Agriculture Polytechnic College in the premises of Adarana farm at Hampapuram village in Raptadu mandal
Agriculture Polytechnic College in the premises of Adarana farm at Hampapuram village in Raptadu mandal

Hampapuram (Anantapur): The 125-acre lush green organic vegetable and horticulture integrated farm with dairying and sheep rearing at Hampapuram village in Raptadu mandal in the district is a model organic farm and an educational centre for farmers to have exposure on farm mechanisation, organic farming, marketing and exporting of produce.

The government has recognised the model farm as an agri-tourism destination. As per the government scheme, agri-tourism farms are to be promoted with the help of model farmers, who would be willing to develop their farms with greenery, horticulture plantations and guest rooms for visiting tourists. The idea is to promote rural tourism and celebrate rural festivals.

The sprawling integrated agriculture farm was established by N Ramakrishna. Hundreds of farmers and government officials visit to the farm to have a glimpse of the model farm and to study the best agricultural practices. The farm dubbed as 'Adarana Padi Panta' was established in 2011.

Ramakrishna believes in the farm practices advocated by Subash Palekar of Maharashtra, who promotes natural farming practices and advises farmers to return to old farming practices.

The students of Agriculture Polytechnic set up in the farm say that they are exposed to practical farming and interact with leading scientists and agriculturists. Sailaja, an agricultural polytechnic student says she is happy to study in the campus as she has been interacting with experts.

Ramakrishna talking to 'The Hans India' at his farm house stated his farm has emerged as the focal point for promoting agri-tourism farms and also a government recognised centre for training farmers on natural farming. As part of promoting natural farming, he is engaged in cultivation, marketing and even export of products.

He has 18 borewells in the campus always teeming with life and even in the hot summer, his bores did not fail him, he says with pride as he dug large farm ponds and trenches to conserve rainwater. As part of mechanisation, he introduced JCBs, tractors, ploughing machines, drum seeders, thrashers, groundnut decorticators, millet cleaning machines, banana fibre and bio-mass pellet machines.

As part of integrated farming, Ramakrishna is running a dairy with 70 animals and rearing 500 sheep and goats. More than 100 people live in the township.  A big cold storage facility would shortly be established for storage of 8,000 tonnes of produce with the cooperation of the Central government, he says. The agriculture farm has emerged as a modern farm with even the government utilising the infrastructure and training facilities to train staff and officials of the Agriculture department.