Born to a circle of relatives of beetle farmers who made a dwelling from beedi-making within the village of Tilli in the Sagar district of Bundelkhand, he desired to pursue a medical diploma to help human beings around him to lead healthful lives. But in the guidance for AIIMS, he realized it wouldn’t assist him in attaining his goal.
“Many who input the profession have their very own aspirations like building a higher life, drawing a hefty annual package deal, or setting up a non-public facility. I realized it wouldn’t be my first-rate choice to make certain better healthcare for human beings. I believed that a person’s health is directly connected to the food on their plate. So, my ambition became to help chemical-unfastened food reach humans’ plates.”
At the time, he becomes the handiest 20, so his choice to quit his medical preparation drew the ire of the circle of relatives and buddies alike. But Akash was undeterred and started to work closer to the Bundelkhand expression.
Today, unfold on a 2.5-acre plot lies a five-layered version economically-viable and sustainable farm, the fruit of Akash’s labor.
Apart from pleasurable his imaginative and prescient of developing chemical-loose meals, the innovative farming technique has become the 29-yr-old modern farmer into a millionaire, who now earns Rs 12-15 lakh a yr! In a special interview with The Better India, the younger natural farmer from Madhya Pradesh recalls his long journey.
“When I determined to end remedy and pursue agriculture, I faced a variety of battles. Though my circle of relatives becomes unhappy with the switch, they supported me. I misplaced some friends along the way. However, I changed into decided to construct a version that might make sure clean produce and sustainable profits.”
Starting 1 June 2011, the primary six months had been mainly hard. Organic tomatoes had been the primary crop he experimented with. Generally, a tomato crop starts offevolved fruiting within 50-60 days. But for Akash, then 20, 6 months surpassed without consequences. Just as doubting Thomases pointed their palms, the crop bore fruit. And the consequences haven’t stopped to date.
“The tomato crop that I experimented with grew 15 toes tall, wherein we harvested 10-12 kg from an unmarried plant. The length, flavor, and great of the fruit had been so astounding that it drew quite a little attention. One of the Ph.D. professors at my university even advocated his college students to visit my farm and recognize how I made it viable.”
During his studies approximately revolutionary agriculture techniques, Akash came across two-layer farming. This changed into how two styles of crops might be grown in the same unit of land at exclusive layers. Finding success on this technique, he began including layers to his farm yr on yr. Today, in a small plot of two.5 acres, his farm grows vegetation in 5 layers!
So how does it work?
He answers, “We start with the aid of planting the primary layer, that is beneath the surface of the soil. At a depth of two inches, I planted ginger and covered it with mud.” The subsequent layer, simply above the soil, is inexperienced, leafy greens. While Akash grows amaranthus, you may opt for different vegetables like fenugreek, spinach, or coriander, for you to cowl the soil within 15-20 days. This prevents weeds from sabotaging plants’ increase, thereby saving labor, time, cash, and effort on de-weeding.
When the harvest is near, the farmer doesn’t reduce the leaves; he uproots the plant from the soil. This loosens the topsoil and helps daylight and oxygen penetrate deeper and better, improving soil health and making the crop underneath the surface stronger. If the roots aren’t uprooted, they could interfere with the growth of the underground crop, in this example, ginger.
“The technique can’t be practiced in an open area, so a structure that makes use of bamboo for help, and wild grass for the roof, is set up to defend the crop from excessive weather modifications. The shed substitutes the need for steeply-priced polyhouses. It is climate-proof and biodegradable.
It also protects vegetation from severe heat, ground frost, and hailstorms. The balance of light and color facilitates slow down the technique of evaporation too. So, the soil can retain more water, thereby making the method more water-green. The leafy veggies, too, maintain their quality and shine,” he explains.
The bamboo structure also serves as a guide for some other layer of plants which consist of climbers. The tallest layer includes papayas planted at a distance of 12 x 18 ft that tower over the shed. Lastly, the fifth layer consists of creepers grown on a mesh of wires woven from the roof of the shed to the floor. These can also consist of sour gourd, bottle gourds, ridge gourd, or snake gourd.
“It helps build a biodiverse atmosphere. Much like multi-tale homes in cities, this model permits multi-layer farming in a restricted space. It cuts down investment prices considerably, enables you to operate space effectively so that you can reflect the manufacturing of an everyday 5-acre land in one acre,” he says.