A struggling farm is transformed into a successful business earning over Rs 10 crore per year by an organic farmer.
Rakesh Chowdhary, a 40-year-old farmer hailing from Rajasthan’s Nagaur district, grew up in a farming household and remained committed to agriculture even after pursuing a BSc degree from Jaipur.
While many people who pursue higher education tend to seek jobs, Rakesh Chowdhary had a different plan in mind. Despite earning a degree, he was determined to return to his family farm and successfully did so.
Although Rakesh Chowdhary was determined to pursue medicinal farming instead of traditional farming upon returning to his family farm, he faced resistance from friends and family who were hesitant to try something new and unfamiliar. Nonetheless, he remained resolute and seized the opportunity.
In 2003, Rakesh Chowdhary found the State Medicinal Plant Board’s farming programme that offered subsidies to farmers. This discovery motivated him to follow his dream of medicinal farming.
Rakesh Chowdhary overcame numerous challenges to establish Vinayak Herbal, a thriving business that earns him over Rs 10 crore yearly. With farms in multiple states and over 50,000 employed farmers, he is an accomplished entrepreneur and role model for those interested in agriculture.
Rakesh faced many hurdles on his journey to success. Initially, he faced resistance from his family when he revealed his plans to pursue medicinal farming. Additionally, he struggled with a lack of funding and resources as a small farmer without any assets to mortgage. Despite these challenges, he persevered and turned his vision into a thriving business.
Rakesh’s thirst for knowledge led him to study and understand the soil better, learning from his past mistakes. He developed a checklist before planting crops, considering factors like climate, crop quality, and market demand. By 2005, Rakesh had a deep understanding of the Rajasthani farming system, including the soil, crop, and climate requirements.
After overcoming many obstacles in the early years of cultivation, Rakesh established Vinayak Herbal in 2017. He collaborated with farmers from all over the country to successfully cultivate medicinal plants, which he then sold to pharmaceutical companies and dealers.
Rakesh believes that more young people should consider farming as a viable career option. According to him, only 30 percent of the younger generation from farming families choose to pursue agriculture, due to the disorganization in the sector and farmers’ losses. He aims to change this perception by showcasing the profitability of farming with proper knowledge, resources, and perseverance, despite the challenges.
Rakesh believes that with proper planning, a market-focused approach, and fair pricing, the situation can be improved. It is becoming increasingly important because, without it, there will be farms but no one to take care of them. Rakesh is motivating young people to consider farming as a career, and with his efforts, he hopes to make the industry sustainable.