DRAWING VISITORS: The farm in Gadag district spread over 7.5 acres attracts hundreds of farmers every year.
Suganahalli is a small village located in the Kappatagudda hill range, 25 km from Gadag in Karnataka.
The village has about 230 farm families among which Mr. Basavaraj Chandrappa Navi’s farm is quite well known as a “knowledge bank” for farmers, students and extension personnel ate University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) New Delhi.
“The farm (spread over 7.5 acres) attracts hundreds of farmers every year. The reason is that Mr. Navi is able to get a net income of Rs. 8 lakh a year. This has served as an inspiration for many farmers to visit his farm. At a time when agriculture is considered to be a not very prosperous vocation, people like Mr. Navi tend to kindle the interest and curiosity of others as to how he is able to be financially successful,” says Dr. Sreenath Dixit, Zonal Project Director, Hebbal, Bangalore.
The farmer initially started mulberry cultivation and constructed a temporary rearing shed in his farm. In the first year he was able to earn Rs. 10,000 from the first harvest of the cocoons.
In subsequent years, he increased the rearing size and with it the profit. During 2012-13, he earned Rs. 3.50 lakh from harvesting seven crops of cocoons in a year. With support from Karnataka Vikas Grameen Bank and Department of Sericulture, he established a permanent silkworm rearing house. He purchased 4.5 acres of land adjacent to his farm out of the earnings from sericulture enterprise.
“Earnings from sericulture enterprise gave me a lot of confidence. I wanted to take up an innovative cropping system in my newly purchased land. KVK experts guided me on how to go about it.
“I planted 80 sapota, 40 mango, 50 drumstick, 150 palm trees, 100 teak, 25 guava, 100 coconut and 100 neem trees along with fodder crops and grasses in the newly purchased land. Further, I attended a one month training programme on vermicompost production organised by KVK, Gadag,” explains Mr. Navi.
During his stay at the KVK, the farmer learnt how to recharge borewell and openwell, azolla cultivation, vermigel production, and bio-digester technologies.
Immediately after training, he started a vermicompost production unit in his farm. The unit produces 10 tonnes of vermicompost a year. His present annual income is Rs. 30,000-40, 000 from the sale of vermicompost.
He has also adopted a bio-digester, as well as borewell recharging technologies in his farm. He owns four cows and cow-dung is utilised as raw material for the bio-digester and vermicompost unit. He has established an aolla unit and cultivates napier and guinea grass as a feed for his animals
Apart from the income from milk, he gets good profit from the inter crops of drumstick, guava, groundnut, millets, cucumber, maize and sunflower planted in his orchard.
Mr. Navi is now getting a net income of Rs. 65,000-70, 000 per month from all these crops and is hopeful of raising the income to Rs. 1.5-2 lakh a month in the coming years once the mango, sapota, coconut and oil palm crops also start yielding.
“Recycling of farm waste and crop residue from all the components has economised the farm production. The system not only fulfils the household needs of the farmer as well as animals, but also the diet of the family,” says Dr.L.G.Hiregoudar, Programme Coordinator, K.H.Patil Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Hulkoti.
Presently Mr. Navi is the Director of Someshwar organic farmers association in Shirahatti taluk created by the Organic Mission under Government of Karnataka. Through this forum, he is disseminating his experiences in organic farming techniques and practices to others.
His farm has also become a learning centre for school children in the region and students of UAS. He was conferred the “Best Horticulture Farmer” title of Gadag district for the year 2013-14 by University of Horticultural Sciences, Bagalkot.
For more details interested farmers can contact
Mr. Basavaraj Navi, Suganahalli village, Shirahatti post: 582112, Gadag district, Mobile No.: 7259968715 and Dr.L.G.Hiregoudar, Programme Coordinator, K.H.Patil Krishi Vigyan Kendra on mobile: 09448358772.