India: Potato grower gets round pesticide hike by going organic

Whilst some growers are protesting at the the increasing costs of pesticides, Suryanarayanappa, a farmer in Shidlaghatta has successfully grown potatoes in large quantity using organic compost.

Suryanarayanappa has grown 650 to 700 bags of potatoes on his two acres of land. He has created an organic compost, from green wastage, which is then drip irrigated to his potatoes.

He has been growing potatoes for many years, but only went organic last year. He says that he saves 50% of his costs that would previously have been used on chemcials. Better still, he says that both quality and yield is high.

“Last year on the advice of Organic Agriculture Mission, a 26 feet long, 13 feet wide and  8 feet deep, compost pit was created. I spent Rs 85,000 on it. The Agriculture Department provided Rs 30,000 as an incentive,” said, Suryanarayana.

“Except for cactus and water after washing cloths, every type of wastage goes into the pit. Once in 15 days the liquid formed in the pit is mixed with the water and dripped to the farm,” he added.

“I have saved more than 50 per cent of pesticide money, one third of the yield has increased, and the number of daily wage workers to tend the farm has also come down. Totally, after deducting expenditure, I have made Rs 2 lakh profit,” he says.

“Building a organic compost also makes the land fertile. One can grow crops or vegetables even with little water. As the Organic Agriculture Department provides incentives, farmers should come forward to implement this system,”said B Ramanjinappa, Convener of the Organic Agriculture Parivar Trust.


Publication date: 2/15/2012

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