Promoting Grass

Ajeet Thakur has been promoting the cultivation of bamboo and has set up one-of-its- kind nursery solely devoted to bamboo in Chinchwad, writes Hiren Kumar Bose

thakur

“It was sometime in 1981 that I first saw a giant bamboo,” begins Ajeet Thakur as we meet him in his Chinchwad-based bungalow home on a November evening. “It could hide a full-grown child.”

Ever since then, Thakur, a mechanical engineer, now in his late sixties, has been obsessive about the variety of grass which we all know as bamboo. His bungalow, Nathkutee, is home to scores of bamboo saplings at different stages of growth. Standing close to a bamboo grove, he points out: “This is Dendrocalamus Giganteus, one of the largest bamboo species in the world which aroused my fascination for the bamboo.”

It took Thakur almost 10 years to lay his hands on saplings of the giant bamboo. “I had put an order for 100 planting material with a Tamil Nadu farmer but months later when I reached with my truck to collect them I was handed only 34 of them for he was pressed by the officials to sell them only to locals. You can imagine how economical was my trip bringing them to Pune,” remembers Thakur.

The giant bamboo reaches a height of 30-40 m and within three years achieves a diameter of 300m and a wall thickness of 20mm. Under favourable conditions, it can grow up to 40cm per day. The dense-clumping species, growing around Thakur’s bungalow seems to be competing with the high-rises which have mushroomed in the neighbourhood!

Thakur has travelled length and breadth of the country to fuel his love for the ‘Green Gold’ of which India has the richest genetic resources with 136 species, including 11 exotic species. In his nursery are clumps, rhizomes and culm cuttings  of varieties like Bambusa Oliveri which is used in pole vaults; an almost solid D Brandisi; creeper bamboo; D Ritcheyi used to make soft coal;the black bamboo (G Atroviolacea) used for making traditional musical instruments, handicrafts etc; the hollow B Multiplex with wall thickness of a mere 2mm and several others.

“Only eight bamboo varieties found in India are beneficial to farmers,” says Thakur, founder member of Bamboo Viswa, an electronic journal which promotes Bamboo, its cultivation and products. “Wait for three years and bamboo is ready for harvest unlike Nilgiri, Casuarina or Teak which take around six to seven years besides the required permissions at the time of harvest.”

A familiar figure in bamboo meets and workshops held in the country, Thakur stresses the need to remove the misconception that bamboo is a poor man’s timber. With the sole purpose of promoting cultivation of bamboo he has set up a 13-acre one-of-its-kind bamboo nursery at Khalchwadi in Mangaon taluka of Raigad where he grows planting material of 24 varieties of bamboo.

An easy-to-grow plant, the world of bamboo has much to offer. Like B Multiplex ‘Riviereorum’ if you need a cozy space or a low hedge, B Multiplex ‘Golden Goddess’ for adding colour in your garden, the neighborhood park for its culms turn golden with age or D Stocksii which has been a major source of livelihood of farmers in several villages in Maharashtra.

Though he has a large collection Thakur is promoting 18 varieties of bamboo which includes D Asper, a hollow variety which reaches  20m, diameter of 150 and wall thickness of 15mm, D Brandisi (25m-200mm diameter-25mm thickness), G Atroviolacea (10m-50mm-10mm), A Donax (2m in height), M Baccifera (8m-40mm-6mm) and several others.

When does one harvest bamboo?

“You can harvest a bamboo every third or fourth year. For by then it’s mature and unlikely to be affected by pest,” concludes Thakur.

Mail ajeet.thakur1211@yahoo.com

An abridged format of the article was published in The Golden Sparrow, Jan 08, 2016 (http://thegoldensparrow.com/news/one-of-the-largest-bamboo-species-now-in-our-backyard/0

Amazing Lauki!

Fhanging laukiAs I laid the 1 1/2 foot long and weighing around 2kgs vegetable on the glass top of our dining table, placed between the kitchen and the drawing room, wifey screamed in amazement: “Oh my God!”.

