Sivaprakasam has been growing onion without fertiliser and pesticides and getting a yield of 260 kilos per 10 cents.
He uses organic pest repellent for his brinjal crop.
This farmer is very particular about using organic matter.
He collects whatever organic matter is available in the village and makes it into compost.
He has provided holes for movement of earthworms between the two.
When he increases the moisture content in one, the earthworms move to the other for air and comfort.
It expects to carry on the Nammalwar tradition of training the farmers all over the country in ecologically and sustainable agriculture methods of farming The organisation will also focus on traditional medical systems and to create an affordable health centre based on alternative therapies.
As a centre, VANAGAM will do research to bring back our traditional culture and seeds and exchange these with other farmers in India.
Meenakshi was exposed to agriculture in Auroville, while Umesh was motivated after a stint with AME.The trees include teak, eucalyptus, guava, maramalli, gooseberry, etc.He has grown a live fence with trees like subabul and eucalyptus.Sivaprakasam gives the following reasons for his shift to sustainable agriculture: He was a progressive farmer in the late 1970s, but later incurred losses year after year such that at one time he incurred an expenditure of Rs.7000 on cotton and got a profit margin of Rs.100 only.Deeper awareness of the dangers of using too much chemical fertiliser was driven home by the realisation that yields remained more or less the same even though smaller amounts of fertilisers were used (due to price hikes). Having consistently reduced chemical inputs he now has no losses and has finally begun to reap a profit.He is also very interested in microbial action on organic matter during decomposition and has tried two different treatments with two different fungi.One is Plerotus species and the other is collected by skimming the surfaces of water tanks.Its objectives are: (i) Establishment of collective leadership among poor rural women (ii) Establishment of development cadres in the villages (iii) Protection and promotion of natural resources.Promoting the practice of Organic Farming in the villages is closely integrated into all aspects of their work. Karthikeyan) UMESH CHANDRASEKAR AND MEENAKSHI – PUVIDHAM Nagarkoodal Village, Post via Indur, Dharmapuri 636 803, Tamil Nadu.Sivaprakasam cultivates cumbu, chilies, groundnut, cholam, coriander, red gram, sunflower, onion, sugarcane and rice.In one plot he grows a combination of crops and trees, namely tomatoes, chilies (three month crops), lemon (four years, 20 foot spacing) and moringa (10 foot spacing) with teak and casuarina plants around.