Chhattisgarh: Jashpur famers reaping profits by cultivating chilly
Marginal farmers in Jashpur district of Chhattisgarh, who were hardly able to make their ends meet two years back, are now reaping profits by cultivating horticulture crops, particularly chilly.
The farmers, mostly tribals, say that the chilly cultivation has significantly increased in the district in the last two years after the introduction of the state government's 'Saur Sujala Yojna'. Under the scheme, they are being provided solar water pumps at nominal costs for irrigation at their farms, where the power supply is not available.
Gajnath Ram, a tribal farmer in Kopa village, was struggling to fetch good returns by cultivating the traditional paddy crop till last year. But now, he has been growing chilly and other horticulture crops like tomato and hopes to earn a profit of Rs 80,000 to Rs 1 lakh per acre this year.
"So far, I have sold chilly worth Rs 70,000 to Rs 80,000 after harvesting started in June...and it will continue till August-September," Ram told PTI. He has installed a solar water pump at his five-acre farm where he is primarily growing chilly, and also cultivating tomato and paddy on some part of the field.
"It was hard to manage a family of seven, including my parents, wife and three children, with the traditional farming, but now life has changed a bit," the farmer said.
Ram is among 500 farmers from 50 villages under the Manora and Bagicha development blocks, located in a hilly area around 400 km from here, who have taken up the cultivation of horticulture crops, mostly chilly.
The chilly cultivation area, which was limited to around 200 to 300 acre in the district till 2016, has expanded to 1,500 to 2,000 acres, thereby economically empowering the farmers, Jashpur collector Priyanka Shukla told PTI.
After the introduction of the Saur Sujala scheme, the agriculture department encouraged marginal farmers to install solar pumps at their fields and take up horticulture farming, especially chilly, in view of the region's moderate climate conducive for the crop, she said.
So far, 2,613 solar pumps have been installed under the scheme in the district, she added. Despite the district having abundant natural water resources, farmers were earlier mostly dependent on rainfall for their crops as they did not have resources to utilize the water properly, she said.
"It seems the region will soon turn into a chilly cultivation hub," she said. The cultivation of chilly has also created employment opportunities for women. During the peak harvesting season, the women earn Rs 400 to Rs 500 per day by plucking 80 to 100 kg chilly in just four to five hours, Shukla said.
The farmers have also set up a society, named Harit Kranti Adivasi Sahkari Samiti, through which they sell their products in Ambikapur market, located 100 km from Jashpur, she added.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)