March 24, 2023

School dropout to design syllabus for agriculture universities | India News – Times of India

JAIPUR: The biblical adage about reaping what you sow holds a whole new meaning for Hukumchand Patidar. Dropping out of school in Class 10 to work in the fields, the farmer from Rajasthan’s Jhalawar is now rubbing shoulders with scientists and academics in a team assigned the task of designing the curriculum on organic farming for India’s agricultural universities.
Patidar, conferred the Padma Shri in 2018 for helping turn his native village of Manpura into a fully chemical-free farm patch, has been included in the national curriculum committee set up by the Indian Council for Agriculture Research because of his expertise in growing organic oranges, pulses, onion, coriander and fennel. The bulk of his farm produce is exported to Europe.
“Over the years, I have introduced several measures to enhance my farmland’s carbon cycle. The impact is that the land conditions have become more conducive to the growth of microorganisms and insects that are required to make the soil fertile,” Patidar said. “I always advocate using panchgavya, or the five elements derived from cows, to nourish the soil and make crops healthier.”
As a consultant to Rajasthan’s four agricultural universities on the subject of organic farming, Patidar has a clear idea of how he can add value to what his fellow committee members suggest should go into the curriculum. “Only agriculture universities run courses like BSc, MSc and PhD in horticulture and agriculture. The module I am working on, natural and cowdung-related agriculture, will be introduced in schools, colleges and universities,” he said.
The fact that he is the only committee member without a degree doesn’t bother Patidar. “Whatever I know about traditional farming is from the ancient texts and manuscripts. I will share that with my colleagues in the panel,”he said. The panel will submit its report in two months.

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