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‘Greed is leading farmers to ruin’

Staff Correspondent
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Stick to traditional practices and succeed: organic farmer

Fitting reward:A farmer being felicitated by Gururaj Desh Deshpande, co-founder of Deshpande Foundation, during ‘Krishi Sinchana’ organised as part of 'Development dialogue' in Hubli on Friday.—Photo: Kiran Bakale
Fitting reward:A farmer being felicitated by Gururaj Desh Deshpande, co-founder of Deshpande Foundation, during ‘Krishi Sinchana’ organised as part of 'Development dialogue' in Hubli on Friday.—Photo: Kiran Bakale

: Organic farmer Narayan Reddy, who has won several awards for his indigenous methods of sustainable farming, has said that the greed to make a quick buck and follow others blindly are the reasons for farmers resorting to extreme steps like suicide.

Mr. Reddy was addressing a gathering of farmers during the ‘Krishi Sinchana’ on the concluding day of ‘Development dialogue’, organised by Deshpande Foundation, here on Friday.

The 78-year-old organic farmer, who still works on his farm, said the main reason for the farmers’ failure was the undue importance attached to pride and blindly following others. “Don’t be superstitious, come out of the illusions created by unfounded theories of agricultural scientists sponsored by multinational companies dealing in seeds and fertilizers. Believe in what you do and also have respect towards your work, and be ready to work in farms. You will never fail,” Mr. Reddy said.

He attacked, what he termed as, unfounded theories of some agricultural scientists, and called on farmers not to rely on their advice and exhorted them to follow traditional methods of cultivation. “We have our own indigenous science, just follow it,” he told them.

Emphasising the need for converting agricultural lands into sources of water for farming, he said: “Our farms should be tanks and reservoirs for us. Have bunds for your farmlands, make water seep into the ground, and stop felling trees first”.

Mr. Reddy said using indigenous methods it was possible to get better yield with less water. He added that it could be a solution for the continued dispute over Cauvery waters. “If governments of both the States encourage farmers to adopt successful methods, then farmers would have no water problem. However, political leaders want the dispute to continue for the sake of saving their chair,” he said.

He elaborated on how indigenous methods, organic manure and pesticides could be of great help and appealed to farmers from the region to visit his farm at Doddaballapur, near Bangalore, for a few days and learn more about the methods which he had successfully adopted.

Mr. Reddy said farming would never be a loss-making venture if the basic principles of traditional practices were adhered to.

Rainwater conservationist Channabasappa Kombali, of Kakol village in Haveri district, elaborated on how he and other farmers were able to recharge open wells in their village through rainwater harvesting and could provide a water source for nearly 2,500 acres. Another organic farmer Nandish Churachagundi and Gururaj Desh Deshpande, co-founder of Deshpande Foundation, and his father, S.G. Deshpande, spoke.

Honoured

During ‘Krishi Sinchana’ which marked the conclusion of the‘Development dialogue’, farmers who successfully used indigenous methods of farming were honoured.

Devendrappa Gabannavar, Shivanand Dodwad, Basavaraj K. Madival, Laxmavva Hadapad, Girijavva G. Vibhutimath, Channappa Kundagol, Ramanna Dundasi, Channayya P. Muppinamath and Muddeppa Kallur were honoured as best farmers in the agricultural sector, while Nagappa C. Nimbegondi, Sainikraj Yalavatti, Kariyavva M. Kusagur, Somalingappa Hirekkanavar and Gangamma Vilur were honoured as best farmers in the livelihood sector.

Members of various nongovernmental organisations were also honoured for work connected to agriculture and livelihood.

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