A foundation to empower farmers

August 19, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 06:10 am IST - CHENNAI:

National Agro Foundation was founded by former Union Food and Agriculture Minister C. Subramaniam

Till about ten years ago, paddy was Kamsalapuram’s staple crop. But now, the 40 farmers of the village have taken to vegetables in a big way, bringing in the much-needed profits.

“All this happened due to National Agro Foundation (NAF). When I first met them, I had just finished school and had no idea about farming. With proper training and their continuous intervention, farmers who were raising vegetables in 25 cents of land now raise them on even three acres,” said J. Thiruvengadam, a farmer. He says he has immensely benefited from the various programmes of the NAF, which was founded by former Union Food and Agriculture Minister C. Subramaniam, who engineered the country’s Green Revolution in the 1960s by supplying high-yielding seeds from Mexico.

The NAF’s contribution to the Raja Desingu Farmers Producers Company Ltd. that has a thousand farmers as shareholders is proudly mentioned by its chairman G. Radha, a retired teacher, who is now a farmer. “The Agriculture Department and the NAF are constantly guiding us. From a company that sold fertilizers and seeds, we have now grown to procure black gram from farmers. They have been providing training to us and guiding us at every step,” he said.

S.S. Rajasekar, son of C. Subramanian and the managing trustee of the NAF, says his father wanted a second revolution where the farmers must benefit and get profits. “He termed the first Green Revolution as ‘Seed to Grain’ and the second, as ‘Soil to Market.’He started the foundation in 2000 January, but passed away in November the same year,” he said.

From there it covers all aspects of farming, right from seed-sowing methods and implements used by farmers to limiting the use of fertilizers, explained Mr. Rajasekar.

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