India is an agrarian country, where agriculture along with its allied activities is the bread and butter of millions. Lack of awareness about modern farming techniques and the prevalence of traditional farming methods has resulted in increased chances of crop failure.
Project Aahar by Enactus NSUT, with its non-profit endeavor, aims to uplift the socio-economic conditions of small scale farmers which constitute 85% of India’s farmer population. Small scale farmers have less than one hectare of land, a portion of which is barren or infertile.
Team Aahar is successfully bringing innovation in the production side of the agricultural cycle, by implementing Strategy Zero to X, where they implement soil-less farming using the CVP mixture (Cocopeat, Vermiculite, and Perlite in a unique 3:2:1 ratio) on the infertile land possessed by farmers to grow crops but left barren for soil rejuvenation. In Level 1 operation of Strategy Zero to X, they add a thick layer of CVP mixture on infertile and barren lands, to grow crops. While in Level 2 operation, they set up DWC (Deep Water Culture) Hydroponics Tubs, allowing a farmer to generate a handsome amount of money by setting up these tubs on places like the rooftop of the farmer’s house, outside the farmer’s house, spaces in between the fields, etc. Strategy Zero to X not only add a significant amount of revenue to a farmer’s pocket but also add to the quality of the produce, has an increased water retention capacity, absence of soil-borne diseases, absolutely zero requirements of fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides, and increase the profit from 0 to ‘X’ on an infertile/barren/unusable piece of land.
Instead of conventional farming techniques on fertile pieces of land acquired by farmers, Team Aahar adds Cocopeat and Vermicompost to the soil in a ratio of 3:1:1, instead of the soil-only conventional farming technique. Adding cocopeat not only increases the water retention capacity, but leads to no requirement of fertilizers, and a very minimal requirement of insecticides and pesticides, with a whopping 27% decrease in the cycle period, thus generating a significant amount of positive profit on fertile land.
For the marketing of the “high-quality” produce from the large-scale implementation, the team sets up society stalls for the marketing of produce. For the initial trust-building process with the customers in the society, the team also organize workshops on soilless farming, in collaboration with their renowned mentor from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), Dr. Awani Kumar Singh.
Moreover, to cover up for the extra investment costs by the farmer to implement the farming techniques, the farmers-assembled Hydroponics Kits, in collaboration with BonFarmo, are sold to gardening enthusiasts at a significantly lower price than the usual market price.
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