This story illustrate the successful journey of Suhridendu Mahato, a water melon farmer from Janra village of Manbazar I Block, Purulia district of West Bengal. He and his family used to be steered by local input dealers for technical service and was experiencing not much profit. To change his fortune in farming, he was planning to undertake water melon cultivation in his field post Kharif season last year but he was not entirely sure of the technicalities involved in it.
During that period in November, 2018, he came across the news bulletin by Reliance Foundation & its toll-free number in the Bengali daily newspaper, “Pratidin”. Without wasting further time, he immediately called the toll free number-1800 419 8800 to get further insight about cultivating water melon in his field. His major queries were related to selection of seed variety which will give him good return and also related to land preparation process. Based on the suggestions provided by RF agriculture expert, he purchased the seeds from the market and subsequently started cultivation in 5 bighas of land. Post couple of months, during flowering stage, he observed that the growth became a bit stunted and roots were affected by some fungus. Left with not much option, he called the toll-free number again. The experts, after hearing all the symptoms and observing few snaps shared through whatsapp prescribed some remedies. He successfully check the outbreak & saved the crops by applying treatment recommended by the expert in his water melon field.
With the technical guidance & support extended by RFIS platform, Suhridendu went on to produce around 150 quintals of water melon from his 5 bigha land. In the initial period he sold around 30 quintals of water melon in the local market of Purulia at the rate of Rs 8 per Kg and later sold rest of the water melon i.e. around 120 quintals in the market of Bokaro which is situated at a distance of 80 Kms from his village and fetched a rate of Rs 11 per Kg. In total, he sold water melon of Rs 156,000/- approx. from his 5 bigha field.
Experiencing the benefits, he went on to register his name and mobile number for availing free of cost voice and text messages from the Reliance Foundation Information Services. With great pleasure, Suhridendu Mahato added that he informed every farmer in his contact to come forward and use the platform provided by Reliance Foundation Information Services for essential technical updates and advice's to boost their farm income.
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