The dudhi, lauki or bottlegourd, whatever name you prefer call it, has seen more visitors than the birthday greetings I have received in my lifetime. Joking.

I was fortunate to receive a handful of seeds from Jitubhai Kutmutia of Malegaon whom I visited this September.

How Jitubhai got the seeds makes for an interesting read.

It so happened that having come to know that a Yavatmal farmer was growing bottle gourds which  had attracted the attention of the local farmers Jitubhai one day decided to visit him. Jitubhai took out his Tata Indica and drove all the way to Yavatmal, a distance of 480 kms.

“After having seen the farm I requested whether he would spare some seeds of his legendary lauki. Though possessive he did share… just one seed,” reminiscenced Jitubhai. “It was an open-pollinated variety unlike any I had come across.”

on the chair

The one lauki seed was the costliest seed Jitubhai had acquired in his farming years–for it came at a price of Rs 3,000. Yes, that’s amount Jitubhai had spent on petrol for the up and down trip. He had travelled a total of  960kms for a lone seed!

I was fortunate enough that Jitubhai shared dozen of seeds with me and I have been amazed by the fruit size and its taste. Ever since it arrived we have had lauki juice, halwa etc.

A believer in sharing good things of life I would like to share some seeds too.

Mumbai’s Lone Bee Keeper

For a 51-year-old he looks quite healthy. He has a dark mop of wavy hair on his head and a moustache with not a single strand of grey. When I met him in an Udupi joint for chai, alongside a busy and noisy road in Goregaon East, I wondered whether he was the same person with whom I had spoken on the phone, few minutes back.

IMG_20151120_120921192Johnson Jacob doesn’t look more than 40. And he credits his youthful looks and ‘no health problem’ to bee stings, of which he has been the victim for over 2,000 times. Rather than an occupational hazard, he considers it as a boon. Rightly or wrongly, he believes the reason he is free of any lifestyle affliction unlike an ordinary Mumbaikar is due to the bee venom in his body!

Meet Mumbai’s only bee keeper.

Yes, you read it right. Johnson has been bee keeping in the concrete jungle for over two decades now.

My mama brought me to Mumbai after I and couple of friends had burnt down a tree in our village while retrieving honey.

IMG-20151123-WA0004Since his childhood young Johnson had watched his father, Jacob, tending to the bee boxes of the villager households of Paramankuruchi village in Thoothukkudi district of Tamil Nadu and even assisted him on his errands. Most households in Paramankuruchi had looms on which they made cotton saris. The honey from the bee boxes, placed around the house, added to the family’s income.

My father used to tend to 300-odd colonies and was paid for their upkeep and maintenance by the village households. I learnt a lot from him.  

While in Mumbai Johnson did odd jobs and later gained expertise in textile warping becoming a pro, and making a good livelihood.  But as the textile mills started closing down in the mid 90s he had less and less jobs at hand. Which led him to look elsewhere.

I set up my first colony at a chawl in Goregaon Check Naka but soon moved to the comparatively green environs of  Aarey Colony. Hardly a month had passed when officials of the Forest Deptt. confisticated my bee boxes  Only when a friend intervened that the officials let me keep them.

Johnson acquired his maiden bee boxes from KVIC Pune.

We were bringing the boxes on a train when we found the bees were leaving one of them which led to panic among the passengers. In our hurry we found that we hadn’t covered the box well. With no option at hand I threw the box  out of the moving train. Me and a friend moved to the toilet with the rest two boxes and locked ourselves in. We left the toilet only on reaching Mumbai.

Presently, Johnson has 14 odd boxes and six colonies which he visits daily from his home at Malad by an autorickshaw. He has supplied bee boxes along with colony to people in Panvel, Mira Road, Lonavala and Pune.

