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The Story of Lalita Mukati: advocating for organic farming in MP’s Barwani

lalita mukati organic farming in Barwani

A revolution is taking shape in a Madhya Pradesh village. With higher crop yields, farmers are now making more money than ever. The revolution was formed by a 50-year-old homemaker, Mrs Mukati. Lalita Mukati and her village of Borlai at MP are the main focus of this tale. She currently makes between Rs 80,000 and Rs 1 lakh per month from her organic farming of Indian gooseberry, custard apple, banana, lemon, cotton, and sapota. Lalita Mukati switched to organic farming in her fields and attracted her neighbors in the village to do the same.

Lalita’s Struggle for Organic Farming

From conventional to organic farming, although things were sometimes better. Lalita had no prior experience in farming, and her husband, Suresh Chandra Mukati, oversaw the 36-acre property.

He holds a master’s in agricultural science and was interested in learning cutting-edge farming methods. While my husband was working in the fields, She was occupied with her children. She decided to assist her husband on the farm while she was home alone after the kids had grown up. Lalita decided to take over the management of the farm since he wanted to learn more about agricultural practices. 

Shift from chemical to organic farming

Lalita holds a BA degree. She claims she learned about organic agricultural practices and how to make homemade fertilizers and pesticides from her husband and local magazines. To improve soil fertility, Lalita breeds earthworms and uses the hydroponic farming technique i.e. growing plants without soil.

She prepares Jeevamrit by digesting cow dung, cow urine, jaggery, and organic soil with water to promote soil fertility. The mixture is left to stand for 21 days while being stirred daily, then sprayed on the farm. She uses plant leaves not consumed by animals, such as neem, datura, and custard apple, as biopesticides. After being pulverized, the leaves are allowed to ferment for 7-8 days. After the mixture has been filtered through a sieve, the liquid is combined with water and used to spray plants.

She farms 40 acres of custard apples, 10 acres of lemons, 10 acres of sugar cane, 5 acres of sapota, 4 acres of guava, and 3 acres of gooseberries. She has built a processing facility to extract the pulp and de-seed the custard apple. The wholesalers buy this to make milkshakes, ice cream, kulfi, and other items.

According to Lalita, the wheat, cotton, groundnuts, and horse gram are sorted and packaged at home before being sold in the Indore agricultural market. She also created a WhatsApp group where anyone can order grains and fruits.

Recognition

She received the “Best Farm Woman Award” from Krishi Vigyan Kendra for establishing organic farming in the custard apple industry.  The Madhya Pradesh, Biological Certification Board, registered her land as organic in 2016. That allowed her to sell the product in other states, including Maharashtra, Delhi, and Gujarat. Later, Lalita started assisting other villages in implementing organic farming techniques in their fields as the government and other district officials demonstrated their growing support for this type of farming.

In 2014, Lalita and her husband went on an international trip as they were selected for the Mukhyamantri Kisan Videsh Adhyan Yojana. They visited Germany and Italy to study high-tech farming methods. She was motivated to build a solar pump. Now, her house is partially powered by solar energy. In her kitchen, she switched from LPG to biogas. She has seen solar technology used effectively for farming in other nations. Lalita commented that our field’s water pumping has become incredibly simple, as it runs automatically throughout the day and shuts off at night.

Conclusion

Today, Lalita is the leader of Maa Durga Krishi Mahila Sangathan, a group of 21 women who work in organic farming in the area. She walks from field to field, outlining the value of organic farming. Her mission is to educate people about the harmful effects of synthetic fertilizers and how it is ruining our fields.

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