A helping hand to farmers

A pond at the farm of molecular plant pathologist P. Chowdappa near Doddaballapur in Bengaluru Rural district.

A pond at the farm of molecular plant pathologist P. Chowdappa near Doddaballapur in Bengaluru Rural district.   | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

This scientist is setting up a facility to provide scientific training to farmers to help earn sustainable incomes

Molecular plant pathologist P. Chowdappa, who retired as director of Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasargod, just a few months ago, refuses to retire from active involvement with plants and farmers.

The 20-acre farm developed by him for nearly 15 years resembles a miniature demonstration field in a research station due to its quality and proper maintenance.

“Association with farming whether as a scientist or as a farmer is my passion. This is because I hail from a farming family,” he says. His farm has 10 acres of ultra high density mango plants, about five acres of sapota, exotic varieties of jackfruit taken up again in high density planting method, cashew, custard apple, date palm and papaya.

He has also taken up cultivation of Nendran variety of banana on four acres of land. This is in addition to polyhouse cultivation where he has been producing bamboo plants for supplying under the national bamboo mission.

For effective harvesting of rainwater, he has built four farm ponds with a dimension of 25 x 25 x 3 mtrs. He rears fish in these ponds and earns a revenue of about ₹1.5 lakh a year from each of them.

But his intention is not earning huge revenues, but to help fellow farmers to earn sustainable incomes. “My larger aim in retirement life is to help farmers, especially youth, to get sustainable incomes from their farms. I have decided to provide practical training to them in various aspects of commercial farming including preparation of bio-fertilizers. Helping and training farmers has been my long-time dream.”

He is building a training facility at his farm for imparting scientific skills to farm youth. “I have seen the sufferings of farmers. The present times, which is witnessing disturbance due to COVID-19, has increased the relevance and importance of farming for a sustainable future,” he notes.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 12:35:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/a-helping-hand-to-farmers/article31937587.ece

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