The farmer is able to get a gross income of nearly Rs. 30 lakhs in a year
Agricultural research aims to increase crop yield. Success in food production can be achieved only if the crop specific technologies are affordable, reliable and replicable.
“The need of the hour is technologies which are not only farmer friendly but also pocket friendly. Farmers can earn more if they properly follow the advice of field scientists,” says Dr. V. A. Parthasarathy, Director, Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR), Kozhikode, Kerala.
Whether the farm is big or small is immaterial as long as farmers are able to get income from it and right agricultural practices guarantee this to the farmers, according to him.
A good example is that of Mr. S. B. Jayaraj of Madapura village in Kodagu district, Karnataka, who inherited a farm of 18 hectares.
He follows a coffee based farming system where arabica coffee is the main crop. The coffee crop was planted in an area of 40 acres at 5 feet x 5 feet spacing nearly a decade back.
He had also planted silver oak trees in rows in between the coffee plants, which is a normal cultivation practice followed by other farmers in the region.
He planted black pepper and allowed the vines to trail on the oak trees. The growth of the vines was luxuriant in the initial stages and they started yielding well.
The total yield was around 4 tonnes in 2004-05. His annual farm income was around Rs. 20 lakh, mainly from coffee and black pepper. “The problems started when the vines were expected to give good yield,” says the farmer. The vines started dying due to several infestations. I adopted all known measures to control the problem but failed” the farmer recalls.
He approached the Cardamom Research Centre (CRC) of the IISR at Appangala in Kodagu District in 2004 to obtain a solution to his burning problem.
Dr. N.S. Venugopal, (Head of the Centre) and his team visited his farm and decided to demonstrate modern technologies developed at the Institute to curtail the problems. “Many farmers are losing their crops only because of their non-adoption of scientific crop husbandry methods.
We adviced the planter to follow integrated nutrient and diseases management practices developed by us,” says Dr. Venugopal.
Accordingly the vines were irrigated and fertilizers (350 g of NPK, 16:12:16 and 150 g MOP) and 10 kg of compost were applied to each vine. The farmer sprayed all the vines with one per cent carbendazim solution.
“I would have lost all my vines like other planters in the region, had I not adopted the scientific measures.
Today I am able to harvest about 25 tonnes of black pepper and realize a gross income of nearly Rs. 30 lakhs in a year,” says Mr. Jayaraj.
Dr. Parthasarathy describes it as one of the best scientifically managed estates in the region, to become a model for farmers/planters who are interested in adopting modern technologies to prevent crop loss and practising profitable agriculture.
The planter can be contacted at the following address: Mr. S.B. Jayaraj, Murugarajendra estate, Jambur, Madapur, Somwarpet taluk, Kodagu district-571 201, Karnataka, mobile:099454-99080 and Dr. M.N. Venugopal, Head, Cardamom Research Centre, Appangala, Madikeri-571 201, email: >email@example.com, Phone: 08272-245451, 245514.