Innovation is the key to success. Some people who are wedded to agriculture being in their own village meet with failure while some people who are not available 24/7 in their lands meet with amazing success. Young farmer Jayanth belongs to the latter group in Theni district.
Jayanth has his farm with 35 acres in the area of Thoda which is 8 km from Paramasivan Koil village in Bodinayakanur. While this is an ancestral property for Jayanth, he is working in an MNC as well as looking after the field operations, doing sales through internet. Jayanth’s grandfather and his father had been using this vast area for cultivation of Black-eyed pea/cowpea. Since the land surface is a slope, the rain water will easily pass through and they collect it for use at their own convenient places. They had also planted mango and drumstick trees with inter-crops such as tamarind trees. Now they look like a mini forest.
Jayanth proudly declares that Pasumai Vikatan only kindled his innate interest to so something new in his agricultural operations. Having been motivated by a few articles in Pasumai Vikatan regarding direct marketing and sale of products instead of through intermediaries, Jayanth thought of doing the value addition for direct sale.
Jayanth capitalized both his knowledge and his father’s experience and in addition to that, he undertook six-months training in value addition process of fruits from the Agriculture University.
Soon Jayanth obtained a certification for his farm as one of the recognized ‘organic farms’ through the University as a result of which the relevant details of his farm got shared on-line. Following this, he created his own website for further promotion. He started receiving orders from a minimum 3 kg. With all these progressive steps he is now able to sell both mangoes and tamarind direct through on-line sale without the intermediaries. He is also planning to create a user-friendly ‘app’ as the next move.
Jayanth has thus perfectly understood the nuances of success, i.e. a) proper recognition and b) meeting the customers’ exact requirements and been actively engaged in his official job from Monday to Friday at Chennai and weekends in his village in his own farming operations.
Importance of coconut fibre:-
Coconut fibre is capable of retaining the moisture content. For the trees grown in the farm, Jayanth arranges for irrigation once a fortnight only; otherwise, he puts the coconut fibre which will ensure moisture on a continuous basis. In their 35 acres of land, Jayanth’s father had planted 900 mango trees and Jayanth 420 trees. They grow kallamani, sendur,alphonsa, imambasanth, malgova, kalapadi, kasaladdu and country variety and variety meant for pickles etc. All the trees are being maintained with a distance of 30 feet distance and within 2 ft.diameter.
Nature protector – insect musudu:-
The insect musudu ants (red ants)are nature protectors and they will eat away unwanted small insects. Similarly, Jayanth does not destroy the spiders which will take care of other insects that may harm the trees. At the time of sprouting, Jayanth sprinkles panchakavya in the ratio of 300 ml. in 10 lt.water in order to prevent withering. Normally, mango trees will start giving fruits from the 4th year but from the 7th year the harvest will be more. The total stock the family has in 35 acres is:-900 mango trees and 1,000 tamarind trees. From mangoes alone they are able to procure 120 tonnes per year.
Jayanth confirms that this time the output is less due to unexpected rain during flowering period. The output was only 30 tonnes which he was able to sell through on-line as well as direct sale in 90 shops in Chennai which helped him to earn little more profit.
The list of products and average price at which sold:-
Alphonsa = Rs.60/- per kg
Malgova = Rs.75/- per kg
Senduram = Rs.55/- per kg
Kasaladdu = Rs.50/- per kg
Imambasanth = Rs.75/- per kg.
Kalapadi = Rs.95/- per kg.
Average selling price = Rs.60/- per kg.
Total income from mangoes = Rs.18,00,000/-
Total income from sale of tamarind after
removal of seed (Rs.130/- x 1,600 kg.) = Rs. 2,08,000/-
NOTE:- Even assuming that the entire income obtained from tamarind is to be adjusted against overall maintenance, tamarind purification, packing, transportation etc. ,the income of Rs.18,00,000/- received from mangoes out of 35 acre utilization is considered to be the net profit. Above all, as far as Jayanth is concerned, the satisfaction that he has got from his farming operation is supreme.
Water conservation for irrigation:-
Fortunately, Jayanth’s farm is a convenient slope. He has consciously created ponds (20 x 1 x 2 ft) wherever required so that the water can be conserved in these ponds which can be used for further irrigation.
Jayanth has also built tanks to store water overflowing from passages. The irrigation takes place through pipes based on gravitation principle. Another important aspect that Jayanth does is that he allows cattle grazing for 4 times as a result of which their residues will be used as manures for his trees. The weeds are cut and will be used for mulching which will subsequently become manures and they will ensure that the moisture is sufficiently retained.
Jayanth’s innovation and implementation in his farming operations are admirable as well as worth emulating.
(This article written in Tamil by M Marimuthu in July 2015 for Pasumai Vikatan has been reproduced in English P S Ramamurthy)