1. Agriculture World

This farmer from Mysuru proves how Natural Farming is Profitable & Economically Viable

Prity Barman
Prity Barman
Subash Palekar
Krishnappa Dasappa Gowda

Like the Japanese farmer Masanobu Fukuoka, a 50-year-old farmer in a village in Karnataka have shown that beautiful forests and farms can arise from nothingness. In Bannur village, T Narasipur taluk, Krishnappa Dasappa Gowda's farm looks less like a traditional agricultural field and more like a forest in all its wild glory.

He cultivates everything from teak and mango to coffee, turmeric, ginger to paddy and sugarcane, using the natural farming technique of his five acres of land, which he first experienced when he met Subhash Palekar, a Maharashtrian farmer, in 2005.

In 2005, he began experimenting with natural farming on one acre of land. One year of dedication under the direction of Palekar paid off and he moved fully to natural farming in the next two years. The outcome was a five-layered forest-like five-acre farm in which various heights of vegetation (tall, medium, low, trees, and creepers) grew in the midst of each other, having enough sunlight for each canopy.

Krishnappa Gowda says, "Natural farming, is a technique developed by Japanese farmer Masanobu Fukuoka." He added that "Farming is a science. Always think about who actually waters trees in a forest and offers fertilisers. The plants are although much better and yield a large amount of fruit, and this inevitably occurs. In Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZNBF), we have followed the same rules of nature. "

The idea of "Mu" (a Japanese term meaning nothingness) was introduced to agriculture by Fukuoka, who claimed that humans could not interfere with nature, and proposed that crops be able to grow naturally without intervention. 

Palekar adapted this technique to Indian climatic conditions and developed and started to spread an inter-cropping and multi-layering technique, Krishnappa says. 

Natural farming, in Krishnappa's knowledge, is both commercially feasible and environmentally sustainable. The majority of farmers face labor problems. With less labor and investment, natural farming can be achieved. 

Widely known as Bannur Krishnappa he told one acre of land can get a farmer about Rs 3-4 lakh a year,  provided  that the native seed varieties are used and plants are picked based on rooting patterns and are also grown in a five-layer scheme. From the number of outlets that market organic/natural goods, the market for such crops is very obvious. "This indicates that people favor nutritious diets. Programmes to encourage natural farming should be brushed out by the government,” he says.

He says that ZBNF will recover soil fertility that is depleted by chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Natural farming with a zero budget was generated by researching forests that naturally look healthier. In order to recover soil nutrients and cultivate nutritious food for population, farmers should practice ZBNF. People will find him running outreach programs on the issue on certain Sundays or taking guests on a tour of his farm. A proud Krishnappa says, "I've completed SSLC and I feel good that I'm teaching Palekar's natural farming to foreigners." 

With this approach, H Chethan, a visitor from Bengaluru, says he plans to build a two-acre farm. "The farm of Krishnappa is inspirational and educational. His introduction to the local crop variety and seed management is very useful. We can obtain a reasonable yield and benefit without much spending. Farmers won't face losses if this approach is practiced."

According to Krisnappa views, the ZBNF could discuss the economic non-viability of agriculture and the debt and desperation arising from it. "The farmers left agriculture. There will be no loses if they conduct inter-cropping by ZBNF, and they will solve problems connected to agriculture. Suicides by farmers can also be avoided,' he adds. It is possible to reach Krishnappa at 9880587545.

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