Experimenting with preparation of natural fertilizers, a couple, P. Seetarami Reddy and Venkata Lakshmi from Kaja village, has come up with a natural fertilizer, Panchakavya, an alternative to high-priced chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Cow urine and dung, milk, coconut water and banana are prime natural ingredients required to prepare the Panchakavya, which saves almost 30 per cent of irrigation water for crops such as paddy, vegetables and Black Gram. “Per acre, 90 litres of water is mixed with all the ingredients and kept in stock for two-weeks before spraying the Panchakavya in the fields. Paddy barely requires four-time spray,” said P. Venkata Lakshmi.
Venkatalakshmi takes care of preparation while her husband observes its effectiveness on the crops. Following an advice from a Nimmakuru-based farmer, the couple adopted the method in 2006. They attained perfection in preparation of the fertilizer, and also gave up using chemical fertilizers and pesticides. They used Panchakavya in their 30-acres of land recently.
“We received maximum yield of 42 bags (each 70 kgs) per acre in the last Kharif. The yield is four to five bags higher than other fields where chemical fertilizers are used,” Mr. Seetarami Reddy told The Hindu. He said half of the input cost on chemical fertilizers and pesticides can be saved by opting Panchakavya. It mainly addresses the prevailing problem of chaff, significant in all varieties paddy in Andhra Pradesh apart from increasing the number of grain per each plant”.
Being progressive farmers from the region, the couple make themselves busy with the sharing of the techniques of Panchakavya preparation with interested farmers during off-season. “Spraying Panchakavya is purely helps maintain the soil fertility. The cooked rice will not spoil till 24-hours after its preparation,” they say. They warn that one should not expect high yield in first three years of using Panchakavya as it requires time to change the soil towards giving quality produce.