Few years back he had an unusual visitor, the Director of KVIC, visiting his bee colony at Ekta Nagar.  KVIC is the country’s leading institution which is into popularising and funding of beekeeping through its Forest-based Produce Division. Sadly, Johnson hasn’t received any munificence from the KVIC but for an identity  card mentioning that he is a bee keeper.

A store-house of information on bee-keeping, Johnson has lost lots of money, thanks to his ‘bee craze’. Like when he set up hundreds of boxes in a Latur farm in 2006 investing around a lakh or two. But he hasn’t given up and continues his pagalpan for bee keeping. A look at his bee box and you realise that much thought has gone into making it. Like the double receptacles on the foot which trap insects and predators.

IMG_20151120_120334601A believer of apitherapy in which bee venom is used for the treatment of  rheumatoid arthritisnerve pain (neuralgia), multiple sclerosis (MS), swollen tendons (tendonitis), and muscle conditions such as fibromyositis and enthesitis, Johnson provides bees free of cost to a physician friend who also practices apitherapy.

Since last couple of years Johnson has been marketing honey which he sources from Gujarat and West Bengal. His wife, Jaya, adds to the family kitty by tutoring 10th standard students.

Ask him which variety of bees he favours, Johnson is unstoppable as he sings the virtues of Cerana Indica.

They are best suited to Indian climatic conditions, are relatively non-aggressive and rarely exhibit swarming behaviour. In fact, they are ideal for beekeeping unlike Apis mellifera . They usually build multiple combed nest in tree hollows and man-made structures. They are hardly unlike the European bees which are susceptible to diseases. They can adapt to living in purpose-made hives and cavities.

A wannabe bee keeper and hoping to get my maiden colony soon, I ask Johnson which kind of crops the Cerana Indica has weakness for.

Sweet Corn, Sunflower, Sesame, Mustard, Tur, Tamarind, Coconut, Drumstick, Litchi and Rubber. Also the colony should be set up in a place where the water source is within 1 ½ kms.   

If you’re interested in listening to bee stories Johnson has many to tell you. Like the father and son duo from West Bengal who brought down 200-odd colonies from a 15 storied building in Kandivali last may.

He is known as Basu, aged around 60, and his son both without any protective mask and hanging from a harness tied around their waist gathered 20 tonnes of honey in a period of five days.

…………………………..

Johnson can be reached on 09619799261

“Cancer prevention possible; change the way we produce our food”

Australian soil ecologist Dr. Christine Jones is among few who has understood soil biology and linked its deterioration due to extensive use of inorganic chemicals to cancer. She offers an accessible, revolutionary perspective for improving landscape health and farm productivity. Interviewed by Acres USA, Dr. Jones explains the life-giving link between carbon and healthy topsoil.

Here is what I learnt from the interview.

