Walking in the footsteps of his father, Ravi Marshetwar decided to bring a social reform with his skills and ability. Ravi, who earned an engineering degree and worked for 10 years as a Civil Engineer in Muscat, become a farmer after he witnessed 100- farmers suicide in his area along. He left engineering and tried to bring in prosperity into the lives of farmers by teaching them new skills and spreading awareness. Today, he is well known for his grafting skills, by which he has grown 51 varieties of mangoes on the same tree after grating it for 1350 times.
Ravi told The Better India, “My father was working in various fields to help people. However, the farmers’ ordeal became closest to my heart when I heard of almost thousand farmers committing suicide in my area alone.”
Ravi realized that the lack of awareness the government schemes and subsidies that the farmers were entitled to, resulted in many suicides. He started with a tiny step of reaching out to the farmers and informing them about these schemes. Simultaneously, he started working on his 5 acres of ancestral land.
Ravi decided on a high-density mango plantation, growing 1,000 mango trees in just 2.5 acres of his land and using the leftover land for personal consumption
“Most of the problems that farmers were facing were due to lack of awareness and knowledge. It was high time that someone would selflessly guide them in their native language and I decided to be that catalyst,” says Ravi.
Being the dedicated man that he is, Ravi started digging for successful farmers to get more information about farming and learn new techniques. He has conducted over 500 such agri-tours with the farmers of Vidarbha across India.
But in 2005 his life changed when he came across a farmer who was awarded the Padmshri for his work in farming. This farmer was Subhash Palekar, who has evolved the concept of natural farming. Bringing natural farming into the farmer's life along with the technique of grafting earned him many praises. The crops were doing good and the farmers were happy.
Ravi Marshetwar showing 51 varieties of mango to one tree in his organic farm at washim. pic.twitter.com/XXcORbCZHf— Ravi Marshetwar (@ravimarshetwar) December 14, 2015
Ravi also grew famous for one particular mango tree on his farm which is almost 50 years old, has 51 varieties of mangoes growing on it. He said, “Once during the agri-trips, I met Devrikar Kaka, a farmer in Osmanabad district of Maharashtra. He had grown almost 15 varieties of mangoes on one tree through grafting. I learned the technique from him and thought of saving the varieties of mangoes that were going extinct this way.”
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Ravi collected all the rarest varieties of mangoes, even those who were endangered from agri-universities and grafted them in his tree. His motto was to save the rare mango species before they go extinct. Now he even gives free lessons of grafting to whoever comes to him.
The tree has not only made him popular but it is actually bearing him fruit in terms of good income