ibnlive » India

Dec 23, 2006 at 08:21pm IST

Eureka! Maharashtra farmers got IT

Pune: Vikram Jadhavrao of Nanded village near Pune owns 12 acres of fertile land but things are not looking up for him since factors like high labour and fertilizer cost have reduced earnings.

“We've been suffering losses for the past two years and not just me but the whole village,” said Jadhavrao.

Now, Jadhavrao and his fellow villagers are planning to emulate the example of Magarpatta village where farmers decided to lease out their land to IT firms and for residential colonies.

The scheme ensures higher earnings while retaining their ownership in the land. As builders and contractors, they will own 49 per cent stake in the new township and profits will be divided equally among them.

"We are looking at becoming a part of the development process. So we are creating entrepreneurs and once they get in to business, forward integration will take place," said Managing Director of Magarpatta Township Development and Construction Company, Satish Magar.

Despite suffering losses the farmers did not sell off their farmland and driven by the winds of change, these farmers instead decided to utilise the farmlands into what they understand would be a profitable long-term business.

The Magarpatta model probably suggests an alternative as it shows how urbanisation can also benefit farmers by making them a part of it.

(With inputs from Jemima Rohekar)