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The messiah of farmers in AP

The messiah of farmers in AP
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Agriculture might be India’s backbone but ironically many farmers remain directionless and only grow when they are provided some sort of support. This is where agricultural scientist GV Ramanjaneyulu comes into the picture who is serving as the executive director for Center for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA).

Agriculture might be India’s backbone but ironically many farmers remain directionless and only grow when they are provided some sort of support. This is where agricultural scientist GV Ramanjaneyulu comes into the picture who is serving as the executive director for Center for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA).


GV Ramanjaneyulu Ramanjeneyulu is credited to have implemented Non- Pesticidal Management (NPM) of producing crops in 45 villages across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. “My family shifted from the agricultural profession about three generations ago. But I was interested in studying about farming and understanding the core farming issues which lead to its crisis. After studying the subject for ten years, I realised that my mission is to save the agricultural sector,” opined Ramanjeneyulu.


“In 2003 and 2004 the death toll of farmers was shocking. I was very disturbed by the trend. I felt ashamed that people who are producing food for us are dying. This is when I struck upon an idea that alternative solutions should be provided at the grassroots level to end the agrarian crisis and I started the Center for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA),” he explained.


“The main aim of starting CSA was to improve the pathetic conditions of marginal farmers. We found out that many were being hospitalised while spraying pesticides at their farm. Massive use of chemicals was the prime reason for increase in the cost of cultivation and decrease in the farmer’s income levels and their deteriorating health.”


“This is when we figured that middlemen and local traders had been misguiding farmers. They provide seeds, fertilisers and insecticides on credit while guaranteeing purchase of the crop. The traders provided essential services, but had vested interest in selling the farmers’ produce. Their technical knowledge was often limited to information provided by fertiliser companies.”


“We decided to kill the use of pesticides by growing chemical free crops in an organic way. In the process farmers from Punukula village in Khammam and Enabhavi village in Warangal started producing crops which were completely pesticide free. The Andhra Pradesh government recognised our model and started working with the rural development department where we trained self- help groups on our practices.”


“Within five years from 2004 to 2010, the total pesticide use in the State was brought down by 50 per cent i.e. from 1,957 metric tons to 1,000 metric tons. It was a significant shift.” he said. “We also started cooperatives for farmers in 2009 by introducing Shaja Aharam to eliminate middlemen and increase the income of farmers.


This system became a hit in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Punjab. In 2012 we started two campaigns on safe food to raise consumer awareness. This was highlighted in popular reality show ‘Satyameva Jayathe’,” beamed Ramanjeneyulu. “It’s only through family support that this has been possible. Sometimes we need to travel 20 days away from home,” said the scientist.

By:Ch Sandeep Manohar

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