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Organic farming - some positive news

posted Jun 19, 2012, 7:19 PM by Balachandran Chidambaranatraj   [ updated Jun 19, 2012, 7:27 PM ]
    *Shot in the arm for organic farming*
    M N Kulkarni,June
    18,2012<Deccan Herald News>
     
    *Organic farming seems to have caught on in a big way in the State. Take
    Takkalupalya village in C N Halli taluk of Tumkur district, where 106
    families have adopted organic farming practices. All the organic farmers in
    the village have taken up vermicomposting.
    *
    This has resulted in reduced application of chemical fertilisers. Farmers
    here have been able to save Rs 1,500 to 2,000 because they are using fewer
    quantities of fertilisers.
     
    It is the same story in H Madalli village of Gundlupet taluk. As many as 80
    farmers have adopted various organic farming methods.
     
    One of them, P Kadappa, has been successful in reaping the benefits of
    organic farming. Earlier, he struggled to meet the high input costs of
    modern agricultural practices. He also faced the problem of repayment of
    crop loans. It was at this juncture that he came in contact with the
    organic farming project of the State government and became part of it.
     
    As part of the activities, he participated in a farm visit to the organic
    farm of Kodi Papanna, former legislator of Hunsur. Preparation of
    jeevamrutha (an organic concoction comprising grains, cow urine, dung,
    etc), vermicomposting, mulching and other activities adopted by Papanna
    inspired Kadappa.
     
    Today, he has adopted organic farming on his 2.8 hectares of land. He has
    been able to raise jowar, ragi, cowpea, onion, turmeric and red gram
    organically. Rangaiah, a small farmer adopted organic farming practices in
    Upparahalli village of Tumkur district.
     
    “Earlier, I used to spend Rs 6,000 on fertilisers and pesticides for
    vegetable cultivation on four guntas. This year, I have saved this money by
    following organic methods,” he points out.
     
    All these farmers are part of the third phase of the implementation of the
    government’s organic village/site programme in all taluks of the State.
    Initially, model organic sites of about 100 ha. were being developed one in
    each district. With the success of the programmes, the government decided
    to extend this programme to the taluk level from 2006-07 onwards.
     
    “Availability of good quality compost in large quantities and the
    individual farmer’s determination is the key for success of organic
    farming. NGOs need to guide farmers properly and help in marketing of
    organic produce,” explains N C Nagaraj, Assistant Director of Agriculture
    and Nodal Officer, Organic Farming Section, Department of Agriculture,
    Tumkur.
     
    Under the project, each organic block consists of 100 hectares. The project
    aims to create viable demonstrations of organic farming practices with
    community participation.
     
    This has been achieved through a menu of activities including different
    composting methods like vermicomposting, botanical preparations for the
    control of pests and diseases, mixed and multiple cropping systems,
    planting of fruit and forestry species, fodder promotion, support for dairy
    animals, soil and water conservation, promotion of bio digesters, azola
    cultivation, collection of cattle urine as an alternative for urea,
    preparation and use of organic manure and fertilisers.
     
    The project is being monitored by the Department of Agriculture at the
    taluk level and at the district level. A committee consisting of
    progressive farmers of each village under the project is being formed for
    the smooth implementation of the project and to involve the community in
    the implementation processes.
     
     
    Nemani, Chandrasekhar
    Program Officer (Information)
    Watershed Support Services and Activities Network (WASSAN)
    12-13-452, Street No. 1, Tarnaka, Secunderabad - 500 017, India