In Odia, there is a famous saying ‘Chasa Kama Jahara Kede Sukha Tahara’, which can loosely be translated as ‘Those who raise crops live happily’. A farmer of Kotibadi village under Surada block in Ganjam district has proved this once again as he is earning lakhs of rupees from lemon cultivation.
As lemon is a favourite of poor and rich alike, Kali Charan Panigrahi, a resident of Kotibadi village, once decided to try his luck in lemon cultivation. He started with only ten plants and now there are over 2000 trees in his orchard. What started as just a humble beginning is now paying dividends to Kali Charan and his siblings.
“Lemon is a cash crop. We three brothers are earning Rs 2 lakh each a year. We have not received any government help as yet,” said Kali Charan.
Besides being able to be self-reliant, he has also provided employment to some village women. These women are happy that they are no longer going out in search of work.
“We are working in the lemon orchard. We come at 7am and continue to work till 11 am, as per requirement. We are happy because our search for work has ended now,” said Bilas Sethi, a woman farm labourer.
The lemons grown in Kali Charan’s orchard are transported to nearby markets where they are sold like hot cakes.