Deesa Aloo is considered to be one of the best varieties of potatoes in Gujarat. The Deesa tehsil of Banaskantha district is considered to be its hub. 6% of the total potato production in the country is in Banaskantha, but growing this potato in the climate of Saurashtra is no less than a challenge. Most of the farmers here believe that Dissa potato farming cannot be done here, because the water here is saline, which is not considered favorable for potato farming.
But, Tulsi Gondalia, who hails from Gondal tehsil, has proved this notion wrong with his hard work and new technology. He has produced 12 tonnes of potatoes on a bigha land. The special thing is that these potatoes are completely organic. Many of these potatoes have more than half a kilogram of weight.
The priest gave advice on organic potato cultivation
Tulsi used to cultivate traditional crops earlier. Two years ago, Aruni Bhagat, the priest of Akshardham temple in Gondal, advised her to cultivate potatoes in an organic way. For me this work was challenging. I met some experts, learned the technique of growing organic potatoes from them. After this, last year I cultivated potatoes on a bigha land for the first time. Tulsi says that the first year got a good response. Potatoes were ready in just three months.
How to make salt water sweet?
Tulsi explains that the water that comes out of the land here is very salty. If this water is used as irrigation, potato test gets spoiled and production is also reduced. Therefore, farmers here do not cultivate potatoes. I started collecting water from the neardam to get rid of saltwater. Then conserved rain water. After this, jaggery was added to it. This changed the water test. Tulsi irrigates potatoes with this water.
Seed bought for 35,000 rupees
Tulsi says that he bought 14 quintal potato seeds at Rs 50 per kg. A cost of 35 thousand rupees was incurred for this. They did not use any kind of chemical fertilizer. After sowing, sprayed asafetida water, cow urine and buttermilk every fifteen days to protect it from insects. He used drip method for irrigation. Due to which the potato was prepared in less expense and less time. This year, he is estimated to earn up to Rs 1.5 lakh from a bigha cultivation.