Natural Farming Practices Helps Farmers
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who sat through the session, assured the farmers of building a knowledge bank collecting the best practices, bringing technology and finding the best markets in the world.
At an interaction with progressive farmers at the AgTech summit, successful practices in organic and zero-budget farming using natural pesticides and fertilizer and several educated professionals, including from IT sector, successfully returning to such farming hogged the limelight.
The traditional paddy cultivation process reducing labour cost narrated by Meka Radhakrishna Murthy of Mantripalem in Nagaram mandal of Guntur district. He also narrated a method of fighting weeds effectively, quoting from a sixth century BC book. On second crop of pulses too, use of pesticide could be eliminated by using hay and other material and generating yellow smoke.
He also suggested farming in one acre raising bunds and taking up horticulture and aqua culture to multiply the income. While praising Mr. Radhakrishna Murthy’s knowledge, Mr. Naidu said that a list of such persons would be prepared and a meeting conducted with them.
How natural farming and modern technology were combined to achieve the best results in 32 acres, told Gullepalli Sujatha of Pedarakatla in Konakanamitla mandal of Prakasam district. She said that, farm ponds, raising bunds, mulching, trenches, inter-cropping helped increase nutrition and moisture. Using sensors helped in reducing the use of water through drip and sprinkler irrigation. Ms. Sujatha said, “digital mapping and weather station are being used and we have plans to go in for precision farming.”
Nara Parthasaradhi of Dharmavaram mandal said beginning farming in a small way in 2009, he formed a ZBNF farmers’ network. Working with the Agriculture Department, he had been able to reduce wastage and introduce grading and sorting. The produce was being marketed among communities in Bangalore.