CHENNAI: “Educated youth should take up agriculture as their profession; they can make it profitable if they adopt integrated farming practices.
We can blend our traditional and modern techniques,” says M Sankaranarayanan (49), a farmer from Puliyankudi in Tirunelveli district, who received State’s special award from the Chief Minister on Republic Day. The honour was for the highest yield under the System of Rice Intensification method. The award carries `5 lakh and a medal.
Talking to Express, Sankaranarayanan pointed out that at present, farmers were not able to fix prices for their own agricultural produce and after implementation of MGNREGS, scarcity of farm labourers had gone up manifold.
As a result, farmers had to give higher wages for labourers. Ultimately, the farmer is the sufferer and this could be overcome by adopting integrated farming where apart from paddy, other crops can also be cultivated. Sankaranarayanan owns six acres.
Explaining the methods used to get the highest yield of 19,705 kg of paddy per hectare between October 2015 and March 2016, he said, “I maximised use of organic farming while minimising use of chemicals.”