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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Sisters Took Up Farming in Their 40s; Earn Rs 11 Lakh Rising Gooseberries

An opportunity go to to Manisha Gosain’s land in Dehradun throughout the COVID-19 pandemic gave her and her sister, Namita Rawat Negi, the thought to transform it into the Doon Gooseberry Farm. They develop greens like tomatoes, brinjals, pumpkins, spinach, and extra, and promote value-added merchandise constituted of them.

In 2021, when Namita Rawat Negi and Manisha Gosain, two sisters from Dehradun, Uttarakhand, determined to pursue farming, their resolution raised extra eyebrows than smiles

Nonetheless, pushed by their sturdy self-belief and a need to guard agricultural land, they ventured into what’s extensively thought to be one of many hardest occupations — farming. 

This journey calls for immense perseverance and endurance, however their willpower has remained unwavering.

Of their 40s, many believed that Namita and Manisha would solely dabble in farming for just a few months earlier than returning to their earlier lives and jobs; presumably promoting the land. Nonetheless, they defied expectations and persevered in constructing their agricultural enterprise. 

Immediately, they proudly function Doon Gooseberry Farm, a comfy setup born from their dedication and keenness, supported steadfastly by their husbands. 

“Through the COVID-19 pandemic, we first visited my sister’s land in Dehradun. The scene was not promising. We had been confronted with 10 bighas of land coated in unruly grass and creepers,” shares Namita. 

“Nonetheless, what instantly caught our consideration had been the gooseberry bushes (amla) laden with fruit, a lot of which had been going to waste. We immediately felt the necessity to take motion, not solely to guard our land but additionally to nurture it and reap the rewards of its bounty,” she provides.

The 2 sisters entered the world of farming with no prior expertise or publicity. Nonetheless, via trial and error, they’ve realized to plant and nurture their crops successfully. Right here’s their story.

The two sisters at the farm.
The 2 sisters on the farm.

A mixed effort

The 2 sisters are ably helped by their husbands, Vineet Singh Negi and retired military Colonel Vikas Gosain.

“Harvesting the bushes has advanced right into a household affair,” Namita shares. “We even invite our associates to hitch us because it’s an awesome alternative to spend the day collectively and benefit from the fruits of our labour.” 

From chutneys and pickles to jams crafted from the recent produce similar to amla, mango, turmeric, garlic and lemon, Doon Gooseberry Farm has expanded its choices to incorporate a various array of merchandise, making a internet revenue of Rs 5 lakh. Their whole revenue was Rs 11 lakh for the final monetary yr.

Along with this, the farm additionally homes poultry and cultivates varied greens similar to tomatoes, brinjals, pumpkins, spinach, mustard, and woman’s fingers. Whereas they promote merchandise constituted of amla, mango, turmeric, lemon, and tomatoes, the opposite greens fulfill their family wants, making certain a self-sufficient and homely surroundings.

Namita at the poultry section of the farm.
Namita on the poultry part of the farm.
The raw mangoes cultivated at their farm.
The uncooked mangoes cultivated at their farm.

“At Doon Gooseberry Farm, our mission is easy and but profound: to offer the world with delectable, wholesome meals choices which can be free from dangerous preservatives. Our journey started with the need to embrace a life-style wealthy in vitality, the place we might savour all these flavours nurtured in our very personal yard,” says Manisha.

She provides, “Our produce thrives underneath the solar, untouched by chemical sprays or pesticides. It’s right here that the roots of Doon Gooseberry Farm run deep, the place our dedication to purity and high quality is agency.” 

They use shells of natural eggs, vegetable peels, and cow manure because the prime supply of nourishment for his or her cultivation. 

The amla (gooseberry) trees lining the farm.
The amla (gooseberry) bushes lining the farm.

Nonetheless, the journey has been removed from clean. “Water availability is a essential difficulty,” Namita explains. 

“Being in a hilly space with a non-perennial river close by, water shortage is a big problem. This can be a main purpose why many individuals round us are abandoning their agricultural lands.” 

Regardless of the federal government’s efforts to create canals for water provide, Namita notes that there’s nonetheless a extreme scarcity, notably throughout the summer season months. “We’re presently exploring rainwater harvesting as a possible resolution to create a dependable supply of water,” Namita shares. 

“Nonetheless, we sincerely hope that the water scenario improves. Whereas the river has some water at sure factors, different areas stay fully dry. We imagine that if the federal government addresses this difficulty earnestly, it won’t solely profit us but additionally many others who want to pursue farming with better ease and happiness.”

At present, Doon Gooseberry Farm collaborates with native girls and small processing models to fabricate its merchandise. Nonetheless, the farm aspires to determine its personal processing unit staffed solely by girls sooner or later. 

“We initiated our enterprise with the help of an agricultural mortgage and assist from household,” Namita explains. “This enabled us to make the land cultivable and fulfill our primary necessities. Now, our purpose is to develop additional, with a concentrate on offering employment alternatives to locals, notably girls.”

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This text has been written by Shweta Bhanot Mehrotra. Image credit: Manisha and Namita.

Edited by Padmashree Pande.

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