Turmeric plants grown on organic manure in Pragadavaram of West Godavari
PRAGADAVARAM (WEST GODAVARI DISTRICT): The lush-green turmeric plants grown on a three-acre plot with organic manures at this village in the upland area of West Godavari district seems to be a model to emulate for farmers obsessed with the harmful and high-cost chemical fertilizers.
K. Krantikumar Reddy, a farmer who did his doctorate in sustainable agriculture, raised the ‘pratibha’ variety of turmeric in his farm field by applying organic manure. Mr. Reddy owns half a dozen cows and a dozen and a half buffalos exclusively for producing organic manure in his farm field. He applies the ‘jeevamrutha’ method of organic farming as per which cow urine and dung, jaggery and powder of pulses are fermented in a tank. And, the turmeric fields are irrigated with the fermented manure.
A tank has been dug for fermentation near the field and the bore water joins the tank to carry the fermented manure along with it into the turmeric field. The plants grow up to a maximum height of 5 feet within 90 days of transplantation. The turmeric plants raised in conventional method by applying chemical fertilizer in the other fields do not grow more than 3 ft height.
According to Mr. Krantikumar Reddy, the turmeric farming by applying organic manure proved in his case that the cost of production is quite low and it helps in producing the turmeric of high-export value. Besides, the organic farming also prevents the attack of rhizome rot, a devastating pest observed in the Kadapa and Duggirala varieties of turmeric in Krishna and Guntur districts, he adds.
The presence of a chemical substance named curcimin in turmeric holds the key to its export value.
Turmeric with more curcimin content got more export value. In the turmeric raised by applying chemical fertilizers, its presence is observed not more than two 2 per cent.
“I expect its presence to be around 6 per cent in my field”, Mr. Reddy says. The yield in the plot is also expected to be 25-30 quintals per acre as against 15-20 quintals in inorganic farming.
“When I spend hardly Rs. 50 per acre on production of organic farming, the cost of production in conventional farming will be more than Rs. 3,000 per acre, thanks to the spiralling prices of chemical fertilizers,” he says.