These traditional varieties yield more and more
“I too was using chemical fertilizers and pesticides in my fields. I had converted to organic farming only after having introduced to Nammaalvar. I have been farming my field based on the natural agriculture technologies recommended by ‘Pasumai Vikatan’. I have been getting wonderful returns”, says overwhelmingly, Mr Arulmozhi, Tirukkoyilur , Viluppuram district.
Guided by Nammaalvar
Conversation started while conversing with him, sitting on the bund amidst widespread green carpet of paddy crops touching the horizon.
“We are a family of agriculture for generations. In spite of being a teacher, dad, continued farming. We are four siblings, the other three being girls. I studied up to secondary grade. I was not good at studies and therefore joined with dad to involve in agriculture. Though returns were good at the beginning using chemical fertilizers, it gradually declined. Expenditure escalated when trying to compensate yield by providing increased input of chemical fertilizers.
Arulmozhi in his paddy field…. 15 acres…only one time…INR4,74,000…
Abundantly yielding traditional varieties!
By this time, I participated in the Kabilar Festival where Nammaalvar was present. “Lands being spoilt by dumping chemical fertilizers and food grown in those fields also become poison,” he cautioned. After listening to him I was in search of organic cultivation. I visited many organic farms all over Tamilnadu, learnt about various natural farming techniques and finally initiated it in my field. I started following what was taught by ‘Pasumai Vikatan’, such as Jeevamirtham, herbal insect repellent and other natural techniques”, continued Arulmozhi, with an interesting preamble.
Read it last year….implanted this year
“I have a total land of 30 acres and leased out 15 acres due to lack of laborers. Farming is continued only in the remaining 15 acres. There is no scarcity of water as there are four wells available in the field. At the beginning I was cultivating modern Aaduthurai rice varieties only. Having learnt from ‘Pasumai Vikatan’ I have switched to cultivating Seeraga Samba and white Ponni varieties. With those varieties I am able to get better yield as well as better price.
Last year, in Pongal Special Edition, there was a mention about Subramaniasiva who was cultivating five different varieties of rice. I bought from him a few varieties, Salem sanna, Aathur kichadi, Maappillai samba and cultivated them along with my existing crop varieties, Seeraga Samba and white Ponni totaling to five varieties in my field as well, this year. All those five varieties White Ponni in 12.5 acres, Aathur kichadi in 50 cents, Salem sanna in 50 cents, Seeraga Samba in 90 cents and Maappillai samba in 60 cents are in good stead in my field. While some of them have matured and are ready for harvesting some others need another month to be harvested,” described Arulmozhi, further explaining about his cultivation practices.
Each variety with unique feature
Life of White Ponni is 145 days and it is 135 days for Aathur kichadi, Salem sanna and Seeraga Samba whereas it is 160 days for Maappillai samba. Aathur kichadi remains small and tasty and suitable for cooking. Though the husk of Salem sanna is red the rice remains white and suitable for sweet pongal. Seeraga samba is fragrant and tasty and suitable for biriyani while Maappilai samba strengthens body and has anti-diabetic features.
15 kg seeds for an acre
To make a seed bed, allot ten cents per acre of land. In ten cents of land pour one cart of farm yard manure, level it by three-row of ploughing while retaining water within. To 10 kg of vermicompost, add 200 g of Azospirillum and Phosphobaterium, 10 g of Pseudomonas and spray it on the seed bed. For an acre 15 kg of paddy is required. Soak the seeds in water for 36 hours and seed them on their horn in the water retained seed bed in the morning. Drain the water in the evening and keep it drying for five days while they will be sprouting. Irrigate the bed with life saving water and retain water for a week. By day 7 irrigate the bed mixed with Amudhakkaraisal.
Matured sheath of rice (picture)
On day 12, spread 5 kg of groundnut oil cake mixed with 20 kg of farm yard manure. If there is pestilence attack spray 500 mL herbal insect repellent mixed with 12 liters of water (ten tanks per acre). Saplings will be ready on 18th day and they can be replanted on day 22.
Growth enhancing biofertilizers
While saplings are getting ready the land should be prepared for planting. In the chosen land of one acre opt for multiple grain cultivation and plough them with the soil when they are flowering. Keep goats in the land with fencing for a while. Then soak the land with water and level it by ploughing. Spread 500 kg of enriched vermicompost (a mix of 500 kg vermicompost, two kg of Azospirillum and Phosphobaterium each and one kg of Pseudomonas, held for seven days provides enriched vermicompost). Continuously, as usual, the saplings should be planted. Keep irrigating and drying the field. Weed out the field on day 20 and spread 20kg of enriched vermicompost (a mix of 20 kg vermicompost, two kg of Azospirillum and Phosphobaterium each and one kg of Pseudomonas, held for seven). From 25th day, a single spray of Panchakaaya, Fish acid, natural repellent alternately for every 15 days on rotation (with a tank capacity of 20 liters; 300 mL if it is Panchakaaya, 150 mL if it is fish acid and 700 mL for repellent per tank; ten tanks required for an acre of land). Continue this practice till harvest. In spite of the efforts if there are pestilence attacks spray ginger-garlic mix. Mostly pests will not attack traditional varieties.
White Ponni sheaths out after 100 days, gets matured by 125th day and becomes ready for harvest by day 145. Aathur kichadi, Salem sanna and Seeraga samba sheath out after 90 days, get matured by 115th day and becomes ready for harvest by day 135. Maappillai samba sheaths out after 110 days, gets matured by 140th day and becomes ready for harvest by day 160.
7.75 lakh income in a single cultivation
Having completed the cultivation part, Arulmozhi continued about the returns.
In 12.5 acre of land 312 bags (75 kg each) of White Ponni can be harvested. If it is boiled and made into rice form 14000 kg rice will be gained. If one kg is sold for INR 45 the income will be 6,30,000 INR.
In 90 cent of land 20 bags Seeraga samba can be harvested. If it is ground to raw rice form 900 kg rice will be gained. If one kg is sold for INR 70 the income will be 63,000 INR. From Aathur kichadi and Salem sanna, each grown in half an acre land I expect 12 bags each totaling to 24 bags. . If it is boiled and made into rice form 1,080 kg rice will be gained. If one kg is sold for INR 50 the income will be 54,000 INR. From Maappillai samba in 60 cent of land I expect 10 bags, which when boiled and made into rice form 450 kg of rice could be expected. If one kg is sold for INR 60 the income will be 27,000 INR.
In total, from 15 acre of land the income will be INR 7,74,000. Even if the expenses amount to INR 20,000 per acre, it will be 3 lakhs for 15 acres of land and the profit will be INR 4,74,000. For an acre of land the profit will be INR 31,000 in a single phase of cultivation.
Profit will be more only if it is converted to rice form. If it is sold as such the profit will come down. Similarly if chemical fertilizers and pesticides are used the profit will further decline,” concluded Arulmozhi with growing confidence and vigor.
Contact Arulmozhi, 94873 81043
(This article written by Vembian in Pasumai Vikatan has been reproduced in English by Amalan Stanley)