Where hard work bears fruit

Till about five to six years ago, this land was barren, and full of weeds and stones. No farmer could reap a good crop.

Today, everything has changed. The land has turned fertile, and a wide of variety of fruits is grown here.

All efforts invested into agriculture are bearing fruit, and literally so. All thanks to organic farming.

P Hanumantha Reddy of Palurahalli in Mulbagal taluk’s Alangur Gram Panchayat has grown over 20 varieties of fruits on his 15-acre plot. Though sapota is the principal crop that he grows, he also grows guava and custard apple as subsidiary crops. It was only recently that his guava plant bore a fruit weighing 950 gm and a sapota that weighed over 300 grams.

Apart from these fruits, he also grows a wide variety of lime, goose berries, mango and jackfruit, apart from coconut trees. His land is marked by as many as 250 jamun trees, as if to form a fence.

This farmer used a lot of compost and other organic waste to make the land fertile, five years back, as the first step towards taking to organic farming. After five years, Reddy is reaping the benefits of organic farming. He has made profits by selling guava and mango this year.

He has sold the Dasheri variety for a price of Rs 40,000 per ton, fetching greater profits than the Badami variety. “Six years back, as a first step, I spent Rs two lakh and had a borewell installed, which supplied water to 15 acres of land. Today, though, there’s a drip irrigation system in place.

I have sourced sapota varieties from Gokak, guava varieties from Mudiyanur farm and started off with the organic method of farming. Initially, not many people thought it would work, but today, farmers from nearby areas come to have a look at my farm, and to see if they can follow this model,” he explains.

“Initially, when the guava saplings were small, I noticed a white pest. However, I attended a seminar organised at the Agriculture University in Bangalore, and sprayed jeevamruta (a healthy, organic concoction). After administering this from time to time, the white pest disappeared,” he explains.

Reddy has constructed a tank, called a biodigester, for the preparation of organic manure. Reddy points out that fruits raised under the organic method last longer. He points out that last year, he made profits by selling sapota fruits twice. Now, it is the turn of guava. This farmer has gone on to prove that the organic method of farming is a great model of agriculture.

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