  • The issue we’re facing is that too much of the carbon that was once in a solid phase in the soil has become a gas. That could be dangerous for the human species. Climate change is just one aspect. Food security, the nutrient density of food and the water-holding capacity of the soil are also very potent reasons for keeping carbon in a solid phase in the soil.
  • Sugars are formed in plant chloroplasts during photosynthesis. Some of the sugars are used for growth and some are exuded into soil by plant roots to support the microbes involved in nutrient acquisition.
  • The most significant finding, at least from a human perspective, is that the flow of liquid carbon to soil is the primary pathway by which new topsoil is formed. In order for carbon to “flow” to soil, there has to be a partnership between plant roots and the soil microbes that will receive that carbon. We inadvertently blow the microbial bridge in conventional farming with high rates of synthetic fertilizers or with fungicides or other biocides.
  • Most life-forms obtain their energy either directly or indirectly from the sun, via the process of photosynthesis. Plants are what we call autotrophs. That is, they feed themselves by combining light energy with CO2 to produce biochemical energy. As heterotrophs, we obtain energy by eating plants or eating animals that ate plants. Even microbes in a compost heap are obtaining energy by breaking down organic materials originating from the process of photosynthesis.
  • We breathe out more CO2 than we breathe in, because as we utilize the energy we obtain from the assimilation of food, our cells release CO2. The decomposers in the soil are doing exactly the same thing — breaking down organic materials and releasing CO2. Rather than sugar being the end point, sugar is the start point. Soil microbes use sugars to create complex, stable forms of carbon, including humus.
  • Humus is an organo-mineral complex comprising around 60 percent carbon, between 6 and 8 percent nitrogen, plus phosphorus and sulfur. Humic molecules are linked to iron and aluminum and many other soil minerals, forming an intrinsic part of the soil matrix.
  • Phosphorus is a highly reactive element. As soon as there’s any free phosphorus floating around in the soil, including whatever we may add as fertilizer, it becomes fixed. In other words, it forms a chemical bond with another element like iron or aluminum or calcium, making it unavailable to plants. But certain bacteria produce an enzyme called phosphatase that can break that bond and release the phosphorus. Once released, the phosphorus still has to be transported back to the plant, which is where mycorrhizal fungi come in. Mycorrhizal fungi also transport a wide variety of other nutrients, including nitrogen, sulfur, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and essential trace elements such as zinc, boron, manganese and copper. In dry times they supply water. Mycorrhizal fungi form networks between plants and colonies of soil bacteria.
  • If a plant photosynthesizes faster it’s going to have higher sugar content and a higher Brix level. Once Brix gets over 12, the plant is largely resistant to insects and pathogens. High-Brix plants have formed relationships with soil microbes able to supply trace elements and other nutrients that the plant needs for self-defense, for its immune system. When plants are able to produce high levels of plant-protection compounds, the insects go elsewhere.
  • Cultivating the soil and using chemical fertilizer and pesticides break up the mycorrhizal networks. If plants can obtain nitrogen or phosphorus easily, they will stop pumping carbon into the soil to support their microbial partners. If carbon is not flowing to soil via the liquid carbon pathway, soil deteriorates. Carbon is needed for soil structure and water-holding capacity as well as for feeding the microbes involved in nutrient acquisition. When soil loses carbon, it becomes hard and compacted.
  • If the soil is well aggregated, it will look like a handful of peas. If the soil remains in hard chunks that don’t break easily into small lumps, then it isn’t well aggregated. The aggregate is the fundamental unit of soil function. A great deal of biological activity takes place within aggregates. For the most part, this is fueled by liquid carbon. When aggregates aren’t forming — because of cultivating the soil or using chemicals or having bare soil for six months or more with no green plants — crops are not able to obtain sufficient nitrogen. The tendency is then to add fertilizer nitrogen, exacerbating the situation.
  • Nitrogen fixing bacteria produce ammonia, a form of inorganic nitrogen, inside soil aggregates and rhizosheaths which are protective cylinders that form around plant roots. They’re basically a bunch of soil particles held together by plant root exudates. You can easily strip them off with your fingers. Within these biologically active environments the ammonia is rapidly converted into an amino acid or incorporated into a humic polymer. These organic forms of nitrogen cannot be leached or volatilized. Amino acids can be transferred into plant roots by mycorrhizal fungi and joined together by the plant to form a complete protein.
  • Inorganic nitrogen applied as fertilizer often ends up in plants as nitrate or nitrite. Nitrates cause a range of metabolic disorders including infertility, mastitis, laminitis and liver dysfunction. There is also a strong link between nitrate and cancer. Milk can also have nitrate levels above the safe drinking standard, but people happily consume it, not realizing it’s unhealthy.
  • The first rule for turning hard, compacted soil into loose, fragrant soil teeming with life is to keep the soil covered, preferably with living plants, all year round. Aggregates will break down unless the soil is alive. Aggregation is absolutely vital for moisture infiltration and retention.
  • Maximize diversity in both cover crops and cash crops. Aim for a good mix of broadleaf plants and grass-type plants and include as many different functional groups as possible. Diversity above ground will correlate with diversity below ground.
  • Minimize the use of synthetic fertilizers, fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. There are countless living things in soil that we don’t even have names for, let alone an understanding of their role in soil health.
