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Growing in bags helps Indian growers to grow more

Jyoti Patel surveyed her crop of arhar dal (pigeon pea pulse) and vegetables, and nodded in satisfaction. “It has been a bumper crop this time,” the 40-year-old farmer from Panagar in Jabalpur district, Madhya Pradesh, told. Jyoti Patel and many other farmers are experimenting with the Jawahar Model of farming, developed by scientists of the Jawaharlal Nehru Agricultural University in Jabalpur.

Jawahar Model recommends growing the crops, not on land, but in grow-bags or sacks. And the yield is good too. “A group of us went to the agriculture university where we learnt of the Jawahar Model. We do not have such big lands where we can use tractors, and this model seemed perfectly suited for us,” Jyoti said. She added that they were also told about how to go about growing produce in grow-bags even in limited space in and around their homes.

“I have sowed arhar in 200 sacks and the yield is much more than what I would have got had I grown them on the ground,” the farmer said. “Six hundred and fifteen women farmers, like Jyoti Patel, who are part of self help groups have adopted the Jawaharlal Model of cultivation,” DP Tiwari, district manager, National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) Jabalpur, told Gaon Connection. “Most of them are growing vegetables and arhar in grow bags in and around their homes,” he added.

According to the scientists who developed the Jawahar Model, growing crops in grow-bags saves the farmer a lot of expenditure. And, even those who have barren lands can make use of the space to grow produce and earn a livelihood. Even terraces of homes can be put to good use, they said.

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