Many people are under the wrong notion that organic farming will not fetch as much returns as that of chemical farming. Time and again, this concept has been proved wrong by many organic farming farmers who have practically proved that organic farming will get super returns beyond any comparison. One such advocate is Prof. Perumal, retired from TN Agricultural University and who belongs to Kanchipuram. He has successfully introduced KO-51 variety paddy in his 1.8 acres of land and yielded 40 bags from his land, based only on cattle manure.
Prof.Perumal’s personal life history is very astonishing. He is from Kanchipuram and his farm is located in a small village Chithiraivadi near Madhurantakam in Kanchipuram district. His parents never got any formal education at all. Agriculture has been their family occupation. When Perumal was born, there was no school at all in his village and he got some basics from the veranda school. He only used to rear the cattle when he was young.
He was put in First standard when he was nine years old at Madhurantakam. With poverty writ large, he somehow finished his schooling and joined the Agricultural College at Coimbatore in 1959. After his B.Sc. in agriculture, he completed his P.hD also and got an opportunity to go to Florida University in US with the help of Ford Foundation. He finished his doctorate and returned to Agricultural University in the academics.
After having retired from the college, he wanted to start a school in his own village and thus started one in 1995. He has been actively involved in his agricultural activities also even at the age of 85. Using organic farm practice in his land around the school, he has been successfully maintaining the same.
He grows brinjal in 10 cents, banana plant in 5 cents, spinach in 5 cents and paddy in 1.8 acre land. He has 8-year old mango trees in about 7 acres of land and as inter-crops, he has guava, teak, red sandals, sapota (Chikoo) and coconut. He has 4 cows and the milk will be handed to the workers in the farm. He is not selling the products but offering them for barter against any needy products. He says he planted KO-51 variety paddy in his 1.8 acre land in last December and now it is ready for harvest. He has used only cattle manure and nothing else. The plant is 4 ft. high and well mature. He expected more than 35 bags of paddy from his 2 acres of land. In March 2018, he was able to consolidate and collect 40 bags (80 kg.each). He admits that if he had adopted chemical farming method, he would have been able to get little more yield. But he is confident that the value of the paddy produced by him out of organic farming method is much superior to chemical farming. He confirms that he will not sell but only exchange this as seeds on the basis of barter with whoever is interested.
Prof.Perumal openly confesses that even while he was working as Professor in the Agricultural University, he was under the impression that chemical farming was better than organic method but now he has been fully convinced that there is nothing like organic farming which is otherwise life-long.
Perumal mentions how KO-51 variety paddy can be grown in an acre, as under:-
Cattle manure must be stored in one corner of the plot and ploughed. A structure should be formed with water. 3 kg. paddy seeds should be spread and watered both in the morning and evening. After 21 days, the seeds will become mature enough for planting. Before the 25th day, they must be properly sown in the field. In one acre, 3 tonne cattle manure may be put and the soil must be levelled with sufficient water.
Mulching should be done for 7 days with the leaves of yercum (rue herb) and margo plants. One time ploughing is required to be done for seeding operation. Then they must be planted with 1 ft.distance between rows and ¾ ft.distance between one seed and another.
Watering should be continued at regular intervals. In the event of any weeds, they must be removed from the ground. Since intensive cattle manure is put in place, no other manure may be necessary. After maturing of the paddy in about 105 days, harvest can be done.
Insects will not affect the plants at all since it is completely organic farm based.
The team led by Ganesamurthy, Director of Genetics & Crop Breeding Centre of the Agricultural University visited and inspected the farm maintained by Prof. Perumal. They were extremely happy to observe the steady progress achieved by Prof.Perumal in his farm which is fully based on organic farming method. He appreciated the efforts put in by Prof.Perumal. He added that Prof.Perumal had bought the seeds only from the University and got maximum yield with less water. He further recommended that this KO-51 variety paddy will go with Kuruvai, Sornavari, Kar and Navarai seasons and not Samba and Thaladi seasons.
Prof.Perumal’s simple and humble efforts have borne tremendous results over a period of time.
For more details contact Perumal 94432 40074
(This article written in Tamil by Durai Nagarajan for Pasumai Vikatan magazine dt 25/4/18 has been transcreated in English by P.S.Ramamurthy)