Age: 49 years
Farming since: 1992
Organic Farming since: 1996
Education: BSc in Agriculture
In 1992, at the young age of 23, Makrand Dani, hailing from Panchincholi, a village in Nilanga Taluka, Latur District of Maharashtra, returned to his village after completing his graduation in agriculture from a college in Kolhapur. The only son, like his father he took up a job in a nearby sugarcane factory while also farming their 10 acre farm. As was the prevalent practice then, plenty of chemicals, pesticides and fertilisers for maintaining the soil and combating pests and diseases were used.
Having studied agricultural science, Makrand was quick to note that the benefits of using chemicals, be they pesticides or fertilisers, were temporary, as diseases recurred as soon as the effect of the chemicals wore off. Additionally, the constant spraying of chemicals depleted the soil, which meant that he had to add more fertilisers. Worried about the increase in cultivation costs that reduced his profits, he knew he had to look for other solutions.