In modern days – be it Government job or Private job – the work pressure is unduly more and the job satisfaction is at rock bottom. Most of such people invariably shift themselves to agriculture in order to have peace of mind. Ravindran is one such person who belongs to Moolaipuli village, Tiruchendur taluk in Tuticorin district. He has left his job in shipping industry once and for all and got settled in agriculture for better justification. He is now a full-fledged agriculturist engaged in organic farming. Ravindran’s farm is located in Uttangaraivilai , 2 kms from Kanam Kaspa in Tuticorin. Ravindran is a graduate in Commerce degree and has had a long stint of 26 years in shipping line. For want of peaceful existence and life, he has chosen agriculture permanently.
Agriculture – the second call:-
After Ravindran’s permanent return to village, his father divided the land holdings and as outcome, he got around 2 acres of land with ethan type banana plants. Having noticed a type of disease at the foot of the banana plants, he checked with his father who directed him to buy some chemical fertilizers to do away with that problem. However, the remedy did not work out successfully and so he was in a confused state.
Jeevamirdham & Pasumai Vikatan - the change agents for Ravindran:-
On hearing about another farmer, Sakthikumar in the neighboring village of Kayamozhi, Ravindran approached him for a solution for his banana root problem. Ravindran was informed that any excess chemical fertilizer, if given, would definitely result in this kind of problem. Alternatively, he had suggested use of organic farming to avoid that problem. Sakthikumar taught him the preparation and use of Jeevamirda karaisal and advised him to use 2 lt. pure jeevamirda karaisal directly on the affected part. Ravindran initially experimented with 10 banana plants and within 5 days he was able to notice the improvement. When Ravindran happily reported this progress to Sakthikumar, the latter further suggested that Ravindran should read and benefit more from Pasumai Vikatan. Pasumai Vikatan has since been a guiding factor for Ravindran.
Multi-cropping on short-term basis:-
Ravindran says he has used 2 acres for malai ethan banana cultivation exclusively on organic method only which is just six months old. Before the banana comes to harvest stage he wants to try some short-term plants. With this objective in mind, he has taken 2 acres on lease which is of red soil base. He has planted groundnut in 50 cents, brinjal in 30 cents, bottle gourd in 30 cents and snake gourd in 30 cents. It is just a month since he planted these short-term vegetables. The remaining 60 cents is vacant as of now.
Rs.17,000/- profit on groundnut:-
But for unexpected rain, Ravindran would have earned more profit from the groundnut cultivation. He has been able to get 380 kg.of kadalai only from 50 cents against the expected yield of 500 kg. From 380 kg of covered groundnut he is hopeful of getting 300 kg.nut which he can sell in his friend’s organic centre at Tirunelveli @ Rs.90/- per kilo. If he is able to sell it @ Rs.90/- per kilo, he will be able to get a collection of Rs.27,000/- for 300 kg. If he deducts the various expenditure he has incurred towards seeding, irrigation, cultivation, harvesting etc. amounting to Rs.10,000/-, the net income would stand at Rs.17,000/- He plans to dispose of the groundnut creepers to the cattle of his relatives. Naturally, Ravindran takes pride in saying that he is indebted to Pasumai Vikatan for having enlightened him on various positive aspects of agriculture, especially the concept of organic farming. Because of that, Ravindran feels that his association with his land is unique and special.
Tips from Ravindran on Groundnut cultivation:-
The month of Avani is best suited for Groundnut
Must be manually ploughed and left untouched for a week
Decomposed cow dung in the ratio of 1 tractor per 50 cents should be laid and ploughed with the help of tiller
10 x 8 ft. partition with 2 ft.gap in between should be erected; Nearly 130 partitions can be created in 50 cents space
Planting of groundnut should be done in the partitions (20 kgs seeds would be required for 50 cents land)
After planting, water must be poured in. The watering process must be continued for three days, once a day
The nuts will sprout on the third day
After 15 to 20 days the unwanted side plants must be removed. Then the soil must be compressed for consolidation
How to protect from insects?
It requires two-pronged attack – one is to nourish the plants and the other is to kill and drive out the insects
On the 10th day, Jeevamirdam and water must be mixed in the ratio of 1 : 10 lt.and should be sprinkled
On the 20th day water and fish acid in the ratio of 10 lt.water and 150 ml.fish acid should be sprinkled
The above two processes must be implemented on a rotational basis
Similarly, from 20th to 25th day flowering will happen during which time, red color centipede will attack the plant. This is the time wherein neem nut karaisal and dried ginger cum garlic essence must be applied on a rotational pattern
Neem nut karaisal must be prepared by grinding 4 kg.nut and mixing the powder in 10 lt.cow’s urine. The mixture will thus have to be left untouched for 2 days. This must further be mixed with water in the ratio of 300 ml.karaisal and 10 lt.water respectively. This ultimate substance should be sprinkled as a disinfectant
Another process is with dried ginger and garlic karaisal. ½ kg.each of ginger and garlic, ¼ kg.green chilli must all be ground properly and mixed with 5 lt.water. After filtering, this must also be sprinkled in the ratio of 10 lt water with 300 ml.of the karaisal
In case the leaves appear yellowish or greyish or the plant appears to sag, we have to follow one more process, i.e.1/4 kg. each of pirandai thandu, veli paruthi and neem leaves must be crushed and soaked in 7 lt. buttermilk for 2 days. Afterwards it must be filtered and the filtered substance must be mixed in water in the ratio of 1 lt.karaisal and 10 lt.water and the same should be sprinkled
Between 110 and 120 days, the harvesting can be done
No wonder, Ravindran feels fully justified for having shifted to agriculture and organic farming, thanks to Pasumai Vikatan!
(This article written in Tamil by E Karthikeyan has been reproduced in English by P S Ramamurthy).