Woman farmer creates prospective pastures with integrated farming
Kolan Pushpalata of Mondigourelli village has set an example for others to emulate by reaping profits from integrated farming –involving both agriculture and animal husbandry - and organic cultivation. Pushpalata has 12 acres of which 3 acres each is allocated for mango and guava respectively.
Ibrahimpatnam: Kolan Pushpalata of Mondigourelli village has set an example for others to emulate by reaping profits from integrated farming –involving both agriculture and animal husbandry - and organic cultivation. Pushpalata has 12 acres of which 3 acres each is allocated for mango and guava respectively. Mango is intercropped with drum sticks. In addition to farming, Pusphalata owns three local breed of cows and 20 sheep apart from four poultry sheds with each shed housing at least 10,000 broiler chickens.
Earlier the harvest from guava plantations was not encouraging. Therefore, she took expert guidance and raised Alabasafeda and Lucknow-49 varieties using organic fertilisers like cow dung, sheep droppings and applying neem decoction to prevent pesticide attacks. As a result, the guava plants grew to a good height with each bearing at least 30 to 40 guavas. As they tasted sweeter, traders purchased the guava fruits at the garden gate itself at a price of Rs 20 a kg. Pushpalata earned around Rs 1 lakh on the one-acre guava garden alone.
She raised Banginapalli and Mallika mango varieties in three acres. She applied neem decoction to treat pests, including those attacking leaves. Each tree in the garden bears at least 100-200 mangoes. She hopes to get revenue of around Rs 3-4 lakh from the mango produce. From the drumstick, which was intercropped with mango plantations, Puspalata earned Rs 1 lakh last year. She applied cow dung to each plant and cultivated the plants using the drip-irrigation. She not only conserved water but also reaped a bumper harvest as the trees grew taller.
Pushpalata says that spraying neem decoction increases shelf life of the harvested crop and in addition to the produce having high nutritional value. She further pointed out that application of organic manure is helping her save money, which otherwise would have to be spent on chemical fertilisers. Pushpalata sold 60 sheep last year and earned Rs 80,000.
Farmers should be sensitised on organic cultivation coupled with conservation of water through drip-irrigation methods. Our ancestors achieved wonderful results practicing natural farming. The farmers should make use of the incentives and subsidies and practice effective water management methods for increasing their revenues.
By Ch Raju