ROURKELA: Organic is the new and healthy way of life and this retired automobile engineer has set an example for the farmers as well as the agriculture officials by turning his passion for farming into a full time job.
Uday Chandra Patra, 67, of Kuanrmunda in Sundargarh district is an organic farmer and input producer. His garden spread over four acres of land is the most sought after destination for exposure visits for students besides the officials of agriculture and allied sectors.
After serving in different private and government institutes as diploma engineer in automobiles for 20 years his passion for agriculture drove him to the farm field.
Patra, who was into normal agriculture earlier, shifted to organic farming and Fortified Vermi Composting in 2006. There has been no looking back ever since.
He uses indigenous, economic and easy technology to convert biodegradable and other plant and animal waste into quality organic manure. He also mixes different organic ingredients to enrich his vermicompost.
Patra said he tried his hand in organic farming with a truckload of manure and a small sum of `700. With successful experiments and innovations he has built an empire in organic farming with annual production of earthworms worth above `10 lakh, fortified organic compost worth above `40 lakh and vermi wash worth above `10 lakh.
He practices vermicomposting in open air method and the earthworms are capable of surviving even in 48 degree Celsius. He is also credited to have produced about 250 quintals of bottle gourd on a small plot of 0.2 hectare (ha) at a cost of `5,500 and ended up earning about `20,000. He has also been recognised by Patanjali Yoga Trust of Baba Ramdev in Haridwar for his organic methods and ideas.
Sundargarh-II Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) head and senior agriculture scientist Jayant Pati said Patra’s methods offer one stroke solution to most of the burning problems like poor soil fertility, declining yield, excess need of irrigation water besides harmful use of chemical fertiliser and pesticides.
Pati said KVK has been providing crucial information to Patra, who is doing a commendable job by providing training to farmers and youths of nearby localities.
He claimed that organic tomatoes and coriander produced by Patra are capable of staying fresh under normal circumstances for a week. Patra is now flooded with orders for vermicompost and vermi wash.