Slowly and steadily the organic farming revolution is taking place in rural parts of the district that was once in news for farmers’ suicides.
On Saturday, under the aegis of Bala Vikasa, a non government organisation, thousands of farmers engaged in organic farming for the past four years gathered to share their experiences and teach the new farmers.
“Now my vegetables look fresh and durable for longer time with organic farming. People ask me to sell them exclusively and now I have a solid customer base,” said Madipeddi Chandramouli sharing his experiences.
He hailed from Tirumalayapalli of Rayaparthi mandal. He has 2.5 acre of land on which he grows only vegetables. “The vegetables grown using fertilisers withered early and many used to complain of pesticide smell even after washing them. The organic farming helped me save on input cost and now I get higher rate for my vegetable on account of quality,” he told The Hindu in an interview.
A woman named Nune Renuka of Vangalapalli of Station Ghanpur mandal shared similar experience. Holding 22 acres of land, V. Visweswar Reddy of Gannaram village of Rayaparthi mandal too experimented with organic farming. “The yield was very low in first two years in organic farming. But, slowly the yield increased. ,” he explained. The Bala Vikasa has mobilised farmers, who were interested in switching over to organic farming into groups and conducted field visits, training classes and supplied them with the organic manure to begin with.
It’s executive director S. Shoury Reddy said they have so far roped in 450 farmers in 23 villages into organic farming. “Now farmers are voluntarily coming forward seeking our help in switching over to this method. We are helping them at various stages till they could sustain themselves,” he said.