Out of red, into green
Srirangapatna, June 19, DHNS :
Lush green and trees overburdened with fruits greet people visiting the humble two-and-a-half acres of land belonging to farmer Srinivas at Palahalli village of Srirangapatna taluk.
Here is a farmer who has created a record of sorts by growing 32 varieties of trees on his land. And, he has done it through only organic farming and natural pest control methods. Apples, coffee, arecanut, cinnamon, cloves, asafoetida, nutmeg, rose apples, oranges, pepper, sweet lime, cherries, lichee, Ganjam figs, cardamom, the list goes on… You name them and you find them on Srinivas’ land, although coffee is the primary focus.
Not so long ago, Srinivas told Deccan Herald, he used to cultivate paddy and sugarcane. Fall in the prices of sugarcane pushed him to take risks and experiment with horticulture plants.
He decided to cultivate coffee. Along with coffee, he began experimenting by growing fruits and spices and these have yielded good results.
One might wonder how apples have come up on Srinivas’ land. Said to be popularly grown in dryland region, Srinivas has proved experts wrong. Spices are also cultivated in abundance. Sprinkler irrigation, organic manure and neem cakes have kept his fields lush green, brimming with fruits and flowers and also pest-free.
Srinivas has diverted the solid waste from the village to his fields. He has shunned pesticides and chemical manure. Pepper, arecanut, coconut, mango, lemon, bananas and jackfruit are giving a handsome revenue.
Farmers from the surrounding villages keep visiting his fields to seek gyan from him. Srinivas says he is keen on cultivating other varieties too and has sought the help of the Horticulture department.