TIRUCHY: Leaving a well paid job to pursue his passion for organic farming, this 34-year- old youth has set an example for many. From developing new software for corporate firms, M Gokul, a software engineer, has taken up organic farming in his native village in Perambalur district.
The techie who used to involve in farming during weekends and holidays earlier, is now all set to develop a self-sustainable model for organic farming in his native village. He also aims at sensitising the fellow farmers about the importance of practising organic farming methods to preserve soil fertility.
M Gokul has been working with a software major for the past 10 years as a software architect in Chennai. With his roots in Ogalur, where his father K Mullainathan has been growing paddy, Gokul had tried his luck by cultivating traditional paddy breeds in four acres.
“A few years ago, I was inspired by the concept of organic farming being revived by organic scientist Nammalvar and subsequently enrolled for training courses,” Gokul said.
Spending ample time at his farmland for the past few months including holidays, leaves and weekends, the techie was shuttling between Chennai and Perambalur during the entire crop cycle. The traditional paddy varieties; Garudan Samba, Mappilai Samba, Aathur Kichidi Samba and Vellai Ponni, were cultivated under System of Rice Intensification (SRI), without fertilisers.
“Amirthkaraisal and Panchakavya were the only organic manure that I used for growing the traditional paddy crop, besides neem oil as a pest repellent. Without using chemical fertilisers, we managed to post about four tonnes of traditional paddy yield from 3.5 acres of land. My father was helping me during every stage of the crop cycle as I had to be in Chennai mostly,” Gokul added.
Gokul also said farmers are unaware of self-sustainable farming models independent of external agents.
Stating that he is currently serving his notice period with the software firm paying him in several lakhs per annum, Gokul said he is all set to engage in full-time organic farming to produce paddy and value-added products, by strictly keeping chemical fertilisers at bay.