Often referred as stone city or coriander city, Ramganj Mandi is a city in Kota district of Rajasthan. It is Asia’s largest market for coriander trading where 6500 tons of coriander seeds have been noted to arrive on a single day during the season. The spice giant, MDH buys the coriander seeds from the same place.
This aromatic herb is cultivated on more than 2 lac hectare land and harvests more than 2 lac metric tonne of herb that equals to 90% of coriander cultivated in the state. Being one crop which grows with zero maintenance, from seed to plant, coriander grows on a vigorous scale and is ready to harvest in a span of a month but for seeds, you need 3-4 months. Ample sunshine plays the most crucial role in coriander cultivation for which Rajasthan is blessed by the Sun God.
Haripura village in Ramganj mandi has been emerging out as a region of progressive farmers who specialize in spice crops. While on a Mandi visit, we met Nand Kishore from the same village has 84 bigha land where he primarily grows coriander, mustard, and gram. He has made sure since 2010 to go organic and tries to use biowaste as biofertilizer in the farms. This has helped him reduce the cost of cultivation along with the beneficial subsidies on sprinkler and drip irrigation techniques. Under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojna he could manage organic fertilizers and pesticides for 50 farmers of his village. He told us that biopesticide is needed for spice crop and not for wheat if it is on crop rotation. This has increased the yield from depleting 3 quintals to 8 quintals per bigha.
Farmers under PKVY are encouraged to form groups or clusters and take to organic farming methods over large areas in the country. To avail the scheme, each cluster or group must have 50 farmers willing to take up organic farming under the PKVY and possess a total area of at least 50 acres. Each farmer enrolling in the scheme is provided INR 20,000 per acre by the government spread over three years time. This fund can be utilized for obtaining organic seed, harvesting of the crops, and transporting the produce to the local markets.
He is dramatically drawn towards organic strategies and his future endeavors are all posed around it. Likewise, he is looking for organic pesticide alternatives for garlic crop. His major concern is marketing organic crops at a farmer level is an issue which he thinks should be given right attention by the government. He anticipates GRAM to be a platform that will cater solutions to various farmers’ inquisitions and problems.
About ‘Global Rajasthan Agritech Meet, Kota’ (GRAM):
‘GRAM’ at Jaipur was an international event held from 9 to 11 November in Jaipur. Jointly organized by the Government of Rajasthan and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the mega event was attended by around 50,000 farmers.
The primary objective of GRAM is to ensure economic empowerment of the farmers through accelerated yet sustainable growth in agriculture. In addition to farmers, the global event also showcases global best practices and best of technologies suited to the agro-climatic conditions of Rajasthan. It is also an important platform for investors, manufacturers, academicians and researchers.
Networking is a powerful medium to resolve some underlying issues. Keeping it in mind, GRAM Kota is an idealistic concept of state government that envisions a state of growth story via investments & joint ventures. Farming community will be bridged with technological advancements and global best practices. Machinery, agri marketing, agro-processing, organic farming, animal husbandry, agrarian practices for increased output etc count in amidst various other important features under this diverse umbrella that aims at substantial growth of farmers and agroecological circuit.