Keshav Prasad, an entrepreneurial farmer of Mahogni village of Jamalpur block in Mirzapur district, Uttar Pradesh earns 1.50 lakh from cowpea in one season.He owns 1.5 acre cultivated land adjacent to river Ganga. Vegetable cultivation is main source of his livelihood, but the declining production and income was a cause of great worry for him.
On the advice of a close one,he visited Indian Institute of Vegetable Research (IIVR), Varanasi, a premier institute of ICAR, to see and learn new production technologies for vegetables crops. He was impressed with the cultivation of cowpea. He started the cultivation of these cowpea varieties in 1.5 hectare.
He harvested tender green pods at right stage and sold in the market. He was able to catch early market from July first week and got higher market price @ Rs. 28/- per kg. Regular picking of green cowpea pod fetched him a return of 1.50 lakh by September.
Later, instead of selling green pod he left the crop in field for seeds. Thus he was able to get about 3.5 quintal of cowpea seeds by October end, which he later sold @ Rs. 90/- to150/- per kg and thus again he received a return of about Rs. 0.50 lakh. The total cost of cultivation, transportation and marketing of cowpea was calculated as Rs. 40000/-. Thus, within a period of one season, Keshav Prasad earned a net return of Rs. 1.60 lakh from an area of 1.5 hectare with a single crop of cowpea.
Today he is inspiring other farmers in his village to grow cowpea and other vegetable crops.
(Source: NAIP sub-project on “Mobilizing mass media support for sharing agro-information,” DIPA and IIVR, Varanasi)