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A brief biography
As in 2022
January 18, 2022: The Times of India
JAIPUR: A Class 10 dropout, Hukumchand Patidar from Jhalawar, is designing the curriculum on organic farming for agricultural universities in the country.
Patidar, a farmer from Manpura village, was awarded the Padma Shri in 2018 for his contribution in promoting organic farming. In the following year, in 2019, he was conferred the civilian award by President Ram Nath Kovind for his knowledge in organic farming. He is part of the national committee working on the curriculum under the Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR), an autonomous body under the Union ministry of agriculture. From the coming session, agricultural universities, which follow ICAR rules, will have courses on the subject. The state has four agricultural universities — the highest in the country. The task assigned to the committee was to frame the curriculum from Class XI to the PhD level.
The committee members include noted scientists, academicians and the only expert who doesn’t hold any formal degree is Patidar. “So far, the agriculture universities run courses like BSc, MSc and PhD in horticulture and agriculture. This is for the first time, the course 'Prakratik evam Govansh Adharit Krishi' (natural and cow dung related agriculture) will be introduced in schools, colleges and universities,” said Patidar.
He has expertise in organic farming and his farm produces oranges, pulses, onion, coriander and fennel seeds which are exported to Europe.
“Over the years, I have introduced several measures on the farmland which has increased the carbon content in the land. The resultant impact is that land has become conducive for the growth of microorganisms and insects which are required for enhancing the soil value. The appropriate use of 'Panchgavya' (five elements extracted from cows) further adds nutrients in the soil making the crop healthier,” said Patidar. He is also credited for declaring his village a chemical-free farming area by encouraging 150 farmers to adopt traditional means of farming. He has been giving consultancy to state agricultural universities and departments on the subject.
He may not be an academic in terms of modern education, but gives credit to starting the traditional farming revolution to ancient texts and manuscripts. “I will disclose how the ancient texts have helped me in the field of traditional farming at the meeting with committee members,” said Patidar.
Of the 14 committee members, two more are from Rajasthan — Arun Sharma, a scientist at Central Arid Zone Research Institute, and academician Ratan Lal Daga from Jodhpur. The committee will submit its report in two months and the course is likely to be introduced from the upcoming academic session.