  • In Australia many farmers plant seeds treated with fungicide “just in case.” They’re actually preventing the plant from forming the beneficial associations that it needs in order to protect itself. After a few weeks of crop growth, they will then apply a “preventative” fungicide, which also finds its way to the soil, inhibiting the soil fungi that are essential to crop nutrition and soil building. The irony is that plants are then unable to obtain the trace elements they need to fight fungal diseases.
  • Not that long ago the cancer rate was around one in 100. Now we’re pretty close to one in two people being diagnosed with cancer. At the current rate of increase, it won’t be long before nearly every person will contract cancer during their lifetimes.
  • It’s not just the toxins in our food that are the problem, but the use of biocides — chemicals that kill living organisms — which reduce the nutrient content of food. If the plant-microbe bridge has been blown, it’s not possible for us to obtain the trace elements our bodies need in order to prevent cancer — and a range of other metabolic disorders.
  • soil1
  • We’re ingesting chemical residues, but not the trace elements and phytonutrients we need for an effective immune response. Plants need trace elements, like copper and zinc, to make these phytonutrients.
  • Cover-crop enthusiasts are experimenting with 60 or 70 different species in their mixes. The trend to polyculture is the most significant breakthrough in the history of modern agriculture.
  • Sometimes when farmers realize the importance of soil biology they immediately stop using fertilizers and chemicals. This is not necessarily a good thing. It takes time for soil microbial populations to re-establish. Include some clovers or peas with your wheat, or vetch with your corn — just on one part of the field. This reduces the risk. When farmers see that they’ve gained rather than lost yield — and that the crop looks healthier — they will be inspired to try a larger area and a greater variety of companion plants next time.
  • Plant a multi-species cover crop on part of the land that would normally be devoted to a cash crop. Once the diversity ramps up, the ladybirds and lacewings and predatory wasps appear and the need for insecticides falls away. And after heavy rain, it’s obvious that water has infiltrated better in the parts of the field where the cover crops were.
  • An easy way to transition is to reduce the amount of nitrogen applied by around 20 percent the first year, another 30 percent the next and then another 30 percent the year after. At the same time as reducing fertilizer inputs it’s absolutely vital to support soil biology with the presence of a wide diversity of plants for as much of the year as possible.
  • Another way to gradually reduce fertilizer inputs is to use foliar fertilizers rather than drilling fertilizer under the seed. Foliar-applied trace minerals can also help during transition. These can be tank-mixed with biology-friendly products such as vermi-liquid, compost extract, fish hydrolysate, milk or seaweed extract. Whichever path you choose to support soil biology, the overall aim is for soil function to improve every year. The overuse of synthetic fertilizers will have the opposite effect.
  • A team of University of Illinois researchers investigated how the fertilization regimes that were commenced in these plots in 1955 discovered that the fields that had received the highest applications of nitrogen fertilizer had ended up with less soil carbon — and ironically less nitrogen — than the other fields. The researchers concluded that adding nitrogen fertilizer stimulated the kind of bacteria that break down the carbon in the soil. The reason there is less nitrogen in the soil even though more has been applied is that carbon and nitrogen are linked together in organic matter. If carbon is decomposing, then the soil will also be losing nitrogen. They decompose together.
  • In most of our agricultural soils, we have far more bacteria than fungi. The good news is that farmers use multi-species cover crops, companion crops, pasture cropping and other polycultures — and the ranchers who manage their perennial grasses with high density short duration grazing accompanied by appropriate rest periods — are moving their soils toward fungal dominance. When you scoop up the soil, it has that lovely composty, mushroomy sort of smell that indicates good fungal levels.
  • The focus needs to be on transforming every farm that’s currently a net carbon source into a net carbon sink. If all farmland sequestered more carbon than it was losing, atmospheric CO2 levels would fall at the same time as farm productivity and watershed function improved. This would solve the vast majority of our food production, environmental and human health problems.
  • Many scientists have confused themselves — and the general public — by assuming soil carbon sequestration occurs as a result of the decomposition of organic matter such as crop residues. In so doing, they have overlooked the major pathway for the restoration of topsoil. Activating the liquid carbon pathway requires that photosynthetic capacity be optimized. There are many and varied ways to achieve this.
  • Compost is certainly a fantastic product, but compost alone is not enough. It will eventually decompose, releasing CO2. However, the application of compost to appropriately grazed pastures or polyculture crops can increase plant growth and photosynthetic rate, resulting in more liquid carbon flowing to soils. Diverse microbial populations — particularly fungi — supported by the compost, can aid in humification, improving soil structure, water-holding capacity and nutrient availabilities.
  • The use of natural plant or seaweed extracts as biostimulants is a relatively new but rapidly expanding area of R&D and farmer-adoption worldwide. The advantage of biostimulants is that they function at very low rates of application — milliliters per hectare — as opposed to a product such as compost which needs to be applied in tons per hectare. These products stimulate soil biota and enhance plant root function. The proliferation of roots is quite obvious when you dig in the soil. There can also be rapid improvements in soil structure.

