24 Jul, 2020

Farmers are forced to work daily wage jobs during offseasons, this start-up is changing that.

Considered one of the most backward districts of Odisha, Kalahandihas been witness to drought, persistent crop failure and migration in search ofwork. A young entrepreneur is out to bring about change by promoting self-reliancein farming through her start-up, Manikstu Agro. The venture, launched threeyears ago by Jayanti Mahapatra, has opened up avenues for horticulture andgoatery in the district. When I first visited Kalahandi after I decided to takea break from my career, I realised the economic disparity that existed here.

There warehouses without electricity, a low literacy rate, aper capita income as low as Rs 15,000 per annum and much more. My husband and Iwere always passionate about agriculture and we had visited a lot of high-techfarms, agro companies, dairies, poultries and other agri-ventures and wonderedwhy we couldn’t dosomething similar in Odisha. This is why we started Manikstuin Kalahandi,” shesays. Manikstu, meaning blessing in the lap of GoddessManikeshwari, was registered in 2015.

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