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Farmer Uses ‘Desi Jugaad’ to Extend the Shelf-Life of Organic Onions by Three Months

Haryana-based Sumer Singh has been farming since 1999, but his transition to organic farming for vegetables, lentils, chickpeas, and millets has changed his life.

Chintu Das
Sumer Singh
Sumer Singh

Organic farming, is though very popular and profitable but it remains a difficult endeavor. However, Sumer Singh of Dhani Mahu village in Haryana opted to take this chance after learning about the negative consequences of chemical fertilizers. 

Sumer not only cultivates and takes profits from his 14-acre organic farm, but he also encourages other farmers to follow in his footsteps. He used chemical fertilisers when he first started farming in 1999, and cotton was his main crop. However, the health of his farm and family began to decline quickly. 

That served as a wake-up call for Sumer, who began organic farming with the help of other organic farmers. He now farms vegetables, pulses, chickpeas, and millets on his farm. Due to a lack of water and poor soil quality, more cultivation is prohibited. 

"I've been practising this kind of cultivation for the past six years," he said. My family and I have never been compelled to spend a single pie on hospital expenditures. That, I consider, is my biggest gain." 

"What good does it do to make more money by utilising chemicals while spending the same amount in hospitals?" Sumer poses a rhetorical question. 

Organic Is Better 

He states that his neighbours and family members rely entirely on his vegetables. "We have been getting vegetables from Sumer ji for quite some time now," Sukh Darshan, who frequently buys onions from his farm, adds. There are significant distinctions between organic onions and store-bought onions. We can enhance the flavour of the meal while also preserving it for a long time." 

Sumer farms according to his own beliefs. He grows onions on one acre of land, for example, and instead of using plastic as a mulch, he utilizes stubble. This helps to keep the soil moist for a longer period of time. The approach works well in places where there is a paucity of water. 

On one acre, he collects roughly 80 quintals of onion. Onions are usually stored in sacks, which causes them to be pressed down and rot due to heat. Sumer drapes the onions in bundles in order to reduce wasting. Even if one or two are damaged, they can be quickly removed, preventing the produce from spoiling. 

"You must hang them like bananas hung in shops." "This will keep them in the air for a long time, and they will be safe," Sumer explains. Onions can be kept safe for three to four months using this strategy. 

He's also experimented with hanging a few quintals of onions to see whether they can be stored for a year and a half. 

To increase the shelf-life of each crop naturally, similar improvements are used. "Risk exists in any agriculture-related operations, whether organic or chemical," he explains. This should not prevent farmers from attempting new experiments and moving forward. I urge all farmers to use organic farming practices to develop their crops." 

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