Often, people think of returning to their village after their retirement, so that the rest of their lives can be lived in a clean environment. But nowadays, there are many people who are leaving their good jobs in big cities and returning to villages. Because, they want to give their family a good and healthy life. Today we are telling you the story of one such farmer of Telangana, who, except IT sector, has joined the agricultural sector. His purpose was very clear, to provide healthy food and a relaxed life to his family.
We are talking about 40-year-old Mallikarjuna Reddy, who hails from Peddakurmapally, a village in Karimnagar district in Telangana. Since 2014, Reddy has been farming through organic means and feeding healthy food not only to the family but also to other people. Shortly before, he has been awarded the ‘Abhinav Kisan Puraskar’ by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for his organic farming methods and different efforts. BusinessLend Talking to him, he told about his journey.
Says Reddy, “I used to work in Hyderabad and my friends and relatives often used to come there for treatment of some member of their family. I used to go to the hospital with him many times and whenever there was talk to the doctors, there would definitely be discussion on chemical food and drink. Knowing more about this, it was found that chemical farming and increasing diseases in people are related to each other. I always kept thinking about it. During that time, it was discovered that the daughter of a friend of mine had cancer. After that I decided that even if the income is less, I will give a healthy life to my family. ”
Farming started by returning to the village:
An engineering major in computer science, Mallikarjuna Reddy has also worked as a software engineer for seven years in Hyderabad’s ‘SemanticSpace Technology’ company. But leaving the job, he decided to do organic farming. For him, the motivation to do organic farming has been agriculturalists like Subhash Palekar and Rajiv Dixit. Who are teaching people to cultivate in organic ways. He started farming on his family land. However, it was not so easy. He told, “People in the village used to joke that why are you leaving a good job and doing farming? Many relatives also said that this is a wrong decision. Nothing is going to be earned from farming, you will lose what you have earned so far. But I did not listen to anyone. My family supported me and I started farming. ”
Initially, he did not get very good results but, he did not give up. Rather they changed their farming methods. For example, instead of preparing a separate plant for paddy, he planted it directly in the fields. He puts different organic manures and nutrition in his fields made using cow dung manure, Jeevamrit, Gaukripamrit etc. After harvesting the paddy, they also do not burn the remaining straw, but they are smelled in the field with the help of decomposer. Due to which the fertility of the land increases.
For irrigation, he has installed drip irrigation system in his field. In addition, he collects rainwater through ponds and wells in his fields. This water is later used for irrigation. He says that this does not cause them much problem in irrigation and at the same time, it is also helpful in increasing the ground water level.
Apart from growing seven varieties of paddy, he also cultivates sunflower, ginger, groundnut, and sesame. Apart from this, he is also growing seasonal vegetables like onion, garlic, coriander, green chilli etc. for his home. He further added, “Also, this time I have also planted a medicinal crop, bacha (Achorus calamus). It is in great demand in the market and it is sold at the rate of nine thousand rupees per quintal. I hope that I will get good profit from this crop. ”
Reddy says that he has reduced the cost of his farms with his innovative methods. In a season, if the cost of planting a paddy crop per acre of an ordinary farmer comes to Rs 25 thousand, Mallikarjun spends only Rs 12,500 for planting an acre of paddy. He says that due to farming through organic methods, expenditure has come down and earnings have increased. He has earned about 57 thousand rupees from his one-acre paddy crop in one season. He says that you can earn profits in farming only if you keep your cost down while doing farming through organic methods.
He further states that since he started farming, he has lost six kilos. He considers this the reason for working in the field with utmost dedication. He handles most of the work in his fields on his own. He says that he works for about 12 hours every day. They also keep some livestock such as cows, goats, and sheep. In the morning, he takes care of them first and then leaves for the fields. He says that he takes about 26 thousand steps in the field every day. So that he is always fit.
Along with exercising, he is eating good and healthy food. To make his produce available to the people, he has also opened a shop of his own. From where people can easily buy their farm produce. Reddy is regularly associated with ‘Krishi Vigyan Kendra’, ‘Atma’ and ‘Professor Jaishankar Telangana State Agricultural University’ in his area. He keeps getting advice from the experts there. Through them, many farmer groups also come to their fields and know about their farming methods.
He explains, “I train students of agricultural schools. When he practically completes the knowledge he has read in books, he becomes very happy. Which also enhances their understanding. ” Mamta, an agricultural student who takes training from Reddy, says that what she studies in the university, she gets to understand the true meaning of doing all the work on the fields and watching. And if Mallikarjuna Reddy is the convincing farmer, then students get to learn more new things. Because, Reddy explains a lot of things to him based on his experience.
Mallikarjuna Reddy says that when he was in the job, his earnings were four lakh rupees annually. However, now their annual income from farming rises to about 16 lakh rupees. Also, he has been able to feed his family with chemical-free and healthy food. He says, “To save ourselves and the environment, it is important that we farmers adopt chemical-free and nature-friendly methods for farming. In the beginning, you will have to face a lot of problems. But, if you are hardworking then one day you will definitely get success. ”
If you want to contact Mallikarjuna Reddy, you can email him at email@example.com.