We are all aware of the plight of farmers in India. With the changing times, there is a need for modern techniques and methods in the fields of agriculture as well. But, lack of awareness among most of the farmers is the root cause of their plight. In such a situation, it becomes the responsibility of all of us to make the farmers around us aware. Realizing this responsibility very well, Rajasthan’s Yogesh Joshi took the initiative to help the farmers. Today he is working towards bringing a positive change in the lives of thousands of farmers through his Rs 50 crore organic farming business.
Most of the people in Yogesh’s family do government jobs. His father is the chief officer in the municipality and he always wanted his son to get a respectable degree and a secure job. Being an obedient son, Yogesh did the same. After completing his degree in agricultural science, he graduated with a diploma in organic farming. He started his career in the year 2006 with a monthly job of Rs 8000. However, despite working for 4 years, his salary was only Rs 12,000 per month, this disheartened Yogesh and in 2010 he decided to quit his job and start an organic farming business.
In an exclusive conversation with, Yogesh told that the reason behind stepping into organic farming was to protect people from diseases like diabetes, cancer. People in western countries have already started consuming organic fruits and vegetables. Its practice in India has started recently. However, after the corona epidemic, people are placing more emphasis on organic food.
Yogesh’s sole aim was to help farmers grow organic food. Under this scheme, he would buy organic fruits and vegetables by paying higher prices to farmers and then sell them to big companies who want to buy organic food at premium prices. With this aim, he started organic farming of cumin with the help of seven farmers. However, due to his lack of practical experience, Yogesh did not allow enough time in the fields to make the soil completely free of chemicals and this made the first crop useless.
He shares, “The fields need three years to reduce the use of chemicals and gradually increase the use of organic fertilizers. We did not follow this process, which led to failure and many farmers lost their faith in me.
But Yogesh stuck to his intention. He learned from his mistakes and figured out the right ways to grow organic produce. And after three years, his grit and determination finally made him taste success. He did not have much money to invest in this project, so he sought the help of his friends and managed to raise an investment of Rs 1.5 lakh.
He recalls about his struggle, “I used to eat only twice a day – breakfast and dinner because I would be on the farm all day explaining the importance of organic farming to farmers and there was no time to eat in between. Was getting But I always knew that my hard work would pay off.”
Soon Yogesh’s philanthropic idea of helping farmers in India and abroad grow organic produce and sell their crops at premium prices made headlines on news platforms. And as soon as people realized that Yogesh was doing great work, the farmers themselves started coming to him.
Yogesh explains that “Initially my father was disappointed that I had given up a stagnant life to do business, but once the orders started coming in he also started taking interest in my work and made me take the work to a bigger level. Also helped in getting the loan to go.”
A simple beginning that started 10 years ago has grown into a big organization today. Yogesh’s company, Rapid Organic, now provides seeds, technology, organic fertilizers and complete support to nearly 3,000 farmers, helping them grow organic produce. Even those people get loans who have financial problems and then the company also buys crops from them at reasonable prices. Not only this, he has also helped 10,000 farmers to get organic farming certificates. Presently the company buys 2-3 thousand tonnes of organic crops from farmers and sells them in India and abroad, including Japan, USA, Europe and other countries.
Yogesh’s company, which started with an investment of Rs 1.5 lakh, is now doing a business of more than 50 crores with the help of more than 50 employees. Apart from this, his wife Aruna Joshi also works with him as a director and has even received the award for Women Entrepreneurship from Textiles Minister Smriti Irani for her initiative to work with women farmers. Yogesh has been awarded several times by Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari and Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. He now wants to start producing organic superfoods in every state as each state has its own unique crop and wants to sell this product worldwide.
Yogesh’s success-mantra for aspiring entrepreneurs is that “A thousand days of hard work in any profession will surely bring you long-term success. Just because someone doesn’t get instant success doesn’t mean they should keep jumping from one profession to another.
Yogesh’s story is indeed full of inspiration, especially for those who underestimate agriculture. He has proved with his success that nothing is impossible in this world if there is strong willpower and desire to do something.