Babubhai and Varshaben took the responsibility to lead the 9-member family (5 children) in remote tribal village Navamota in Sabarkantha. The family land is jointly owned by two brothers.
Babubhai and Varshaben one day went to see the nursery at Vadrad village along with other members of surrounding villages as part of exposure visit organized by VIKSAT. Then they decided to start something on similar lines at their village. They expressed their plan with VIKSAT team. Convinced about their plan to start a nursery in their village, team guided them to set up poly house by providing know how and arranging materials and connecting them with suppliers. VIKSAT also arranged a training program on polyhouse nursery.
Babubhai and Varshaben spent day and night to complete the polyhouse and grow seedlings in polyhouse. The technology was new for them. They never thought they would be growing seedlings in such a manner without soil. However, they succeeded with constant guidance from VIKSAT. The seedlings are sold in far off villages of Gujarat and Rajasthan. People started booking the seedlings in advance as both Varshaben and Babubhai are good at networking on phone with fellow farmers.
Last year (2019-20) in monsoon they cultivated and sold 72,000 Chilli plants, 24,000 Tomato plants, 12,000 Brinjal. The total revenue earned is Rs.1,32,000. In winter they cultivated 10,000 Chilli plants, 30,000 Tomato plants, 10,000 Brinjal plants and sold at Rs.80,000. In summer, they cultivated and sold 10,000 Chilli plants, 8000 Brinjal plants, 5,000 Tomato plants, 10,000 watermelon plants and sold at Rs.58,000. This way they earned a total income of Rs. 2,70,000. After deducting seed and material cost of Rs.1,50,000, their net income is Rs.1,20,000.
Second year operations also consistent as they sold Rs.1.4 Lakh worth plants in monsoon, Rs.65,000 worth plants in winter and Rs.70,000 worth plants in summer. Total earnings in 2020-21 is Rs.2.75 lakhs. Out of that Rs.1.50 lakhs went into input cost and their net income is Rs.1.25 lakhs.
In addition, Varshaben and Babubhai has done various high value crops in winter in remaining land. In monsoon she cultivated cotton, okra, soyabean and pigeon pea. In summer she cultivated groundnut, tomatoes, chilli, and beans. Cotton and sunflower cultivated for seed production. She sold 4000 kg wheat, 2000kg beans, 500kg tomatoes, 200kg cabbage, 5000kg potato, 800kg groundnut, 65kg sunflower seeds, 80kg cotton seeds, 105kg Okra, 1100kg pigeon pea. She earned around Rs. 3.5 lakhs from farming.
Varshaben also have 5 cows that yield milk worth Rs 20,000 per month. She earns around 2.0 Lakhs from milk production per year. She bought 2 buffalos recently. With the support of VIKSAT she set up drip irrigation in entire farm. Both took training at VIKSAT centre in Kheroj and now Babubhai trains other farmers in nursery.
He also ropes in new customers for nursery. They built a new house, send children to school and took additional land on rent to cultivate more crops. A truly enterprising family indeed. They earned more than Rs 6 lakh income year on year basis with multiple activities and set an example for fellow villages on how to become Lakhapati Kisan.