My dear friends, the aim of farming is earning money. Unfortunately, however, farming as a whole is unrenumerative today for several reasons that have been highlighted in my past columns. But this also does not mean there is no one to do farming in villages today. The secret lies in how to sustain farming by generating extra income. I want to share the case of K K Somasundaram from Sinthagoundanpalayam village in Anthiyur Taluk, Erode with you.
Primarily farming-based, this village is well known in all the four mada streets of the famous holy town of Srirangam for its bathing soap made popular by Somasundaram alias Somu. The residents of the four mada streets look forward for the monthly afternoon visit by “Soap Somasundaram”. Somu owns one kangayam cow and religiously collects its urine and dung several times a day. Both these form the base material for the soaps. Apart from this he adds neem leaves, gingelly oil, camphor and some herbs.
All the inputs are pulverized, sieved and mixed with oil to make a fine paste which is placed in a device. The soaps are packed and dried for 10 days before they are packed and sold. In a day he makes some hundred pieces of the oblong-shaped soap and takes an overnight bus every month to supply these soaps to Srirangam where they are considered sacred since they are made from cow waste. In a month he earns anywhere from Rs 30,000 to Rs 35,000 selling these soaps. Many of his customers place bulk orders to take it to their children living in foreign countries.
The farmer underwent training in institutes like Go-Vigyan Anushandhan Kendra, Nagpur for manufacturing cow-based products. Currently he produces 10 different types of products such as soap, tooth powder, hair oil, pain relief oil, facial powder, incence stick and shampoo. He is able to generate employment opportunities to his family members and also to the village residents throughout the year. All his products are marketed through direct contact and other sources like uzhavan
angadi (farmers mall) promoted by organic farmers federation in Erode. Many farmers inspired by him have approached him for guidance to start similar soap making units. “New customers become my regular clients once they start using the product since it is made of natural inputs devoid of chemicals or preservatives,” he says.
Myrada Kvk in Gobichetyypalayam under P Alagesan encouraged Somu to expand his area of operation and interest. So just think if Somu can do wonders with just one native cow, why can’t we also try to think out of our hats? The solution lies in just being able to think differently.
Those interested can reach Somasundaram, Sriranga Gaushala Products, Sinthagoundampalayam (Po), Appakudal, via, Anthiyur Taluk – 638313, Erode district, Tamil Nadu.
Phone: 9442931794, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.