Advocating sustainable farming

Anyone who listens to Lakshmavva’s discourse on the basics of agriculture will change the notion that only formal schooling makes one wise and knowledgeable. An illiterate person, she has been inspiring farmers through her talks on the intricacies of farming and practical guidance to make a living out of it. Lakshmavva lives in a modest house in Pattalachinti village of Koppal district, and is an expert in growing short-term crops, mainly floriculture.

Her enthusiasm in farming and continuous experimentation has led her to become a guiding light for other women in the region. The key aspects of her lectures are — choosing a crop that suits the agro-climatic conditions of a region and water availability, opting crops that require less investment, and considering the market aspect before growing a crop. More than this, she narrates instances and anecdotes that help fellow farmers come out of distress. “Farmers should not just rely on long-term crops, even short-duration crops are important for economical sustenance,” she says.

Sharanamma of Cholachagudda village of Bagalkot district, who is an expert in banana cultivation, has also been sharing her experiences and insights to farmer groups. Apart from providing complete information about banana cultivation — from plant selection to marketing — she also gives inputs on agrimarketing, organic manure and sustainable farming. Both Lakshmavva and Sharanamma stress on the need to have subsidiary activities to sustain farming. They also feel that women farmers are efficient and creative.

These two distinct efforts in two different districts of North Karnataka have attracted the attention of the Agriculture Department and other organisations working in the sector. They bring farmers to these farms on exposure visits. “We have taken hundreds of farmers to these two farms on exposure visits. Many have got inspiration from Lakshmavva and Sharanamma, and have achieved success under their guidance,” says Sangappa Hugar, a supervisor at Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project.  

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