Farmers transform rocky and unviable terrain into fertile zones
When the going gets tough the tough gets going. In an exemplary endeavour, some enterprising farmers of Surampalem and J Timmapuram in Peddapuram and Gandepalli mandals of East Godavari district have converted once rocky and wild terrain into fertile and cultivable lands.
Kakinada: When the going gets tough the tough gets going. In an exemplary endeavour, some enterprising farmers of Surampalem and J Timmapuram in Peddapuram and Gandepalli mandals of East Godavari district have converted once rocky and wild terrain into fertile and cultivable lands. The farmers achieved this transformation by practicing Palekar model of agriculture.
Earlier, contractors had indiscriminately dug pits in the lands to excavate sand. At a time when everyone thought that the land was not fit for cultivation, a few farmers of Surampalem and J Timmapuram proved them wrong.
Encouraged by rainwater harvesting structures, advocated by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, the farmers of the two villages dug a 40-feet deep rainwater harvesting structure in three and half acres and a tank in one and half acres.
The rainwater harvesting structure and the tank were so designed that rainwater at any point in the 50-acre farm gets channeled to the harvesting structure and the tank. With irrigation facility secured and sprinkler and drip-irrigation system installed, the farmers started raising oil palm trees, coconut, mango and many other horticultural crops.
They also raised flower plants in polyhouses in addition to vegetables. Now there is greenery all around and the farmers who were instrumental in bringing about this transformation are getting accolades from fellow farmers and authorities.
Four years ago, the farmers were selling gravel from their fields. Now, they are into natural farming, using cow urine and dung, sourced from their own cattle, for cultivation. The three-year-old oil palm plants are getting ready for the maiden harvest in three months. The project is now providing livelihood to at least 30 agricultural workers.
Bankers, agriculture and horticulture officials are evincing an interest in the project and are keen to extend financial support. Inspired by the success of their endeavours, farmers Gunnam Suresh, Gunnam Veerabhadra Rao and Bujjibabu are now planning to set up a dairy farm by purchasing 50 buffaloes.
By Adapa Appa Rao