For more visit http://www.amazingcarbon.com

An encounter with sword beans

If you don’t have the patience of a grandmother DO NOT attempt to cook sword beans for lunch. Wifey realized it on her first attempt while knifing the sword beans!  That’s Talwar Sem in Hindi.

sword beans

That’s why despite its nutritional benefits sword beans hasn’t become popular in the kitchen. I’ve yet to see a chef on the cookery shows telling his/her viewers: “Chalo aaj sword beans banaye (Let’s prepare sword beans, today).”

Sword beans arrive in the market in the second week of October and continue to be available till the second week of the following month, at a kingly price of Rs 120 a kilo!

Like most beans, sword beans need to be peeled from their spines and then peeled from the insides too. Not an easy thing to do. You’ve to use the knife point to dig under the skin and then peel it off. After all this work what’s left is not much. Meaning if you buy a kilo what is left after peeling and de-shelling is just around 400g. What a waste?

Last Sunday during my weekly visit to the farm I couldn’t resist picking up the newly-arrived sword beans swaying in the morning breeze. There were around 15 of them.

I brought them home ready to have a sword fight with wifey. I also remember what our house maid had sneeringly remarked having seen them on the kitchen table: Tumi eh khat ka? (Do you eat such stuff)?

Sword bean (abai in Marathi) is considered a rustic vegetable and a favourite among the tribals and villagers. That’s the impression I got when Mangal handing the initial harvest praised them.

Come November

butterfly

Come November my farm plays host to scores of butterflies.  As the sun rises on the horizon they come to settle on my lone rattlepod plant. The plant has grown over 10ft high. It had fallen following wind and rains in September. But now stands supported by a bamboo pole, right as one enters the farm.

So far I have been able to identify only two of them, viceroy and monarch.

TITLI1

Butterflies use sunlight to regulate their body temperature. They need sunlight to keep themselves warm, but the outside temperature can also become too hot for them. As the sun rises their numbers decrease and by noon one can sight only a couple or two.

‘Nualgi superior, cheaper method to do farming’

Way back in 1993, T. Sampath Kumar, a qualified chartered accountant started a venture to make prawn seeds.  Intrigued, how the marine food chain developed and helped the growth of the fishes in the oceans he identified and cultivated diatoms—a major group of algae which are among the most common types of phytoplankton that provide more than 50% of the marine food chain. Over the next 12 years he relentlessly pursued research on diatoms and finally discovered that the algae produced vast amount of pure oxygen underwater by the process of photosynthesis.

Growing diatom algae in water in large quantities is a difficult proposition. That’s what Nualgi does. Developed by Sampath, Nualgi can grow diatom algae on almost any water substrate be it the sea, high saline water, fresh water, sewage water, effluent water etc.

