In this website, you already have access to all the technical information you need to produce a lot of food. You really do. We have gone out of our way and bent over backwards to find all the information that you need working with minimal tools and minimal input to coax a lot of blessings out of the land.

However, believe it or not doing that is not enough. Achieving all that will not ensure that you’ll become successful because we’ve seen many times over really productive farmers producing a lot of food end up being ripped off by itinerant middle men who pay them cents on the dollar. It’s not unusual for certain remote places in India for a farmer to produce $100 worth of crops to be paid only $1. I know it sounds crazy, but people fall for this bum deal day in, day out.

If you want to be a successful farmer, you don’t have to play the game this way. Well, not quite. You’re going to have to play this game for quite some time and then put yourself in a position to transcend this game. What am I talking about?

Let me tell you one of the success stories of a person who used this website. His name is Ankur. For privacy purposes, I’m not going to give out his last name. He lives in one of the most impoverished rural regions in India. Again, this area is not poor because the soil is poor. This area is not poor because the people are dumb or lazy. Instead, it’s because of messed-up landholding patterns and local dynasties.

Ankur got to our site, and he learned how to do back-to-Eden farming. He took the small plot of land that he had access to. He didn’t own the land. He was just renting it on a crop-sharing basis and implemented our plan. Sure enough, he was able to produce a huge yield using wood chips as mulch via wood crops. In other words, he would grow trees, and he would recycle the branches and the leaves, feed them to a goat, create more manure, and the branches he would chop for mulch. This creates a self-fertilizing and self-sustaining bed for the wood farm. He would leave a lot of the branches to grow out until they get thick enough, then he would harvest them and turn them into charcoal.

Since charcoal in his farm town was a prized commodity, he was able to fetch a lot more money for charcoal than he would if he had produced a bumper crop of tomatoes or bitter melon or garbanzo beans. So, he would keep selling charcoal and instead of spending all the money, he would always set aside 20% and after around two-and-a-half years of doing this, he’d saved up enough money to buy the plot of land and lease out the other areas.

This is a big development because when you lease land, you are free from the 80:20 split. When you lease land and you’re paying actual rent for the land that you’re using, you get 100% of the produce of the land. So, he planted fast-growing wood plants that can be turned into charcoal. This is another trick he learned from this website.

He also invested in a cow. The cow was very sickly. It did not produce any milk even though it’s female, but it didn’t matter. Believe it or not he bought the cow for the manure it produces. So, he would compost the manure by chopping up leaves and then he would layer this organic fertilizer to the larger land area that he owned and the close-by areas that he rented.

After one year passed, he had enough money for a shredder so he no longer had to do things by hand. His kids no longer had to help him. They can go to school full time. Thanks, to the shredder, he was able to shred leaves and chip thin branches more efficiently, and this enabled him to thicken the mulch. In fact, he was creating so much mulch thanks to the shredder that he was forced to rent out even more land. By this point, he was making enough charcoal to afford that.

To cut a long story short, Ankur is now a very wealthy man in his town because he is one of the largest landowners, and he also has a truck that sells charcoal directly from its bed to a highway near a major city in India. Instead of going through a middle man and getting paid cents on the dollar, Ankur makes a lot more money and people save money buying from him. It’s a win-win situation. The farmer makes more money, and the consumers in the cities spend less money. It is possible if you cut out the middle man.

It is our hope that this website creates more Ankurs, because with new Ankurs, there are more kids going to college, learning the right agricultural technology and coming back and transforming their home regions. It also means more jobs. It also means hope in the countryside because poverty, ultimately, is a mindset. With the right information and, most importantly, belief in oneself and the willingness to work hard, we can overcome anything.

© 2018 ASSEFA Italia