Where farmers reap a bumper harvest in all seasons!
Rural development minister Jayant Patil has worked in several fields in his 30 years of political and social life. But the work he has done for development of farming and farmers or has been doing has given a new dimension to farming and improved the status of farmers in the taluka. He modernized the way farming had traditionally been done in the taluka by galvanising it with modern agro-technology and turned the area into goldmine as it were.
After the demise of Rajaram Bapu, Jayant Patil took charge. He became the chairman of sugar mill. That time it came to his notice that though the river-bank area of the taluka was prosperous, the situation of other villages and their farms was deplorable. Unless they got constant flow of water from the river, their condition would not change, Jayant Patil realized. This gave birth to the scheme called lift irrigation and he pressed ahead with it with missionary zeal.
He went from one village to another, convincing the people of importance of water. He motivated them to pledge their agricultural land to the banks to obtain loans. The farmers trusted every word of Jayant Patil and came forward willingly. They pledged their land and sought a loan of Rs 48 crore. The shortfall was met with money from sugar mill which contributed Rs 12 crore. Due to Jayant Patil’s efforts, government subvention also came along. With this amount, as many as 36 cooperative water supply organisations were activated and every inch of land in the taluka was brought under irrigation. Soon 50000 acres of land became arable, rich and grew sugarcane on a large scale.
He carried the water of Krishna river up to Mallikarjun hill and that of Warna river up to Shivpuri creek. This has brought about a sea-change in the life of farmers. The entire area has been transformed through the efforts of Jayant Patil, sugar mill and farmers. Not only the loan of the farmers has been repaid, but a deposit of Rs 16 crore is left from various irrigation schemes.
Jayant Patil did not stop at this. He ran the sugar mill and managed it ideally. Therefore, it is one among few well-managed sugar mills in the state. He gave highest rate to sugarcane growers while purchasing their farm produce. It has benefited farmers in a big way. Irrigation brought more land under agriculture and thus production of sugarcane increased. It increased so much that the sugarcane outlasted the crushing season. Hence the crushing continued up to June-July. At last the sugarcane had to be given to other sugar mills. Jayant Patil found a way out of this situation. He started a unit of the sugar mill at Wategaon-Surul. Thereafter, he started another branch at Karandwadi and now fourth unit has been started at Jatla. Thus four units of the sugar mill crush all the sugarcane crop every year.
Now a new challenge has cropped up before the farmers. Due to excessive use of water, the farm land is getting ruined and hence the productivity has decreased. As a solution to the problem, organic manure is being supplied to the farmers. Now the factory has taken up the awareness campaign about drip irrigation. The campaign has succeeded in getting the farmers convinced of the fact that drip irrigation increases productivity and maintains the quality of soil. A vast area has been brought under irrigation. Computerised irrigation sets have been installed in the water organisations in Gotadi and Ahirwadi. It has improved the fertility of the soil and improved productivity. The sugar mill awards the farmers who grow maximum sugarcane per acre and this has led to healthy competition. With a view to introduce the farmers to latest technology, an agricultural exhibition called ‘Jayant Agroduct’ is held on the occasion of Jayant Patil’s birthday every year.
Various competitions like crop contest, vegetable contest, and animal competitions are held to mark the occasion. This enables the farmers to update their knowledge about new farming techniques and methods. A large number of farmers come from every part of taluka to see the exhibition and seek inspiration. Today we see the closest bond between the sugar mill and the farmers. The sugar mill stands behind the farmers like a mountain. It supplies good seeds to the farmers and sugarcane development scheme is implemented. Farmers are supplied with fertilizers and pesticides. The sugar mill itself produces Rajaram micronutrient rich, earthworm, compost and bio-manure to supply the same to the farmers. Whenever the sugarcane crop is attacked by the larvae or such disease as ‘humni’, the sugar mill management is the first to rush to help the farmers. Hence the cost has remained the same while production has increased. Many schemes are carried out by the sugar mill for the welfare of farmers including insurance scheme. The sugar mill also takes care of health of members and employees. For that, the mill has entered into contract with K.E.L hospital at Belgaum. It carries out complete medical check-up.
Surgical operations are conducted to treat serious ailments. The hospital provides ambulance service at a concessional rate every Wednesday. Concessional medical service for treatment of heart ailment is available on the first Tuesday of every month. Health fortnight is observed in memory of Bapu every year in the district. The poor and the needy undergo health check-up and receive medical treatment free of cost. The mill gives fee concessions to the children of members and employees who study at RIT. Town development is carried out through endowment trust. It carries out works like the drilling of bore well, installation of pumps thereon, building gymnasium, pick-up sheds, crematorium shed, repairing, beautification of temples, among others. Along with sugar mill, Rajaram Milk Producers Federation, Rajarambapu Cooperative Bank, Textile complex, education complex, Rajaram Solvent for soyabean growers are also doing well. Every organization is helping the farmers in the taluka directly or indirectly. It presents the satisfactory landscape wherein all are complimentary to one another and provides favourable condition for agricultural growth. This spells prosperity for the farmers in the region.
Now Jayant Patil has presented a new alternative for the marginal farmers called ‘Farm where there is land’. He has signed an agreement to keep 27000 hectare land in Mozambique reserved for modern farming. He has plans for starting the farming and allied industries there. Hence, the enterprising young farmers who like to carry out experiments and are willing to go, have a golden opportunity.
In this way, Jayant Patil has achieved overall development of farming and farmers in Islampur assembly constituency of Walva taluka through disciplined planning and visionary policy. Every household is experiencing development. Their economic status has got elevated. Every farmer has become prosperous. When these farmers visit other talukas, see the condition of farming and farmers there, comparison between the two taluka appears and realize the difference in the policy. That time they remember the importance and uniqueness of Bapu and Jayant Patil.[/mp_span] [/mp_row]