Chitrashekar S. Parashivappagol is a progressive farmer who was declared by the State government as ‘Krishi Pandit’ in 2009–10. He has turned his land into a virtual goldmine by following improved agricultural practices in the cultivation of traditional crops such as red gram, Bengal gram, jowar and cash crops such as sugarcane, banana, and drumstick.
No chemical fertilizer
Mr. Parashivappagol never uses chemical fertilizer, preferring natural compost and vermicompost to enrich the soil.. Speaking to The Hindu on his field at Farhatabad village, 18 km from Gulbarga, the progressive farmer said that he had his own vermicompost unit which produced around 60 tonnes of compost every year, of which he uses 40 tonnes. He sells the remainder to his fellow farmers.
He has also adapted the drip irrigation system for cultivation of sugarcane and banana.
At present, he is cultivating a high-yield sugarcane variety in six acres of land.
Mr. Parashivappagol has also been cultivating red gram, and had used an innovative farming practice called ‘deep sowing’: seeds are sown after digging up the land for about an inch, as opposed to the normal practice where red gram is sown after the land is ploughed.
This new method of cultivation has paid rich dividends, he said. The expected yield from the crop is 12 quintals an acre, as against the normal yield of four quintals.
Mr. Parashivappagol had chosen a local variety of red gram, ‘Jod Mukha’ (twin faces), which he said would fetch a good price in the market. In the remaining land, the farmer had taken up cultivation of banana, drumsticks and Bengal gram.