Andhra Pradesh

Nature-friendly farming the buzzword in Prakasam

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Villagers swear by the method popularised by Subhash Palekar

Tucked away from the National Highway 565, a farm on the outskirts of Pedarikatla village in Prakasam district is abuzz with activity, as new generation farmer Gullapalli Sujatha prepares a variety of cow byproduct-based manure and plant protection decoction with locally available herbs and showcasing them to fellow farmers struggling to make farming profitable.

Even land is not tilled before sowing traditional variety of seeds after treatment with cow dung and urine based solution at the farm, where the Ongole breed of cows get pride of place as they meet the requirement of organic fertilizers and pesticides.

Inspired by the Subash Palekar natural farming technique, Ms. Sujatha took to the time-tested farming practice six years ago in 50 acres of land growing a variety of minor millets, pulses, edible oil, turmeric, chilli and vegetables, in what was once a barren land with no vegetation.

Select flowering plants are grown on the bunds to ward off harmful insects and pests.

Marketing produce

Making a conscious effort to cut costs, Ms. Sujatha markets the premier farm produce to health-conscious people who are ready to lap it up in view of the health benefits offered by it.

Many make the switch

More and more farmers have switched over to organic farming techniques popularised by the noted agriculturist seeing for themselves the benefits of sustainable farming in restoring the health of the soil and getting a healthier farm produce as well.

The villagers also grow paddy using the nature-friendly farming technique. The productivity is relatively high by a few more bags when compared to the produce from farms cultivated with chemial fertilizers, another natural farmer says.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2019 10:36:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/nature-friendly-farming-the-buzzword-in-prakasam/article30066907.ece

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