India, is a country where BT cotton has influenced the land more than ever, covering about 99% of its cotton coverage being BT cotton. But varying from the usual trend, these farmers from Jangaon district took up the challenge of growing non-BT Cotton or organic cotton on the contributed land of 62 acres.
Who said, Organic is not the way to have a route to profit making ? These farmers proved that Organic is the new fashion and the new technology to sway everyone away.
32 farmers from Telangana, have grown organic cotton who belongs to Enabavi, Kallem, Manikyapuram, Siripuram, Jeedikal and Vanaparthi. Just like their peers, these farmers, too, have suffered losses due to intense rains. But unlike them, they have not faced the pink bollworm attack or low-price scenario.
Enabavi is known for its non-chemical use on its agricultural lands. This practice has now crossed over a decade. Farmers from here, have confined themselves to the use of organic methods, using biofertilisers and non-pesticide management techniques.
“We don’t have the problem of pink bollworm. We have long stopped using chemical pesticides and practising organic farming methods,” says Ponnam Mallaiah, a farmer.
The 72-year-old Mallaiah started the organic farming movement in the village with the help of a non-governmental organisation, CROP. The results were so encouraging that other farmers from the district switched to the same route taken by Mallaiah. This led to the formation of a mutual-aid cooperative society to get a better price from buyers.
The Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA), which is promoting natural foods venture Sahaja Aaharam, is procuring cotton and other agriculture produce from the mutual-aid cooperative society.
Ravi Kanneganti of CSA mentions that all the member-farmers are small or marginal farmers, who come with an output of 2.5-7 quintals, earning an additional income of ₹2,500-7,000.
Telangana’s farmers have grown cotton on 46 lakh acres as against the average acreage of 30-35 lakh acres.
While a good number of farmers have also grown Bt Cotton have fetched themselves only ₹3,500 a quintal, the farmers of Enabavi have received ₹5,200 a quintal.
If one considers the MSP, they have made a gain of almost ₹1,000 over the MSP of ₹4,320. But due to torrential rains, the output further dropped to 180 from expected 250 quintals.