Meerut resident Rohan Prakash is like any other enterprising youngster in India who aims to make it big and also drive a social change in the process.
But what sets the 23-year-old apart from the rest is the fact that he is the only certified organic mango farmer in Uttar Pradesh and in the last three years, the produce from his farm has distinctly garnered a name for itself across the organic markets of northern parts of India.
Interestingly, Rohan is a civil engineer, who graduated last year and whose passion for agriculture, one could say, is entirely homegrown, as both his father and grandfather, who were also civil engineers by profession, have been passionately invested in farming and agriculture.
Rohan, however, took that legacy a notch forward by turning all the agricultural practices on their farm completely organic.
Speaking to The Better India, “Having grown up seeing both my grandfather and father taking up farming alongside their professions, I was definitely inclined towards taking up agriculture. After observing farmland and produce quality for a while, I began to think about organic farming seriously. The idea sprouted in my head somewhere during my second year in college, and together with my father, we decided to replace all chemical fertilisers and pesticides with an extract of Neem oil.”
According to the young man, this move worked wonders for them. With a visible change in the size and taste in the fruits from the first year itself, he and his family decided to take forward the venture as a completely organic one, and after three years of functioning, Rohan managed to clinch the accreditation of being the only organic mango farmer from the state earlier this year.
“The interesting part here is that although the organic farm produce, which we have branded as Sure Organics, was indeed ranking in revenue 3-4 times higher than before, what truly opened up our eyes to the massive scope and prospects of organic farming was the period after we received the certification. In a matter of two months, not only has our returns shot up multi-fold, even our overall productivity has increased by 40 per cent after converting to organic farming!” says a happy Rohan.
Besides many varieties of mango including dussehri, langra, chaunsa, gulab jamun and safeda, Rohan has also been growing lychee and turmeric in his farm.
While these fruits have a farming cycle of four months, Rohan has even begun paddy farming along with growing fruit trees of peach and guava, which he feels would give way to a round-the-year crop cycle.
“We had planted the peach and guava plants some time back. These are already gearing up for fruition, and we hope by December, these fruits too shall find as much popularity as our mangoes and lychees have so far!” adds Rohan.
Another interesting aspect about the farm is that close to 15-20 people from a low-income background in Rohan’s own village have been employed directly in their farm, and work in different areas including harvesting, processing, packaging and even transportation.
The father-son duo also manufacture bio-fertilisers and pesticides at their farm and sell these to local farmers at really economical prices.
At present, Sure Organics caters to all organic chains and circles across New Delhi, and requests from across the country often surpass their farm’s productivity, especially during the season, and cannot be fulfilled. This, Rohan intends to change through the farm’s reach which he aims to scale up in a phased manner—first throughout the country and subsequently, export the fruits to other countries.
In a time where the younger generation in the country is visibly steering away from the agricultural sector, Rohan really hopes that his story inspires the youth and especially the educated ones, to take up organic farming and find success in their lives too!
You can look up Sure Organics on Facebook here. To reach out to Rohan, you can call him at 7017294146.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)