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The Agri-Magician of Rajasthan: Growing a Tree with Just One Litre of Water

Shigraf Zahbi
Shigraf Zahbi
Sundaram Verma gave the world a revolutionary idea that would transform agriculture in unprecedented ways.

Sundaram Verma, renowned Indian environmentalist and Padma Shri awardee, spoke to Krishi Jagran about his revolutionary agricultural technique known as ‘dryland agroforestry.' 

Verma is from a village called Danta in Sikar, Rajasthan. He completed his graduation in 1972 and soon after started working in his fields. Verma recalls that he used to raise questions regarding the problems he faced before agri-scientists and this strengthened his relations with them. His research has been motivated by his quest for solutions to the difficulties he faced as a farmer.

Can a Tree Be Grown with Just One Litre of Water? 

By 1982, Verma had already been recognized among the renowned youth farmers of the state. His education also helped him realize his full potential. He was selected for a respected training course in New Delhi where he learned dryland farming. This technique was used to trap monsoon water to be used for cultivation later in winter months. Verma realized that his native state Rajasthan did not even have enough water even for the crops grown in the monsoon season. What Verma did next was apply the principles of dry farming used on crops on trees. His experiments became successful. He tested his findings in several areas and with several kinds of plants and developed a scientific formula which worked for all varieties of plants in a given region! 

The Agri-Magician of Rajasthan 

So far, Verma has planted over fifty-five thousand trees in Rajasthan. After receiving the prestigious award, he got several proposals to collaborate with other farmers and teach them his technique of growing trees. However, these plans were foiled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, his efforts to expand his unique findings have not yet stopped. Farmers have been on his farm to learn from him and he himself has helped them through instructions. In Verma’s words, “We are persistent in our efforts.”  

Verma has many accolades to his name. He has been awarded by The International Development Research Centre, Canada, The International Crop Science Congress, New Delhi, and many other international, national, and state awards.  

Conclusion: Verma’s Message to Farmers 

Verma insists that all farmers maintain balance in their agricultural activities. He urges them to grow different kinds of crops and understand the importance of planting trees and not just plant them for monetary or other kinds of benefits.  

Sundaram Verma

Sundaram Verma

Sikar, Rajasthan

Padma Shri Award 2020 Farmer

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