Jagdalpur : By learning and getting trained in the modern farming techniques of cash crop farming, the women of Bastar have shown the way to prosperity to the local farmers through papaya cultivation. If women are determined in their spirit then nothing is impossible for them, the women of Darbha region of Bastar district have proved this, by cultivating the barren and rocky land that everyone thought of to be useless. Darbha is such an area of Bastar which is not at all promising for agriculture and being surrounded by forest all around with negligible agricultural resources, this tribal-dominated area is rocky and barren, where farming was as formidable a challenge as extracting water from stone. But with the help of Chhattisgarh Government, Bastar District Administration and aid of Bastar Kisan Kalyan Sangh, farming has now been started here, that too with advanced techniques. The enthusiast and hardworking women self-help groups of this area have, as if blown life to these rocky lands and have grown Papaya. This papaya crop has arrived in Bastar with a wave of happiness for the entire region. Papaya plants growing on these rocky lands have brought a message of plenty and prosperity for the farmers of Bastar. It is being estimated that this farming is likely to generate an income worth about 0.8- 1 crores for these groups. This cultivation of papaya, which is being done with a balanced farming approach and advanced modern technology and use of organic fertilizers, will emerge as the new and unique speciality of Bastar.

The place was carpeted with overgrown grass and bushes

The area being mentioned where cultivation is being done is situated in Darbha region, was full of grass and bushes. Not only this, the land was rocky and barren, where no one could even dare to cultivate, but women from self-help groups, with the aid of Bastar Kisan Kalyan Sangh and Bastar District Administration, went on to learn modern farming techniques. They also learned the scientific methods of farming. After this, first of all the cleaning was done for the farming area, followed by excavation for taking out the stones. By bringing soil from the surrounding areas, these women constructed raised bed on the farm on which papaya plants have been planted. Irrigation of these plants is being done through Automated Drip Irrigation and source of water is borewell. Papaya plants have started blooming in the fields within 60 days of transplanting, it is being estimated that the farmers will not only get employment but this will also give a new identity to these fruit grower farmers of this area.

Other farmers are also getting attracted towards this

This initiative is now paving the way to happiness for the farmers of this area by bringing plenty and prosperity to their homes. In view of the income from papaya cultivation, the farmers of this area have started showing interest towards papaya cultivation. Now the farmers of Darbha and its surrounding villages also want to take up papaya cultivation. Formerly only the crops like Paddy, Millet or other Cereals were mainly cultivated in this area, but after this successful cash crop farming initiative, farmers of the nearby areas are also coming to see the Papaya fields and are getting attracted towards it and planning to cultivate Papaya.

Learn yourself and teach 3 others – Bastar Kisan Kalyan Sangh

Bastar Kisan Kalyan Sangh has a special role to play in this, with its special cooperation in the cultivation of Papaya. Initially the Bastar Kisan Kalyan Sangh demonstrated to the farmers and women about such farming techniques. After this, they were taken to the farms and then practical demonstration and explanation was provided to them in an easy and understanding way, by which the farmers easily understood   these modern farming methods. It is the vision of the farmers union that whatever these farmers are learning about these farming techniques, they should further teach this to three other people, so this will increase the awareness for agriculture in the area as well as add to the income of the farmers.

Our target is that the people of Bastar should not migrate – Collector Rajat Bansal

Our main goal is to generate employment in the district itself, if people are getting employment by producing cash crop like Papaya with maximum use of farm yard manure and implementing modern horticultural techniques, there cannot be a better thing than this. Agriculture being the soul of the country should be worked upon as an employment initiative, and keeping in mind the Narwa, Garwa, Ghurwa, Badi scheme of the state government, we have started modern farming in collaboration with the farmers of Tirathgarh, Munga and Mamadpal of the district. The women of Darbha Self help Group are doing a good work. After Papaya, we also have plans of cultivating other cash crops like Guava and Custard-apple and also try to give it to better markets so that farmers can get maximum benefit out of it.

No one could have imagined that one can ever do farming here- Hemvati rural farmer

Where our women self-help groups have started Papaya cultivation, no one could have ever imagined that this land could even be cultivated, the whole area being full of stones, grass and bushes was barren and unfertile. There was no means of irrigation. But with the help of the District Administration and under the guidance of the Bastar Kisan Kalyan Sangh, we first cleared the bushes, removed the stones, put the soil, after that we planted saplings here, with the help of the administration, the bore well has also been provided, due to which now irrigation is being done daily with convenience.

A revolutionary farming moment is brewing in the lands of Bastar. This promise and support of the State Government, Bastar Administration and Bastar Kisan Kalyan Sangh to change the way we look at agriculture to be primitive and low-profited, this is an incredible moment for farmers across the state, as now, they have a reliable and successful initiative which has already started yielding fruits of hard work to showcase to prove to the world that sheer determination if aided with government’s support can even make the impossible happen. This initiative has given the farmers a golden opportunity to get optimum value of their product.


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