In 2005, Kumar founded Nualgi Nanobiotech, a Bangalore-based company to manufacture nanotech products for growing diatoms for aquaculture. Nualgi contains trace, special and appropriate nutrients that can deliver in a biologically available form. Upon application to the water body in the presence of macro nutrients, like N, P, K and sunlight, phytoplankton predominately in the form of diatoms, bloom and is soon converted to live food like zooplankton, a source of nutrition to fishes and prawns.

T Sampath Kumar
T Sampath Kumar

Holder of three patents, Sampath’s bouquet of products which are exported to 15 countries include ‘Nualgi Lakes’ used for remediation of polluted water bodies, ‘Nualgi Aqua’ used in fisheries for growth of diatoms and zoo plankton in water bodies serving as food for aquatic animals and ‘Nualgi Foliar Spray’ used for boosting the efficiency of photosynthesis, providing high quality crops with greater yields and importantly doing away with chemical fertlisers and pesticides. Sundayfarmer spoke to T Sampath Kumar (60) on the efficacy of Nualgi Foliar Spray and how it’s likely to revolutionise the way we produce nutrient rich food, sans fertilizers  

What does ‘Nualgi’ stand for? Does the name have any significance?

When we started with the development of the marine food chain we started growth of a new type of algae, called Diatoms. This was a new type of algae. Hence we coined the term Nualgi. It is just a coined term.

foliarspry

How does Nualgi foliar spray work? What’s the science behind it?

Nualgi foliar spray delivers about 12 nutrients loaded on silica in the nano form directly to the chlorophyll of a leaf through the stomata. This package of nutrients helps boost the photosynthesis of a plant. Plants absorb more CO2 and make a liquid carbon pathway that is excreted through the roots to the soil as Oozuates. This helps soil microorganisms grow. They symbiotically deliver all nutrients from the soil and fix nitrogen from the air. This process is termed as Biomining. Instead of nutrients being made in factories outside, the soil microbes are the factories in the soil that deliver all nutrients to the plants.

In what crops has Nualgi been tried and do tell us about the responses from the farmers.

We have tested in all cereals, vegetables, tea, coffee, pepper, cardamom, oil seeds and horticulture crops. In fact, almost all type of crops. The results are very good with yields increasing by 20% to 100%, reduction of time of growth by 20% and better quality of crops. There are plenty of farmers in Hasan and Ramnagara districts of Karnataka who can vouch for our method.

When should the Nualgi foliar spray be used and how many times in a fruit/ vegetable crops?

For field crops 3 to 4 times spraying in the early morning on both sides of the leaves is recommended. For vegetables spraying time is reduced to 8-15 days. For horticulture crops we recommend 4to 5 times a year.

How does Nualgi impact the soil?

The liquid carbon pathway developed by using Nualgi helps soil regain their carbon contents. This helps in soil microbial growth and fertility. If no chemicals and fertilizers are added, the soil becomes more and more productive and fertile.

Do you see a future when farmers will stop using chemical fertilisers and pesticides all together?

Nualgi farming is economical and gives high yields. Farmers would definitely adopt this and stop using chemical fertilizers. Our process improves profitability of farming. The environment is saved too. As the benefits are established, even the governments will have to relook its fertiliser policy.

Organic farming which uses methods, like amrutjal and amritmiiti, popularised by Natueco, is considered very resource intensive as one needs plenty of biomass which is a deterring factor. Nualgi can be a boon for farmers who want to say ‘no to fertilisers’. In fact,  it’s an organic way of farming. Comment

Nualgi is a far superior and cheaper method to do farming as compared to other methods. We do not have any objections to people using other methods also in conjunction with ours.  Progressively farmers will realize that our method is far more efficient, yields higher quality of crops at a very nominal cost and without altering the soil biology.

For more view https://youtu.be/UFFSKgo56qo