India Region

Drumstick Cultivation, an Example From Gujarat, Turning a Poor Farmer Into a Millionaire

02 April 2024, New Delhi: Mr. Praveen Bhai Patel, a farmer from Dudhelilat village of Kheda district of Gujarat has 10.7 hectares of land and knowledge of conventional farming. He used to grow castor, cotton, and chickpeas using traditional methods. He was well aware of the fact that there is a huge demand for drumsticks in the state of Gujarat because of its high nutritional and medicinal value. To enhance the income from his agricultural profession for his family needs and responsibilities, he preferred an exclusive plantation of PKM-1 variety of drumsticks on 10.7 ha under the technical guidance of ICAR- Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Research Centre, Vasad.

Mr. Praveen Bhai Patel visited the ICAR-Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation Research Centre in Vasad, Gujarat, and expressed his interest in growing drumsticks on his farm. The scientists of ICAR-IISWC guided him to start farming drumsticks due to the high demand for their products. They provided training on scientific production techniques, nursery raising, seed production, and stem cutting. They also advised him to use stem cutting to reduce input costs. Mr. Patel attended training and skill development programmes at the ICAR-IISWC Research Station, and experts visited his farm to advise on pruning, fertilizer application, irrigation scheduling, harvesting, and plant protection measures. He was also advised to use social media platforms for drumstick promotion.

In 2008, 2016, and 2020, he planted 450, 1700, and 2580 drumstick plants from seed (PKM-1), own seed (Sargavi), and stem cutting, respectively. He is getting 100 tonnes of fresh drumstick pods from a 10.7 ha farm every year and he is selling it at Rs. 35/kg in different parts of the country like Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kheda, and Vadodara. There is also a good demand for drumsticks in the local market of this region viz. Kapadwanj, Nadiad, and Bayad. Grading is used to improve prices and marketing, with finger-size drumstick pods preferred in Kolkata and Mumbai, and thumb-size pods preferred in Gujarat’s local markets. He consistently applied techniques and suggestions received from ICAR-IISWC experts, earning a substantial income. The cost of cultivation, gross return, and net returns is ₹ 100000/ha, ₹ 300000/ha, and ₹ 200000/ha, respectively. Every year he is earning about ₹ 20 lakhs from drumstick farming in a 10.7 ha area. He has initiated the preparation of powder and hair oil from the leaves and seeds of the drumstick. Mr. Patel is selling drumstick powder at ₹ 129 per 100 g and hair oil at ₹ 299 per 50 ml. He is also earning good income by selling seed material of drumsticks at ₹ 2000/kg. The Chinese company Thylakoid Biotech Private Limited is also purchasing kernels of drumstick pods from him for consumption purposes.

Mr. Praveen Bhai Patel, a progressive farmer specializing in drumstick cultivation, has improved his livelihood by generating regular and profitable income from drumsticks and their value-added products. He provides permanent employment to 15 laborers and guides small and marginal farmers to grow high-value horticulture crops. Around 150 farmers have adopted ICAR-IISWC technology, attracting resource-poor and young farmers to make farming profitable and sustainable.

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