Hailing from Hamirpur of Amreli district, Gujarat, Hardik Rokad (24), who was awarded the ‘Best Student Award’ from the College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Junagadh Agricultural University, Junagadh, Gujarat, is a new case in point for the youth who return to the farming occupation after obtaining professional education and exposure.
Mr. Rokad is involved in promoting Plasticulture in vegetable cultivation in Saurashtra region of Gujarat. “Greenhouse cultivation often termed Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), increases yield at a reduced cost,” he says.
I was fascinated by Plasticulture technologies during my studies. ‘Soilless (hydroponic) cultivation of Tomato in Greenhouse’ was my topic for research. I visited many farms and studied greenhouse technologies, micro-irrigation systems, plastic mulching etc.” After graduation, Mr. Rokad returned to his village to start his own ‘Agriventure’, but mobilizing initial nance was a challenge.
At this juncture, he joined Agri-Clinics and Agri-Business Centres (AC & ABC) training at Shashwat Sheti Vikas Pratishthan in Amreli, which gave him entrepreneurial skills and avenues for nance. Mr. Rokad registered an agriventure called ‘Prism Agritech Solution’ and started consultancy services on plasticulture.
He encouraged and helped farmers to adopt greenhouse technologies. He prepared complete packages of practices for different crops on production, protection, post-harvest technology, and marketing.
Simultaneously, he recruited three science graduates and trained them on the cultivation of vegetables in the greenhouse. Mr. Rokad selected capsicum, cucumber and tomato crops for a live demonstration in the greenhouse. Neighboring farmers visited the rm to learn about vegetable cultivation techniques in the greenhouse.
Prism Agritech Solution provides consultancy to farmers on greenhouse technologies, plastic mulching and micro-irrigation systems. Mr. Rokad is also popularising the construction of plastic-lined farm ponds near a greenhouse to conserve water in order to overcome the scarcity of water during the off-season.
Mr. Rokad wants to expand his business in ozone technology for food and air puri cation. His message to budding ‘Agripreneurs’ is: “Be passionate in your profession”.