: A software engineer gave up a bright career in a multinational company in Bangalore three years ago to take up organic farming and dairying near Mysore. He, with six other like-minded persons who have passion for farming, has now turned into a full-fledged farmer.

Balachandra, a native of Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu, is busy farming near H.D. Kote in Mysore district. “I have now understood true happiness; I am very close to nature, which has given me and my family true happiness,” he told The Hindu .

He and his associates have put up a stall at the two-day Organic Food Mela, organised by the Department of Horticulture at Curzon Park here, which was inaugurated on Saturday.

Farm-fresh foods

Mr. Balachandra and his associates have launched Prakriti Organic Food, a retail organic food outlet at V.V. Mohalla, to make available farm-fresh organic foods to customers in the neighbourhood.

There are seven cows on his farm and milk is supplied to customers daily.

Besides milk and vegetables, groceries, cold pressed oils, millets, honey, natural cosmetics and ayurveda products are available at his outlet, and his store even sells organic eggs (the poultry is fed with organic feed).

“I have no regrets over leaving a successful job in the IT industry since I am happy in farming. I have learnt many things from nature. Moreover, I bring fresh food and milk from my farm to my family members who live in Mysore,” he said.

Platform

He said the food mela gave a platform for small farmers who can explore marketing avenues, and said it should happen regularly.

Mr. Balachandra, a trekking enthusiast, was inspired by an NGO to take up farming.

Even Mallikarjun, a farmer from Halageri in Ranebennur taluk, who is a successful organic farmer, has a network of about 10 organic farmers who cultivate organic foods, primarily flax seeds, on his 14.5-acre plot at his village.

The farmers’ Pakruthi Savayava has been supplying organic foods to Jaivik Krishik Society in Bangalore for the last five years, he said.

Organic rice, toor dal, jaggery, vegetables, and hair oils were much sought after by visitors.

The two-day mela concludes on Sunday.

‘Nature has given me and my family true happiness,’ says Balachandra

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