While Prime Minister Narendra Modi who got elected from Varanasi is encouraging entrepreneurship, here is a voter from that constituency who motivated by Modi has come all the way to Mysuru and working with farmers, and developing entrepreneurship skill among villagers.
An Engineering graduate Himansu Pandey (22), who was working as Business Development Executive in a private company, quits his job fetching him a fatter salary, to work with villagers and develop enterpreneurship skills among them. Under SBI Youth for India fellowship, he is working in B.Seehalli in Narasipur Taluk. He is planning to establish Tomato processing unit in the village, and make the farmers economically stronger.
Under Pradhan Mantri Grameen Vikas Yojana the villagers to take up loan upto Rs 3 lakh and set up the Tomato processing Unit in village by August. Under the scheme women get 25 per cent subsidy, and there is provision to start repayment of loans after three years, which is of great helpful for the villagers.
There are 400 families in the village. Himansu has brought together the farmers who are growing Jamun tomatoes in the village. Women folk are thought about processing of tomatoes, while the unemployed youngsters in the village are been roped in to market the products.
He is teaching the youngsters how to make use of the technology, marketing strategies and skills, challenges in marketing, demand for tomatto ketchups in urban area, etc.
Nearly 20 women from the village to undergo three day training programme in Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) in next week. The women will be thought boiling, mixing, pre bioling, packaging, how to preserve the products, etc. Even plans are on card to get the technology of Tomatoes Processing Unit transfer from DFRL.
Already women have been thought how to identify the tomatoes suitable for making ketchup and extract pulp. Also to make the ketchup easily using an ordinary pressure cooker at home.
The villagers to make 50 liter ketchup for trial next month, and it will be given to taste for people in Mysuru and Bengaluru. Himansu says, this will be not only helpful to boost the marketing of the product, whereas to gather opinion from people about the taste.
He is also educating villagers about use of technology in agriculture, methods to be adopted to grow quality tomattoes, harvesting techniques, processing, marketing skills, and how to avoid crop loss, benefits of producing byproducts, how to increase income, so on.
"India is the second biggest produce of tomatoes. Most of the time tomattoo price drops to Rs 2. Frustrated farmers litter tomatoes on roads. Instead they can set up Units in their Panchayats, and convert the tomatoes into byproduct. The farmers who grow other vegetables, fruits should also develop entrepreneurship skills," he adds.
"Entrepreneurship is very important for every human being, specially farmers. Without getting supportive price the farmers are taking extreme step in life. I wanted to work with farmers and educate them about how their produce can be converted into products. Working in grass root level with farmers gives a different experience. Using technology we can bring farmers to the main stream of society. My future is to visit Dehardun and work with farmers. Also want to pursue higher degree in Agribusiness," he added.
Villager Bhagya said: 'Last year we faced total loss due to fall in price. But in future we think atlest through tomato ketchup making we get good value for the harvest. If we get good marketing linkage, we are planning to grow large quanity of Jamun variety in future, which are ideal for processing.
Manjula Nagaraj said: 'After demise of my husband, I am the sole bread earner for the family. Labour jobs are very seasonal too. This could be a good opportunity to earn, while staying with in my own community.'
Lakshmi Kullegowda said: 'The Tomato Unit has come like a new ray of hope. My husband does labour work and we have very little land. By undergoing training, I can make ketchups and can earn some money. Earlier we were growing only paddy and sugarcane. Whereas in the last two decades the villagers are growing vegetables in large due to drought, climate chage, scarcity of water.'