ROURKELA: At a time when farm sector is depicted with distress scenes and farmers’ suicides making national headlines, an agriculture-entrepreneur Sanjay Nayak (39) and senior citizen Uday Chandra Patra (67) have become role models for others in the rain-fed Sundargarh district. While Nayak with his exemplary efforts in scientific farming in horticulture continues to script success stories, Patra has made great difference to the agriculture by emerging as a highly successful organic farmer and input producer. Barely 18 months ago, Nayak had ventured into floriculture on a leased land of 0.5 acre at Mundajore village in Lathikata block and now he is assured of annual earning of `1.8 lakh and generates 730 man-days yearly.
A graduate, Nayak has mastered himself in improved farming practices (nutrient and disease management in floriculture), earned expertise in post-harvest handling (retaining shelf life and packaging) and developed market linkage at Rourkela and Bhubaneswar for sale of Gerbera, informed Sundargarh-II Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) head Jayant Pati and added that Nayak’s polyhouse now covers floriculture, fruit orchard and vegetables. Nayak said with technical support from KVK and Horticulture Department, he gained confidence to become an agri-entrepreneur and created agriculture asset base of nearly `10.5 lakh with annual turnover of ` three lakh from sale of flowers, fruits and vegetables while he is able to provide employment to two daily wage earners throughout the year.
Similarly, Patra with 10 years into the farming business has established himself as a known face in organic farming and input producer at Kuanrmunda. A diploma engineer in automobiles, Patra’s passion for farming saw him switching profession to agriculture and in initial years, he achieved commendable success with organic farming. Now, he is more interested in fortified vermicomposting incorporating his own knowledge and experience. He uses indigenous, economic and easy technology to convert biodegradable and animal wastes into best quality organic manure. He also mixes different organic ingredients to enrich his vermicompost, but keep them as a trade secret. Patra said he tried his hand in organic farming with a small capital and over the years, 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.