Saviour of indigenous seeds

By Times Of India on 03 May 2018 | read
If anyone wants to be a successful farmer, he/she has to run a farm that would yield a daily, weekly, monthly, half-yearly and yearly profit. So, instead of growing crops based on what is fetching good revenue in the market at a particular time, a farmer should learn to plan for a sustained harvest", says P Saravanan, 43, a progressive farmer from Paluvanchi village in Marungapuri taluk in Trichy district.
Until a few years ago, he had been cultivating paddy and sugarcane alone, which are common in the region. However, there was nothing that made him excited neither in terms of yield nor in terms of revenue. This had made him switch over to vegetables, that too not the hybrid but the native crops, he says.

"I switched to crops like brinjal, ladies finger, chillies, which have started to provide a good yield. Despite poor monsoon, I could get very good yield from vegetable cultivation when compared to paddy and sugarcane. Paddy and sugarcane require more quantum of water to cultivate. However, it is not the case of vegetables", he opined.

Though Saravanan is always eying on making a profit, he never compromised cultivating native vegetables. While other farmers are going for hybrid varieties aiming for good yield, he has been cultivating only country seeds.

"I have been cultivating brinjal, ladies finger, chillies and groundnut crops using country seeds, not a hybrid. Though I am only getting half of the yield when compared to a hybrid, I am able to earn revenue equal to what usually a hybrid variety would yield", Saravanan stated.

If a farmer cultivates hybrid brinjal, say for an example, he could get a yield of 100 kg from an acre. While a country seed can able to get only 50 percent of the yield. However, Saravanan said that he could sell his produce for Rs 20 per kg when a hybrid produce could only fetch Rs 10 per kg, he added.

"Moreover, the cost of fertilizer, pesticides, maintenance cost will eventually come down to country seeds. However, it is not the case for a hybrid. It requires more fertilizer, pesticide and maintenance cost", says Saravanan.

Saravanan is using cow dung, green manure and goat manure along with micronutrients like Azospirillum, Pseudomonas, and Phosphobacteria instead of using chemical fertilizers and pesticides. So, his large number of the customer base is purely because of the quality and taste of the produce, he said.

"I use the required scientific technologies such as seed nutrient management and water conservation methods in my field. I have established sprinklers to save water. Due to some practical problems, I am not using drip irrigation", he added.

He said that whether it was a cash crop or food crop, a farmer’s ultimatum was profit. Apart from the yield, a farmer should be able to successfully market his produce.

He should not rely on wholesalers or agents. Only then can he/she could get a better price for his produce. So, the government should create more avenues to facilitate each and every farmer to sell their produce on their own, he further said.