Consumers these days are really into organic food because of its environment-friendly and chemical-free advantages.

In 2003, Ratan Lal Daga from Bhansar Kutari village in Rajasthan switched to organic farming techniques after observing the perils of chemical fertilisers.

“Using heavy amounts of chemicals was a common practice in our village. But the soil was hardening by the day, requiring more water, and crops became more susceptible to pests,” he says.

So, the 73-year-old focussed on creating unique blends of fertilisers to provide the best nutrients to the soil.

“I was using jeevamrut, a mixture of gram flour, cow dung, cow urine jaggery, and other natural materials. I treated soil as a human body and tried to feed it with natural nutrient-rich materials,” he says.

He started creating a mix from fodder residue, groundnut extracts, curd, and other items from farm waste.

The repeated experiments led to creating a fertiliser – turat furat khaad, which is a mix of jeevamrut, residue of lentils, neem leaves, and leftover fruits such as gooseberry, papaya, and ber.

In another mix – doodh hariyali khaad, he mixes five litres of milk and curd, fermented in a copper vessel for about ten days.

“The mixture turns green and works as a replacement of chemical fertiliser DAP,” says Ratan, who practices organic farming on 75 acres of land.

He says that he replaced gram flour used in jeevamrut with lentils. “It reduced the chances of fungus in plants caused by gram flour. I also sprayed turmeric water on plants to prevent infection,” he adds.

Such experiments helped him grow a wide range of crops including lemon, pomegranate, custard apple, mango, bajra, moong, grams, sesame, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, wheat, and other vegetables.

Interestingly, his mastery in organic farming earns him a profit of Rs 18 lakh a year.