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Scientist Launches Organic "Farm-to-fork" Brand; Earns Lakhs Every Month

Insha Rasool chose to allow herself six months when she made this decision while completing her Ph.D. and faced this dilemma.

Shubhi Singh
Organic food
Organic food

She informed her lecturer that she would go back to the South Korean university where she was studying Molecular Signalling if she did not succeed in organic farming.

And so, in 2018, she packed her bags and headed back to her homeland of Budgam in Jammu & Kashmir.

At the time, all she possessed was her 3.5 acres of ancestral land, where her family had grown food for generations.

She contacted local farms, bought fertilizer and seeds, and hired workers to help with the planting, tillage, and other tasks.

She was a scientist by training, therefore she was aware that research alone would not produce a harvest. She experimented for months with several seed kinds over various seasons.

She admitted that she failed more often than she succeeded while speaking with media sources. She sometimes added extra water or planted the crop in the wrong season, the crop did not sprout, or the manure did not work. Her original goal of six months was exceeded by these tests. She still made the decision to continue farming, and it had a profound impact on her life.

This sped up the introduction of Homegreens, a "farm-to-fork" brand that Insha had laboriously developed over the previous two years.

Insha spoke animatedly, sharing her mistakes and experiments with the hope of assisting others in the future.

Insha, a Bengaluru-based graduate of the Indian Institute of Science, has lived in a variety of cooler, greener areas. She relocated to South Korea because of the more comfortable climate thereafter residing in Kashmir, Delhi, and Bengaluru.

Despite coming from a farming family, she didn't become interested in farming until she took her child on a field trip to a strawberry farm.

She expressed to the media her awe at the amazing technology they employed to cultivate vibrant, fresh strawberries. She made a light remark to her husband about how wonderful it would be if someone in Kashmir did the same. Why wait for someone else when we have land, he asked. The choice to leave everything was made over six months of careful thought and investigation.

Insha claims that in her area, only a small number of people were selling unusual vegetables and crops produced using heirloom seeds. She decided on exotic vegetables for her farm.

She used her funds to build up a collection of uncommon seed varieties from domestic and foreign seed banks as well as her maternal grandmother's personal stock.

These seeds wouldn't all grow into crops. She manually removed weeds until she discovered weed-repellant plants as a permanent solution because weed infestation was a serious issue.

She recalls that in order to give some heirloom seeds the extra nutrients they need; she even tried the seedling process in trays. Establishing the ideal soil-to-water ratio for germination, took her close to five months. Another problem was the weather. She continued, saying she was overjoyed when her farm produced lettuce in the summer, but it turned out to be bitter. Finally, healthy cherry tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli, chilies, and bell peppers were beginning to grow by the end of 2019.

She claims to have started "succession farming."

She also started using the intercropping method, mostly to ward against pests. In between the vegetables, she grew pest-repelling plants including garlic, common nettle, and artemisia.

She utilized a fermented concoction of artemisia, neem oil, chilies, onions, and garlic in case of bug invasion.

On her Facebook and Instagram pages, Insha sells her produce. She asserts that most of the produce sells within 24 hours of a post's upload. She added that in November and December of last year, she made close to Rs 8 lakh.

According to Insha, the business has also worked with neighborhood farmers to market unusual veggies and value-added goods like pickles throughout India. Every month, the 32-year-old forms groups with 15 to 20 farmers on average and offers them prices above market rates, the source continues.

Insha plans to soon introduce a poultry department and buy more land for crops after realizing the potential of her business.

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