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Andhra’s Usharani shows others the way to do natural farming

Konda Usharani with visitors showing the natural farming produce and products

Without any professional degree under her belt, 38-year-old Konda Usharani, a farmer-turned-entrepreneur has carved a name for herself. Hailing from Mangalagiri in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district, she has inspired other farmers to switch to natural farming and also provided them a platform to sell their products directly through online and stalls.

It was not an easy ride for Usharani. She reached her present height of success after working hard and facing many hardships. At the age of 16 she got married and unfortunately lost her husband after three years. Having passed Class 10, she had no life skills to take care of her family and two children by the time she was in her 20s.

She took to doing all kinds of jobs. Travelling from one village to village to sell products, she got interested in agriculture. That egged her to attend a workshop on natural farming and then she started doing seed-to-seed and zero-budget farming on her 90 cents of land. She experimented and started making fertilisers in house using the kitchen waste.


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Konda Usharani prepares the fertiliser for farming at home itself

Later AP Government’s programme Rythu Sadhikaraka Samstha enabled her in 2016 to get more insights into the practices of natural farming. She leased 6 acres of land and started natural farming growing main crops of the region, including turmeric, papaya and banana. Within a span of five years, she was able to cultivate five different crops from her land.

What she did next was indeed remarkable as she was able to motivate other farmers in her village and region to start seed-to-seed farming. Her methods and the profits she made by natural farming, got more than 300 farmers in Mangalagiri to follow her footsteps.

Talking to India Narrative she said: “Natural farming has been very impactful on the farmers. It not only reduces the expenditure on production while increasing the overall yield by 8 to 10 per cent. The produce also fetches a premium — from rupees one to two — in the market as consumers are very satisfied with the taste and quality of the products.”

Initially she faced problems selling her products. Selling a part in the market she also distributed some produce free to customers to try. “When they found it was to their satisfaction, they started buying directly from me,” she told India Narrative.

Having faced obstacles in marketing, she turned into an entrepreneur. Along with others, she collected produce from more than 20 farmers and sold them through varied platforms including online websites and exhibition stalls. Awareness among the consumers about the harmful effects of chemicals used during farming gave a fillip to the sale of their natural products.

Recently her presentation at a national level conference in New Delhi won her an award.

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Konda Usharani receiving the award for her presentation at New Delhi