre – 1 tonne.
Cost of cultivation (per k.g.) – Rs. 40.
Price obtained in Dubai (per k.g.) – Rs. 100.
Profit – Rs. 60.