An FPO of roughly 400 farmers in the drought-prone village of Wadji, Maharashtra, has found a clever solution to their water troubles. Not only are their grounds flourishing as a result of rose cultivation, but they are also selling their products throughout India.
Rose is said to be the epitome of love, however to the residents of Wadji village, it has proven to be the ladder to their success. The residents of Wadji village are dealing with severe water scarcity.
How Kundlik became a millionaire
The district of Solapur is one of the most drought-prone regions. A farmer named Kundlik shares his story of becoming a millionaire, despite the severe water shortage in his village.
Kundlik further explains that practicing agriculture in his area is not an easy task. The people living there have to walk miles, just to fetch mere liters of water. Most of the farmers in the region were cultivating sugarcane. Sugarcane is a water-intensive crop, which means that it takes up a lot of water. This sugarcane cultivation led to severe water depletion in the ground-level water quantity.
However, this tide has shifted over the years. The farmers of the Wadji village are now earning millions for each acre, thanks to their rose farms. Their products are being sold all over India.
How Did This Happen?
Kundlik and other farmers were forced to reconsider their farming methods due to the severe water scarcity in their community. Nearly 20 farmers approached a representative from the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), which is a state government program that aims to help and guide farmers about the advancement of agriculture.
Kundlik and the other farmers discussed the various types of alternative crops that they could adopt. During the discussion, a farmer shared the case of another farmer, who was pursuing rose cultivation. He shared that the other farmer was from a neighboring village called Pinjawadi. The farmer from the neighboring village bought a rose plant that had been grafted. He propagated the seedling and eventually established a rose plantation. He wasn’t successful initially however, he was able to manage the farm with less water.
Rose is a low maintenance crop and uses less water
This story inspired everyone. As the rose is a low maintenance crop and uses less amount of water, all the farmers of Wadji village decided to go for its cultivation.
Furthermore, Solapur and its adjoining regions are pilgrim hotspots that attract tens of thousands of pilgrims throughout the year. Farmers began cultivating roses in anticipation of profitable market opportunities.
Kundlik started rose cultivation from a 0.25-acre land. He adopted chemical methods for cultivating roses. He started selling his roses at a price of Rs.4 per Kg. On religious occasions, the price would go up to Rs. 15 per Kg.
After some time, Kundlik and other farmers, who have adopted rose cultivation, began to notice a sudden boom in their businesses.
Due to this, the farmers began to upscale their farming. They started targeting buyers from Telangana, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. They started importing roses by putting them in ice packets. They again asked for the help of a government official to get ideas for marketing their rose business and the official suggested the farmers process the flowers and sell them in the forms of gulkand, rose water, and other products. He also promised to train and guide them about marketing strategies and skills.