“The only way to do great work is to love what you do” – Steve Jobs
Am I doing what I wanted to do? This is the question everyone asks himself once in a lifetime. However, there are only a few who finds the answer. Neeraj Dhanda, a software engineer, was in the same dilemma while pursuing his engineering career with one of the reputed company. He was not happy with his job and always wanted to contribute to organic farming. One day he decided to quit his job and follow his passion and started growing organic Jumbo Guavas that helped him to earn a minimum of 10-12 lakh per acre.
Neeraj Dhanda hails from Sangatpura village in Jind district of Haryana and typically comes from farmer’s family. His family never wanted him to be a full-time farmer, so he continued his software engineer job after obtaining a degree in Computer Engineering against his wishes. However, he has to bear a considerable loss in his software firm he started during his loss of interest. This was the incident which made him quit his job and can carry forward the farming profession.
Initially, he started with growing started growing the Allahabad safe variety of guava using organic methods. However, even with such high-quality Guavas, he was unable to get the right price for them due to the involvement of middlemen.
Neeraj Dhanda was fed up with this and during one of the interviews said, “All those questions on why farmers were poor were answered that day. A farmer works hard, pays the price of the seeds and fertilizers as per the cost decided by the shopkeeper, he gives the labor wages as per their demand, he also pays the transport cost as per the transporter. How is it fair that a middleman, who has done nothing, gets to decide the price of his produce?”
Although Neeraj was able to set up a counter at the market after a lot of resistance from middlemen. Neeraj always wanted to grow a crop having a longer shelf life. The turning point in his life was when he visited the VNR nursery and saw the VNR-Bihi variety of guava. This type of Guava often weighs more than half a kilo and has a shelf life of longer than 15 days. He immediately bought around 3000 saplings and planted them in his land in Jind.
He suffered a few losses in the first year of planting the Guavas due to inappropriate climatic conditions, but Neeraj took that as a learning experience. He also came to know the technique used to take care of guavas right from the time when they are just as big as the shape of a peanut. Neeraj explains that growing this guava needs hard work and dedication starting from refraining to overload the branches to covering them with a foam cover, then with anti-fogging polythene and newspapers.
Neeraj uses his website, Door Next Farm, to take orders and delivers them to the doorstep of customers to eradicate the involvement of Middlemen. Neeraj started this alone but now there are six farmers in his team, and his friend Rajesh has also joined Neeraj in his pleasant way doing business. Neeraj is earning a minimum of? 10-12 lakh per acre by growing these guavas. He has even started conducting classes to train the youth of the village.
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou
Above lines states the difference between the successful people and those who did not get the taste of success. It is all about the zeal to get success by following your passion. Neeraj Dhanda has proved that a person with intelligence and hard work can modify any business to get the best out of it. He has set himself as the best example for the youth of India, who are losing interest in farming and thinks Farming as a bad option for their career. Hopefully, we can expect some other examples like Neeraj to bring a revolution in agriculture of India to reclaim the glory of India in farming.
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