This farmer's bulwark against debt-trap

This farmer's bulwark against debt-trap

Slow and steady buffaloes

buffalo power: Ullurpet C Manjunath, a farmer, ploughs his field in Idludu in Shidlaghatta with a pair of buffaloes. DH PhotoThat way he has brought down the cost of ploughing his field.

Too costly

Taking loans for buying a tractor or a pair of bullocks to plough his three-acre land was out of question for Ullurpet C Manjunath. 

He bought the buffaloes at Rs 2,500 per buffalo.

It would have cost Rs 40,000 for Manjunath for a pair of bullocks and Rs one lakh for a tractor, which would have been difficult for him to afford.

Multi-purpose

Besides ploughing the fields, the buffaloes are being utilised to transport fertilisers to his fields and mulberry leaves that he grows to the silkworm rearing centre.

Manjunath says the buffaloes can plough the fields as efficiently as bullocks and can pull a cart filled with leaves weighing one tonne.  

Anytime friends

Another advantage for Manjunath has been that the buffaloes are all-weather beasts in that they can work in heavy wind, low temperature and rain.

They fall ill less often and their maintenance cost is also low as they can be let out to graze in open fields as well as forests.

Better suited

The buffalo as a beast of burden is better suited for the ploughing of small fields. Manjunath is rather re-inventing the wheel, in that he has revived the age-old practice of ploughing marshy fields using buffaloes.

Buffalo races in marshy fields are a common sport in Dakshina Kannada even
today.

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