Repellant bio-spray helps keep stray cattle away from damaging crops
A Tamil Nadu-based startup has come up with a bio-liquid spray which is helping farmers in Uttar Pradesh’s Basti district to keep stray cattle from damaging crops. Herboliv+ is made of botanical extracts and natural products, and it makes the crops non-palatable for wild and stray animals.
Ashish Anand 28 Sep 2022 9:47 AM GMT
Prior to last year, Nitesh Kumar, a 20-year-old farmer from Uttar Pradesh's Basti district suffered heavy crop losses due to stray cattle and wild animal attacks. However, after using Herboliv+, a cattle repellent spray, he said his losses are now minimal.
"I used to suffer losses ranging from 30 per cent to 40 per cent due to wild animals such as Neelgai, shahi (porcupine), wild boar, peacock, etc entering and grazing my fields. Then I sprayed Herboliv+ in my field and was surprised with the result," Kumar, who cultivates wheat and paddy on his 1.5 bigha [0.3 hectares] of land in Ghughsa village in Bankati block of Basti district, told Gaon Connection.
"Herboliv+ saved my farm from the attacks by animals. Also, the growth of grain was also good, and the requirement of urea and other fertilisers decreased," he said.
Kumar was amongst the first few farmers who were provided with the bio-spray by the Transform Rural India Foundation (TRIF), a Delhi-based non-governmental organisation working to promote rural livelihoods across the country.
"I thought the spray is a great spray is a great solution to end our misery and farmers must know about this, so I started motivating people to use it and also trained them about its usage," the farmer said.
In due course of process for agri-entrepreneur, his "business plan was approved by the members of Saheli Gram Sangthan and Satyam CLF [Cluster Level Federation], keeping in the mind that it would benefit around 1,700 households," Kumar shared with Gaon Connection.
Herboliv+ is a bio-liquid manufactured by a Tamil Nadu based startup named MIVIPRO and is tested and certified by Coimbatore-based Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU).
Gaurav Misra, cluster development manager of MIVIPRO in Uttar Pradesh, told Gaon Connection that the Herboliv+ is made of botanical extracts and natural products.
"It distorts the odour of the crops and makes them non- palatable for wild and stray animals without harming them and affecting the crop quality and environment," Misra said
."It also protects the crops from pests, insects, and fungal diseases, maintains the organic nature of crops, and improves soil fertility and the quality and taste of the end product," he added.
During the pilot testing stage, Herboliv+ is sprayed using drones, after which the farmers spray the bio-liquid on their own.
Bio-spray getting popular among farmers
Nitesh Kumar is designated as the 'agricultural entrepreneur' who has also been awarded with a contract for the distribution and sale of the bio-spray liquid Herboliv+.
"I noticed a high demand for this spray and positive impact amongst the farmers so I took the distribution agency. I get the spray for a cost of fifty rupees per litre and sell it for seventy rupees a litre. There's a demand for almost 500 liters of this spray in and around my village," he informed.
"If any farmer buys it from me then I spray it for the first time in their field by myself and teach them about it. Both farmers and I make profit from it," said Kumar.
Anita, a 28-year-old farmer who happened to be Deepak CLF Leader is amongst the farmers from 225 villages who are at present using Herboliv+ spray in Bankati block.
"I tested the spray on my one bigha field out of the total 8 bighas I cultivate on. I witnessed more greenery in the Herboliv+ sprayed field and not a single crop being destroyed by animals. In comparison to other fields, I harvested one and a half quintal [100 kilogrammes] more wheat by using the spray. After getting the positive result, I told every didi (woman farmer) about it and showed them my fields," Anita told Gaon Connection.
"In this kharif [summer] season, I sprayed in two bigha paddy fields. After less rainfall, this monsoon my crops are still greener by using the spray. Also not been destroyed by animals and insects so far. I will get a good harvest this year compared to last year," she added.
Herboliv+spray enhances soil quality, increased production
According to Gaurav Misra of MIVIPRO, the spray can be used for all crops aged more than a month. "The average usage is fourteen litres of Herboliv+ for an acre of field. In the first month, one spray every week and after that one spray every 15 days is needed. A single crop requires at least four sprays. Spray should only be done in the morning and evening. There is no side effect of the Herboliv+ known so far," he said.
The functionary from the bio-spray producing start-up informed that in the initial phase of the project, they focused on those areas in Uttar Pradesh which are severely affected by stray and wild animals and then began exploring for the organisation which is directly working with farmers of that area on ground level.
"During this search we came across TRIF and started our first operation in Uttar Pradesh in the Bankati block of Basti. Then we expanded our operation in Lakhimpur and Bahraich as well. Currently we are working with around 1,000 farmers," Misra said.
TRIF has provided a meeting ground for the self-help group members and the start-up. The cluster level federation now leads awareness programmes and motivates farmers to use Herboliv+ and also trains them for use and spray.
"During pilot testing in which we used a drone, we witnessed that the fields where Herboliv+ is sprayed were untouched by animals, crops looked greener, and the number of stems were 30 to 50 more. In the adjacent field where Herboliv+ was not sprayed, was grazed by animals, was less green, and the number of stems were 12 to 15," Shekhar Anand, block manager of TRIF in Bankati told Gaon Connection.
Kishmati Devi, a 50-year-old farmer of Rauta village of Bankati agreed with Anand. "Last year I reaped five to six quintals of paddy in a bigha after losing three to four quintals because of the animals. After a drought like situation this time I am expecting a good harvest, around 10 to 11 quintals in a bigha. It will give me a benefit of 5,000 to 7,000 rupees. I sprayed 12 litres of spray four times in my field," she said.
This story has been published as part of collaboration with Transform Rural India Foundation.