First farmer in his village to cultivate a summer crop – introducing low cost agricultural practices in Vidharaba region
Harun Shekih is a poor farmer living in Poha village located in Maharashtra infamous Vidharba region. For his family of six, cultivating 0.40ha of land is all that they can stake claim to as a source of livelihood. He reaps soya bean in the kharif and may take an additional crop of rabi depending on water availability in his well. More often than not he is forced to restrict his cropping pattern to a kharif crop alone.
Courtesy the implementation of a watershed programme in his village, a series of soil and water conservation measures were adopted in lands peripheral to his plot. Marking the success of the watershed measures, for the first time in many years, he did record availability of water in his well, that too during the summer season.
Motivated by this, he displayed eagerness to take up a summer crop in his land. Proactive Village Watershed Committee (VWC) members recommended his name for establishment of a demonstration plot on low cost agricultural practices. Taking both interest and necessary approvals to the field, watermelon cultivation was demonstrated in a small fraction of his land.
Having sown watermelon seeds in December, he was the only farmer in his village to have cultivated a summer crop. With an investment of nominal Rs 6500, he earned a profit of over Rs 2, 50,000
He represents one of those progressive farmers, who have effectively demonstrated in their fields, what effective planning of available water resources can do in terms of generating additional livelihoods. His contribution and dedication has been well documented by his effort to purchase and install a drip irrigation system in his field.
He is a model for his village and has successfully motivated a bunch of farmers to adopt cultivation of water melon in their field during the summer season.