Gandhinagar, 31 August 2020
Genabhai, the promoter of 4 crore pomegranate trees, has been in trouble for two years. Lakhni taluka used to produce 20 tonnes of pomegranate per hectare, but this year it will produce barely 4 tonnes of pomegranate. Flowers and fruits have died due to excessive rainfall and humidity. Banaskantha district will have barely 40 per cent crop.
There are pomegranates on 5 thousand hectares in Lakhani taluka. There are 6,800 hectares of pomegranate orchards in Banaskantha district. Production ranged from 1.08 lakh tonnes to 1.12 lakh tonnes. Now it will have 40-50 thousand tons of pomegranate crop. Pomegranate farming has been wasted for 3 years in 2015, 2019 and 2020. Gujarat government does not give adequate compensation to horticultural crops.
Genabhai Patel is an inspiration
The idea of cultivating pomegranate to Genabhai Patel of Lakhani taluka was first seen in Maharashtra in 2004. He decided to cultivate pomegranate in his village. Pomegranate plants were brought from Maharashtra. There was success in farming in the wastelands. Pomegranate cultivation was expensive 15 years ago, farmers did not think that pomegranate could generate large income. Now pomegranate is feeding Gujarat.
Farmer Genabhai Dargabhai Patel of Sarkari Govalia village of Lakhani taluka of Banaskantha is crippled in both his legs due to polio. Genabhai’s house is made of cow dung and mud and is surrounded by pomegranate. There are enough photographs in the house to witness his success. Despite being handicapped, he himself drives tractors and cars. They believe that everyone can do some work.
40 million pomegranate growers
Inspired by Genabhai, in 15 years, he inspired 50,000 farmers in Gujarat and Rajasthan to grow 4 crore pomegranate trees in 40,000 hectares. This is the reason that people have come to know him by the name of Dadam Dada. (Dadam is Gujarati ward of pomegranate)
Sarkari Goadiya Village
Sarkari Goadiya village is today known as a pomegranate village throughout the state. The village is situated in the barren region. Water is a major problem. Now the entire Banaskantha district is second in the state for producing pomegranate. The village has 1500 bighas of land and 150 farmers. All cultivate pomegranate.
In 2015, there was a terrible flood in Lakhni. In which thousands of hectares of pomegranate orchards were washed away.
Since Genabhai cannot walk on his own legs, CCTV cameras have been installed in the field to monitor the farm. They roam the car at the farm.
Thousands of people visit Genabhai’s field to know and understand pomegranate farming. They produce 20 to 22 tonnes of pomegranate per hectare. 1 crore is produced in 5 years.
Made Gujarat proud
Genabhai Patel has studied up to HSC. Banaskantha district ranks first in pomegranate cultivation in drip irrigation. The farmers of Maharashtra now come to Shikhana here. Banaskantha district ranks second in pomegranate cultivation and production in the state. There are pomegranate orchards in 6,800 hectares. Out of which 1.08 lakh tonnes to 1.12 lakh tonnes.
Pomegranates have been grown on 5000 hectares in Lakhani taluka. Pomegranate orchards in Gujarat produce 3.50 to 3.45 lakh metric tons of pomegranate in 24,000 hectares. Gujarat has 11% of the country’s total. The area of Kutch is hector 23,000, which is the highest in the state.
Farm became as agricultural university
Genaji Dargaji Patel 9925557177 has 5 hectares of land. They grow pomegranates in their fields. Now his farm has become like an agricultural university. 1 lakh farmers have visited here. The people of Gujarat do not forget to thank Genabhai for produced cheap pomegranate to the whole of Gujarat. They have been able to reduce the price of pomegranate by producing more.
Genabhai has done something that no agricultural university can do. Here farmers used to grow wheat and potatoes. Now here is pomegranate. At that time no pomegranates were ready to grow. Pomegranate did not have much local price in the beginning of the pomegranate. A company started buying all the pomegranates on its farms for Rs 42 a kg. Then they started selling their goods via the Internet.
How to do farming?
Uses organic manure on his farm. Panchamrit gives fertilizer every month. Panchamrit – made by mixing cow urine, cow dung, jaggery, bean flour. Pomegranate tree is better by applying this manure. The flower is broad. The fruit grows in size with a red glow. Pomegranate seeds and pomegranate have the best quality. The field has long glossy strips, so that birds do not come to eat pomegranate.
A bamboo is used to support the tree. Pomegranates have to be wrapped in cloth or plastic bag to protect them from birds and dew. Due to the desert coast, dew is high. Which blackens pomegranate and reduces production. In 2010, he sold 80 tonnes of pomegranates for Rs 55. Goods worth Rs 40 lakh were sold. Today get a price of 65 rupees a kg.
In 2013, he came to deliver a talk at IIM-A – Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. The first award was given to him by Srishti Sanstha. Since then they became known and then the government too was following them. So, the paralyzed farmer Genaji Patel was given the Padma Shri Award for the year 2017.
Genaji has been awarded 18 awards till 2017 and 40 awards by 2020. He has received 9 National and 2 International Awards. Padma Shri Genaji arrives at United Kingdom House of Commerce, British Parliament, London on 19 July 2019 was selected for the planned award. Israel has also given him the award.
Give cheap pomegranates to Gujarat
In 2010, the average price of one kilo pomegranate was Rs.161 Due to pomegranate grandfather, production has increased and the price has gone up to Rs 66 per kg on average in retail market in the cities. Production per hectare has increased from 10 tons to 20 to 26 tons. Farmers have taken prices down but their income has increased. Income from Rs.14.49 lakhs per hectare has increased to 16 lakhs.
Banaskantha’s pomegranate is exported to Dubai, UAE, Sri Lanka, Malaysia. Pomegranates from here go to Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata. Translated from Gujarati.