A group of farmers from different villages were selected and given training

Whatever be the crops, after harvesting the residue left in the field poses a major problem as removing it requires manpower and money.

In some places farmers simply burn the dried leaves, stalk in the field itself as it is an easy option. But over time this practice makes the land barren and kills several beneficial organisms that aid good growth.

Cost reduction

“And today with the cost of fertilizers hitting the roof it will be advisable if farmers can effectively use these wastes to make some sort of manure like vermicompost and put it back to the soil. By doing so expenses can be reduced and soil fertility be upgraded,” says Dr. V. Kantharaju, Programme Coordinator, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Gulbarga, Karnataka.

A group of farmers from different villages were selected and given training by the KVK staff on vermi composting methods.

Awareness

The farmers were also made aware on the importance of natural farming through vermicomposting methods and how this could help them cut down expenses in buying fertilizers.

Since this method helped them save some money several farmers willingly took it up.

“Also the income obtained from such activity can be reinvested by the farmer in enhancing his farm resources and infrastructure for higherreturn. He can go for crop diversification and better income,” says Dr. Kantharaju.

“For farmers, seeing is believing. When they heard about other farmers doing well in this line, they started visiting our KVK office and expressed willingness to try the same.

“Today we have been able to help such farmers in setting up their own small vermicomposting units and manufacture their own inputs,” says Dr. Kantharaju.

Loan

A dryland farmer, Mr. Shivanand in the region who underwent a similar training, started his own unit in small way. In due course, with help from KVK staff, he got a loan of Rs.4 lakh from a local bank.

“I constructed 48 pits from the loan amount and today am able to produce 100 tonnes of compost a year. 50 tonnes was used for my personal use and the remaining sold at Rs.300 per quintal. The worms were also sold for Rs. 300 a kg,” says the enterprising farmer.

Production doubled

Within a year he doubled his production to nearly 200 tonnes. He also started to enrich his compost with neem cake, Trichoderma, Pseudomonas, Rhizobium, and Azospirillum.

The farmer also developed a diversified cropping pattern using the vermicompost from his own unit.

He planted papaya in five acres, musk melon in one acre, and cucumber in some remaining area. With continuous guidance from the expert team who periodically visited him, he earned Rs. 3 lakh from papaya, Rs. 1.5 lakh from water melon, Rs. 1.5 lakh from musk melon, and Rs. 1 lakh from cucumber. He constructed a new home, purchased land worth Rs. 5 lakh from the income.

He has also employed about 10 permanent and temporary labour to look after the daily work in the production unit.\

Better revenue

The success of Mr. Shivanand spread like wild fire and several people are visiting his farm to learn how he has been able to succeed in terms of revenue.

Mr. Shivanand has also been conferred several awards.

Readers can get in touch with Dr. V. Kantharaju, Programme Coordinator, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Aland road, Gulbarga: 585 101, Karnataka, email: kvkglb.in@gmail.com and kantharaju74@gmail.com, Phone: 08472 274596, Mobiles: 9448584749 and 9480696315.