It’s true that yield will be more if chemical fertilizers are used. But if it is continued, its quantity has to be increased year after year. With that there is a need to increase the supply of water too. Therefore, at one point of time the soil will become completely barren.
But when organic farming is continued the soil will become more and more fertile and it will never lose its fertility. With that there is reduction in expenditure therefore increase in profit. I have learnt about natural farming only through ‘Pasumai Vikatan’ and have started following the practice. I am happy ever since”, says a “Pioneer organic farmer” from Ponvilaindhakalathur village, near Chengalpet, Kancheepuram district, Seshadhri.
Training showing the pathway
We met Seshadhri while he was drying the harvested paddy. “We have been doing cultivation for the past five generations. The bond between Vikatan and I began during my father’s time. Through Ananda Vikatan I learnt about Pasumai Vikatan and I have been reading it till now. I had participated in the training program conducted by Subhash Palekar through Pasumai Vikatan. Since then I am interested in natural farming.
Before the training, I was also using chemical fertilizers for cultivation. When I was reading Pasumai Vikatan I was doubtful how it is possible to get that much return through natural farming. But after directly doing it I could understand that it is a fact. I grow only the traditional seeds and the improved seed varieties provided by the Agriculture University. I have roamed about the whole district of Tamil Nadu to learn about organic farming and procure traditional seed varieties.
Yield within four years
I own three and half acres of land. Along with eight acres of lease land I continue my farming. It is twenty five years since I entered into agriculture. I have experienced with all kinds of crop cultivations. I am also learning new lessons. If a chemically cultivated land is continued with organic farming for three years, the yield can be as equivalent as with chemical in puts from the fourth year.
At the same time, the cost for inputs will also come down. I always use lake water even if there is well water available. Only this year I am using well irrigation as the lake has dried up. As the lake is dry no one is willing to cultivate at the time of January. I have planned to cultivate Vamban-8, a black gram variety, using well irrigation.
Drought resistant TKM-13
Last time I cultivated TKM-13 rice variety. The harvest was completed in February. This variety was able to grow, enduring drought. No pest or disease problems at all. I bought rice seeds from Rice Research Institute, Thirur. This variety of rice is similar to Bapatla rice from Andhra”, Seshadhri continued elaborating on the income.
More profit through direct sale
“Cultivation in two acres of land has yielded 4,500 kg of paddy. If it is totally made into rice it will amount to 1,920 kg. I have planned to sell one kg of rice for 70 INR. Therefore, for 1,920 kg rice the income will be 1,34,400 INR and if 34000 INR is deducted for expenses I would be able to get 1,00,400 INR as profit. This is only the cost of cultivation and for converting it to rice the husk will be taken back as salary.
Income and expenditure in cultivating rice in one acre as per Seshadhri (INR)
Sale of rice
Net profit (per acre)
For two acres
The profit will be more if it is sold after making it into rice directly rather than selling it as paddy. The reason for more profit is due to selling if directly and also cultivating it organically,” Seshadhri started concluding.
“The difference between chemical farming and organic farming is meager. But expenditure will be more with chemical farming. I can vouch for organic farming that it can be more profitable. If any one wishes to learn more about it one can contact me any time”, concluded Seshadhri.
This is the way to cultivate
Here is the lesson to cultivate TKM-13 rice variety in one acre of land as described by Seshadhri.
The cultivation land should be prepared simultaneously when the saplings are being prepared. In the selected cultivation land of one acre, spread one ton farm yard manure and plough the land thoroughly. Using rotavator level the land, soak it with plenty of water and plant one sapling with 25 cm gap in between as a single plant. Irrigate the land with precise water, neither in excess nor inadequate. Once in every fifteen days mix 200 liters of Jeevamirtham along with the irrigation. On the 15th and 35th day after planting, weed out the land manually.
Every time after weeding out, spray 20 kg each of Azospirillum, neem cake, Pseudomonas in the field. Often, spray Jeevamirtham formulation through bunch of leaves. When there is sprouting of paddy herbal insect repellent can be sprayed. At the time of maturation of paddy, irrigation should be stopped and once the land is dried up, harvest can be initiated.
Rice sapling grown in elevation
The age of TKM-13 rice variety is 130- 140 days. It can endure not only drought but also heavy wind. It can be cultivated in all types of soil. For planting in an acre, sapling bed can be raised in elevated land of 3 cents.
Manure from sheep, cow along with neem cake should be mixed in equal portion and spread all through the bed. 2 kg of improvised rice seed can be spread over the bed with daily sprinkling of water in the morning and evening.
By sprinkling of water the saplings will be able to grow straight. After the third day of seeding, one liter of Jeevamirtham should be mixed with 10 liters of water and sprinkled over. On 25th day the saplings will be ready for planting.
(This article originally written by Durai.Nagarajan for Pasumai Vikatan has been reproduced in English by V Amalan Stanley)