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Today people refer Chilly as a spice that adds flavour and aroma to the dish but do you know that in early civilizations, chillies were actually used as a currency and considered more valuable than gold.

There are many such interesting facts about Chilly and here are 5 amazing ones for our readers.

  • India is the largest Producer, Consumers and Exporter of Chilly in the world. In the Financial Year 2016-17, India exported 4,00,250 tonnes of Chilly amounting to Rs. 5,070 Crores, registering an increase of 15 per cent in volume and 27 per cent in value.
  • There is abundant misperception in the spelling of the chilly. In USA, it is referred to chile or chile pepper; in UK, it is called as chilly or chili; and in India, it is known as chilly or mirchi (Hindi).
  • Chilly have nearly double the amount of Vitamin C as compared to Orange.
  • ‘Naga Jolokia’ is the hottest Chilly in the world and is found in Tezpur, India.

Mr PrasadK isa small farmer in Venkupalem village near Vinukonda, Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh.The Vinukonda area is known for severe drought with water scarcity across the region. The farmer cultivates rose apple organically as a main crop for his earnings in his 4acres’ land. The yield levels of this crop at the adverse climatic conditions with organic practices are less when compared to other region. In addition, the marketing of this crop is also very difficult as his farm is situated away from towns. Since the returns from rose apple bothered Mr Prasad, he made his mind to do something with available farm resources to earn additional income.

Integrated Farming Approach:

Mr Prasad decided to raise poultry in his rose apple farm as an integrated approach after seeing some examples in television. He bought native chicks and started raising them in his farm. After initial trials, the farmer realised that this approach can be multiplied. Later he built a fencing around his farm as a protection for poultry and started raising poultry in large scale along with rose apple as an integrated farming approach which benefited both the chicks and plantations. Currently, his rose apple farm is having 500 chickens.

Impact:
  1. Mr Prasad grows 500 native chickens organically every year.
  2. He sells every year 750 kgs of chicken from his farm @ Rs 200/- per Kg.
  3. In addition to sales of rose apples, the poultry farming is giving an average net returns about Rs 1.5-2.0 lakhs per annum.

To become financially successful, a farmer needs to transform his cropping pattern to suit the current market trend. Health conscious consumers of today are turning their preferences to moreorganic, safe and nutritional foods, as a result demand for organic produce is on rise. Rohan Prakash, a 23 year old civil engineer from Meerut, Uttar Pradesh has made his name in organic mango farming.Organic farming system is not new in India. It has been followed in ancient times as well.India has the highest number of organic farmers globally, but most of them are struggling. Poor policy measures, rising input costs and limited market have been affecting growth of organic farming in the country. In such circumstances – Rohan’s decision to grow organic produce is truly laudable.

The success story of Rohan Prakash first appeared in ‘The Better India’.Speaking to The Better India, “Having grown up seeing both my grandfather and father taking up farming alongside their professions, I was definitely inclined towards taking up agriculture. After observing farmland and produce quality for a while, I began to think about organic farming seriously. The idea sprouted in my head somewhere during my second year in college, and together with my father, we decided to replace all chemical fertilisers and pesticides with an extract of neem oil.”
Now, Rohan is the sole certified organic mango producer in UP and earning in lakhs. What started as a passion – has today become full time occupation for this young farmer. He has branded his organic produce as ‘Sure Organics’ and aspires to take it to an international level. Overall productivity increased by 40 percent and after receiving organic certification, he managed to earn Rs 4 lakhs in a matter of two months. Apart from growing different varieties of mango, he also grows lychee, turmeric, paddy,guava and peach. Both son and father duo have also started producing bio-pesticides and bio-fertilizers. They have also provided employment to 15- 20 people from poor families of their village.
In a time when the younger generation in the country is visibly navigating away from the agricultural sector, hope this story inspires the youth and especially the educated ones, to take up organic farming.

Gaurav Vashisht of Nuh, Haryana is a successful Agripreneur now. He is a mushroom grower earning a net income of Rs 3.5 -4 lakhs per annum by selling his mushrooms in local Mandi and nearby markets. He is producing 3.5 tons of mushrooms from an area of 45×50 feet in 4 months (Nov- Feb). Three years back Gaurav had no vision about his future, when one fine day he landed up attending a training programme on mushroom cultivation organized and sponsored by KVK Shikohpur and State Horticulture Department. The fact that mushrooms can be produced in a large amount from a small space along with his confidence on the product which he was sure he could sell for a good price inspired him.

He started with 450 bags, compost and casing which were given to him by the department at the end of the training. He started with an area of 20 x 30 feet. Facing his share of challenges, inhis first crop he could make a profit of Rs 40,000 in a duration of four-five months.

Gaurav is now trying to establish compost unit and production unit for all season mushroom cultivation with the help of State Horticulture Department scheme. Idea is to grow mushrooms round the year so that he can supply and meet the perennial demand of hotel industry in his vicinity.
State Horticulture department and KVK Shikohpurhad played a key role in his success by encouraging him to go into mushroom cultivation and providing assistance. He is grateful to them and feelselated when other farmers in the area visit him to see his progress.