Virendra Yadav’s journey from obtaining permanent Australian citizenship at the age of 32 to becoming a beacon of innovation for Indian farmers is nothing short of inspirational. Returning to his roots in India, he showcased how challenges, when approached with a solution-driven mindset, can transform lives and environments.
A Return from Down Under:
Virendra Yadav had a settled life in Australia, having acquired permanent citizenship. But the call of his homeland was strong. He, along with his wife and daughters, chose to return to India and embrace the traditional occupation of farming in his native village.
Challenges of Traditional Farming:
As he delved into farming, Virendra faced a major problem: stubble. In India, burning stubble after harvest is a common practice, but it’s also a significant contributor to air pollution.
The consequences of stubble burning hit home hard when the health of his two daughters deteriorated due to the polluted air. This was the turning point for Virendra. He began researching alternatives to stubble burning, driven by the health concerns of his family and the broader community.
A Lucrative Solution:
Virendra discovered that instead of being a waste product, stubble could be sold. This revelation led him to engage with Agro Energy Plants and Paper Mills. Through these collaborations, he ensured that the stubble would fetch a reasonable price.
Scaling the Business:
Not limiting himself to just his farm’s stubble, Virendra expanded his operations. He invested in equipment to compress the stubble into bales, facilitating easier transportation. With support from the Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department, he bought three straw cylinders on a 50% subsidy. Each of these devices, priced at approximately Rs 15 lakh, could create rectangular bales of stubble.
In a short span of two months during the paddy season, Virendra produced bales from 70,000 quintals of stubble harvested across 3,000 acres. These were sold at Sukhbir Agro Energy Plant in Parali village, fetching a rate of ₹135 per quintal. Additionally, he secured a contract to supply 10,000 quintals of stubble to a prominent paper mill.
Virendra’s innovative approach to stubble management has been fruitful. Within a mere two months, he achieved a turnover of Rs 94,50,000. Deducting operational expenses, his net profit stood at a whopping Rs 50 lakh, a figure expected to rise even more by January.
More Than Just Profit:
Beyond the monetary gains, Virendra’s initiative has provided employment opportunities for 200 young individuals. It’s a testament to how innovation can simultaneously address environmental concerns, offer economic benefits, and uplift the community.
Virendra Yadav’s journey is a testament to the idea that challenges, when faced with determination and innovation, can indeed become opportunities. His venture not only adds to his financial stability but also addresses a significant environmental issue and provides livelihoods for many.