Uday Dhibor, lives in Radhakrishnapur village at Labpur block of Birbhum district in West Bengal. He belongs to a fisher family, and his parents and grandparents were associated with fish farming. He wanted to start organic farming even though his fellow farmers were not interested and made fun of him, but he was so enthusiastic to move ahead.
Around that time, he was introduced to the Development Research Community Service Centre (DRCSC), when they came to his village to conduct some group meetings. With their help, he came to know about organic practices through dedicated training programmes for farmers. At the beginning, his fellow farmers demotivated him, but he stood strong with his decision and started cultivating by using organic manure. In the first year of using organic manure for cultivation, the result wasn’t as he expected. He faced a huge loss and his family members also asked him to not pursue it ahead. He also lost hope and expressed his concern to the DRCSC team. They shared with him that he was on the right track, but as it was a new technology, it might take a few attempts. He regained hope and continued working, and in the next year he saw that his agricultural land was filled with green vegetables. In the following years, both the quantity and quality of his produce started increasing, and also his income. He hasn’t had to look back since then.
He has not been applying any chemical fertilizer in his farm since the last few years. The earthworm population in his soil has increased immensely that earthworms and their excreta are visible throughout the farm and field bunds, which keeps the soil fertile. He utilises decomposers from his farm waste directly on the soil. The practice has resulted in better decomposition of farm resources and making the soil enriched with micro nutrients.
Now his family sustains on the farm, by the harvesting of paddy, vegetables and pulses that are grown. He markets the surplus vegetables like tomato, brinjal and bitter gourd at premium rates, around 30% above the market price, at a nearby town. He has his own trusted customers who demand for his delicious and healthy chemical free vegetables. Consumers have expressed that the quality and taste of the vegetables are good and that their shelf life is longer, which makes it economical for them.
At the same time, he didn’t want to leave his family tradition either. He always wanted to adopt new ways for fish farming. After going the organic way in vegetable cultivation, he has now applied it in fish farming also. He received training on integrated aquaculture from DRCSC and came to know about various ways for improving fish farming. Now he has shifted from conventional techniques to natural techniques. With the support of DRCSC and learning about scientific farming practices, he now does well in fish farming. Aiming at integrated farming, he has just started rearing livestock at his home which feeds on his cultivated products which in turn gives him an additional income.