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NABARD & ITC Sponsored Study-Cum-Awareness Program on Integrated Natural Farming

Guntur farmers are sensitized in integrated natural farming. Study-cum-awareness tour organized to Aadarana farm in Anantapur.

Shivani Meena
Integrated Natural Farming
Integrated Natural Farming

A group of farmers and leaders from Nuzendla and Vinukonda in Guntur district participated in a study-cum-awareness program on integrated natural farming at the Aadarana Paadi Panta farm in Hampapuram, where all available resources in a typical village are used to improve soil health without the use of chemical fertilizers.

The initiative was co-sponsored by the National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) and involved around 50 farmers with modest landholdings ranging from 1 acre to 4 acres. Farmers grow tobacco, red gram, or have sarivudu tree farms (used for construction supports) and make just Rs. 10,000 a year.

Ramakrishna, chairman of the Aadarana Group, explained to the farmers how cows and buffaloes could be beneficial to their plants, as well as the advantages of cash crops such as organic curry leaves, which have a large market with prices ranging from Rs. 30 per kg to Rs. 70 per kg depending on the season or exports.

"The curry leaf plant may live for 20 to 25 years and produces 5 tonnes per acre every cutting." It has a capacity of 7 tonnes and can be cut six times each year. Given the current market value of the crop, farmers may expect to earn at least Rs 30 lakh per acre," he added.

Ramakrishna, citing former Zilla Parishad chairperson Pathuri Nagabhushanam from Guntur district as an example, stated, "We have recommended farmers to create a Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) to collectively sell their commodities and speak to exporters like as Nagabhushanm." The NABARD can assist farmers."

Farmers were also taught about cattle care and traditional oil extraction methods.

The tour was organized by Myarada, an NGO that runs rural development programs in three states. According to Myrada executives Mallikarjuna and Tippeswamy, two additional groups of farmers would be taken on such a visit.

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