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India: ‘Banana village’ tells a success story

It is a story of rags to riches. Budhia brothers have turned banana cultivation in Kanakpur village near Bhawanipatna into a money-spinner and inspired others to replicate it.

Now, the village is called banana village. They are four brothers - Murali, Prahallad, Subala and Thabira. As they had only 2 acre 26 decimals of rainfed agriculture land which was not adequate to sustain the family, all of them were forced to work as daily labourers to add to their income.

They were staying in a small cottage and struggling to make ends meet. 1992 proved to be watershed year for them as they became government beneficiary for a dug well.

By the guidance of Horticulture department, they started banana cultivation on trial. This was the beginning of their rise. Gradually with the profits gained from banana farming, they purchased 13 acres of land.

On nine acres, they grew different dwarf varieties of banana and paddy and pulses on rest. From banana cultivation on each acre they are getting Rs 1 lakh. Inspired by the success of Budhia brothers, more and more farmers of Kanakpur village as well as of nearby villages have now taken to banana cultivation.

In Kanakpur village alone in more than 100 acres banana has been grown. It is certainly profitable to get about Rs 1 lakh from one acre of banana cultivation, Deputy Director, Horticulture, Dharanidhar Patra said.

The success has transformed the lives of Budhia brothers. Now all the four brothers have pucca buildings, children are studying in private schools and their houses have amenities like TV and phone. They also own power tillers and diesel pump sets for agricultural operations.

The eldest among the Budhia brothers Murali Budhia said perseverance and dedication made them turn the corner.

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