After a crop loss, A Raghupathi had almost given up on farming when he chanced upon some traditional paddy seeds. A seed bank in Kancheepuram supplied him with the seeds of ‘kitchadi samba’ and he went ahead with its cultivation on his two acre field, following organic methods. After five-and-a-half months, the yield was promising, but there was a problem. The wholesale market which promoted only pesticide-oriented grains didn’t accept his product.
Once the harvest was over, marketing became a stumbling block. “I took the grains to the rice mill, removed the husk, packed them into bags,” he said. As there were no takers, Raghupathi with the help of some agricultural activists of the Green Cause Foundation, an organization that promotes organic farming, took to social media to find buyers. In a couple of months, he managed to sell all 29 bags of 25kg of rice each. The 64-year-old farmer, from Sirunagar village in Cheyyur, has now started cultivating traditional seeds on 10 acres.
A couple of years since, Raghupathi’s experiment has many takers today. Once a laid-back region, Kancheepuram has begun waking up to organic farming with traditional seed varieties. Distribution of region-specific traditional paddy seeds proved to be a big boost. “I stopped using high-end variety of paddy seeds mainly due to the increasing cost of fertilizers and labour. At the same time, I was not confident of traditional paddy seeds. But after I got used to the basics of organic farming and didn’t look back,” said Raghupathi.....Read more
Source web page: Times of india