12 Feb 2024  |   03:50am IST

Young math graduate revitalizes agriculture in Ibrampur, inspires youth to farm

Like many young people, Dheeraj Naik lacked interest in agriculture and chose the city life and a hefty salary, but after a close brush with death due to Covid-19, he realised the selfishness in pursuing wealth alone, and decided to pursue agriculture
Young math graduate revitalizes agriculture in Ibrampur, inspires youth to farm


PERNEM: Agriculture has long been regarded as an unrewarding profession, and farmers are often lacking in dignity. 

Despite India’s historical dependence on agriculture, farmers have consistently suffered due to lack of education and exploitation. However, Dheeraj Naik, a young 30-year-old math graduate, is working to change this narrative. He advocates for educated individuals to enter 

farming and utilise modern technology for maximum benefit.

Hailing from the backward village of Ibrampur in Pernem, Dheeraj had initially aspired to become a mathematics teacher. Despite coming from an agricultural background, he, like many young people, lacked interest in farming. After graduating, he secured a job at GMR airport in Hyderabad through his contacts. However, a near-death experience with Covid-19 caused a shift in his perspective. “To be very frank, though we have an agriculture land of 10 acres and my family makes a living from agriculture, I had no interest as I felt that there is nothing to benefit. Farming offers no big salary, requires hard work, and I did not see a future in it. It was finally when Covid struck me and I had a brush with certain death, that I realised that living for yourself to make money is selfish. So, I decided to pursue agriculture and inspire youth to do the same,” he says.

“If you receive moral support, if not financial, from your family, you can achieve wonders. About three years ago, with the support of my family, I set up this three cubic meter plant. Today, all our cooking is done using methane gas. We haven’t used LPG gas since then, and our food is both tasty and safe. There is no smoke or toxicity emitted. This is just one example of an agriculture-related technique I have implemented. There are many more advancements that can be explored and 

implemented,” says Dheeraj earnestly.

Dheeraj noticed that many farmers lacked platforms to sell their produce and were facing numerous obstacles, which saddened him. Despite the vital role farmers play in society, they often lack financial support and face societal stigma. Undeterred, Dheeraj embarked on a mission to educate and unite farmers, promoting modernised and integrated farming techniques.

Utilising his education, Dheeraj implemented innovative agricultural practices, such as setting up a biogas plant fuelled by cow dung. 

This not only provided an eco-friendly energy source but also yielded compost for farming. Despite challenges like wildlife threats to crops in Ibrampur, Dheeraj remains resilient, believing that solutions should be sought from the government while he focuses on his role in farming.

Dheeraj advocates for collective action among farmers to improve crop yields and explore agro-tourism opportunities. He envisions Goan agricultural products gaining recognition globally, possibly facilitated by Mopa airport. 

Urging youth with land and resources to engage in agriculture, he highlights its importance, especially during crises like the Covid-19 pandemic.

In his four years of active involvement, Dheeraj has united farmers, established markets for their produce, and motivated many to enter the agro-industry. He considers himself an inspirational figure, but acknowledges there’s still progress to be made until all farmers benefit fully.


Iddhar Udhar