Farming ideas I picked from newspapers which can be of great help to farmers
Last week I was in Dharwad along with my city bred kids visiting my mother-in-law. Dharwad does strange things to me. For it was here that I was introduced to the world of farming, thanks to my father in law: Dr S N Kadapa, a plant geneticist of international repute who specialized on cotton varieties. In fact, my two daughters have a cotton variety named after them.
Dr Kadapa, an affable man with a smile for everyone interacted with academicians, researchers and farmers at their own levels. Never giving the other opportunity to feel that the other was less knowledgeable than him. In fact, he took self-abnegation to a different level. I often visited his research station at Dharwad Agriculture University and marvelled at the patience, perseverance and dogged determination of plant scientists: for it takes years to develop a hybrid. By the time I has enough savings and bought a piece of agricultural land Dr Kadapa was no more. Had he been around I could have always approached him for solutions to my problems related to farming.
I either approach different forums related to agriculture or check out columns in newspapers like The Hindu or Deccan Herald. In my present I dug the old issue of DH, my mother-in-law had preserved for me. In this post I am sharing the information I picked up and which could be helpful to a novice farmer.
- N R Chandrasekhar of Nenamanahalli in Kolar district (Karnataka) has built 50 pits which can store 900 lts of water totaling 45,000 lts. So that not a single drop of rainwater leaves the land. He says that the crop won’t be affected if it doesn’t rain for a month, with the percolated water underground taking care of the crops. Besides he has sown horse gram whose green canopy will stop evaporation. Earlier, he had grown ragi and when it rained he sowed jute. These have mulched and in the process created six to eight tonnes of leafy manure.
Suraj Patil of Kamlapur in Gulbarga district of Karnataka has revived the famed red bananas which sells for Rs 100 a dozen in Bangalore and Mumbai. Red banana has been registered under Geographical Indication registry. Plantation starts in June to August and requires a large quantity of compost. The cost of farming is Rs 50,000 per care and the income generated is around Rs three lakh per acre. Red banana plants grow too tall and storms or heavy rain could fell the plant.
- Toobugere in Doddaballapur taluka in Karnataka has the country’s only Jackfruit Growers’ Association. Most jackfruit plants are planted on the borders of the plot which begins fruiting from the seventh year onwards.
- Eshwar Prasad of Puttur in Dakshina Kannada has grown paddy on areca peel in front of his farmhouse. He took care of the pest by spraying a mixture of garlic juice and asafoetida. Having tasted success he plans to sow a short grained variety of paddy next year.