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Many crops are better than one

Firoz Rozindar
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LUCRATIVE METHOD: T. Ninganayak at his papaya farm in Halavudaralambanihatti village in Chitradurga taluk.
LUCRATIVE METHOD: T. Ninganayak at his papaya farm in Halavudaralambanihatti village in Chitradurga taluk.

T. Ninganayak is a farmer who believes that strong conviction and dedication can help farmers reap profit even when faced with adversity.

Mr. Ninganayak, a native of Halavudaralambanihatti village in Chitradurga taluk, about 30 km from here, has adopted composite farming, which, he says, will compensate for losses even if one crop fails.

“In composite or multiple cropping system, farmers cultivate more than one crop that may be a blend of agricultural and horticultural crops. This system makes sure that farmers reap a good harvest,” he said.

Mr. Ninganayak purchased 3.5 acres of a relatively dry land about 10 years ago.

He has converted the land into a fertile farm now.

The farmer, who believes in experimenting with new crop pattern, has cultivated various crops — from maize to cotton to pulses. He has now switched to horticulture.

“It was not an easy task to make this barren land fertile. For three years, after buying the land, I faced drought. Four borewells I drilled failed, which put me into enormous debt. Yet, I did not lose hope as my efforts proved lucky when the fifth borewell yielding water and helped me repay my debt,” he said.

At present, he has cultivated papaya, areca nut, banana and teak.

“It is the first year of the papaya crop, and I have earned Rs. 1.5 lakh with two harvests. I am expecting a few more harvests in the coming days and the profit will reach at least Rs. 5 lakh,” he said.

Mr. Ninganayak said that though his crop got infected by pests, he used a mixture of organic manure, chemicals and natural farming methods to control the pest attack.

Mr. Ninganayak, who sends papaya to places such as Mumbai and Delhi besides the local market, says that a farmer, with an initial investment of Rs. 60,000 and who has access to water, can earn up to Rs. 1.5 lakh a year from an acre of papaya plantation.

Loss due to failure of one crop can be compensated by another: Ninganayak

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