Surendranagar, like much of Gujarat’s Saurashtra region, is reeling under drought. Most farmers in this district, which is India’s largest cotton producer, have harvested little crop following last year’s monsoon failure. Hamirsinh Parmar from Gautamgadh village in Surendranagar’s Muli taluka is an exception. He hasn’t taken much of a hit — thanks to the income from his lemon orchard and the higher prices of his organically-farmed produce.
Parmar has six hectares land, on which his lemon orchard is in a plot measuring around 1.6 hectares. “I was growing cotton and groundnut, whose market prices and yields were prone to fluctuations. About 25 years ago, I decided to develop this particular plot into an orchard by planting 220 lemon saplings,” he states.